Pregnancy and Sleep Problems and Adjustments

Pregnancy presents new sleep issues and challenges because the mother-to-be is now supporting two beings, so to speak, and the one can definitely affect the other, especially the one who needs to get her sleep and physical restoration each night.

While each trimester of pregnancy poses its own challenges and difficulties, in a general sense pregnancy can result in:

  • Waking frequently to go to the bathroom because of various pregnancy factors, including the fetus’s rubbing against the mother’s bladder
  • Sleeping disruptions due to the increased stress of being pregnant
  • Drowsiness in the daytime due to the above issues, plus the general nature of pregnancy

During the second trimester, the good news is that the frequent bathroom trips may lessen as the fetus grows and your body adapts to its presence. Still, there can be sleep challenges associated with the general stress of pregnancy, with possible heartburn and leg cramp issues, and with the baby’s changing positions and movement that reassert pressure on the mother’s bladder in the latter stages of the second trimester.

The latter stages of the second trimester segue into the third trimester when the mother’s belly enlarges and the urination problems return as the ever-growing fetus engages the bladder more and more with physical contact.

Still, even in the challenging third trimester, there are tips that can help you get a better if not perfect night’s rest:

  • Use extra pillows to support both your head and your back/stomach area.
  • Rely on warm milk and high carbohydrate snacks to help bring on a better sleep.
  • Try yoga, massage therapy and deep breathing techniques to additionally help induce a more restful nighttime experience.
  • Find an exercise routine as a great way to get the body prepared for bedtime, but check with your doctor about what’s allowable and when and how much.
  • Consider medications to help you sleep, but remember, medicines are mostly to be avoided during pregnancy because of their impact on and transmission to the fetus. Doctors sometimes may prescribe certain medications to help with your sleep and other issues, but be sure to check with your doctor on both exercise and medicine/herbal/nutritional supplement issues.

These tips actually are good tips for anyone with sleep problems, so don’t overlook commonsense approaches to a better night’s rest.

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