Most of us have experienced periods in our lives when we can’t sleep due to insomnia or back pain or any number of issues. It is so frustrating! But many women find that sleeping deeply and well during pregnancy can be especially challenging. Hip and back pain, heartburn, restless legs and the ever present need to run to the bathroom are just a few of the issues that may make finding restful sleep difficult. What can you do?
- Hip/back Pain: Purchase a pregnancy support pillow. These pillows are meant to contour to the pregnant body providing extra support where needed You can tuck them under your belly and back/hips and between your legs. They can also be used to prop your upper body up a little which can help with heartburn. If you’d rather not purchase a pregnancy specific pillow you can also use several regular pillows to achieve the same effect.
- Heartburn: Eat small meals throughout the day and avoid eating right before going to bed. Don’t eat highly acidic or spicy foods. Sleep slightly elevated.
- Restless Legs: Some women find it is comforting to have weight on their legs from a comforter or several blankets. Others find that it helps to stretch before bed. Sometimes just moving your legs by jiggling or shaking them can also help. Ask your care provider about ways to combat restless legs. Some care providers recommend a magnesium supplement such as Natural Calm.
- Frequent urination: There isn’t a whole lot that can be done to avoid the need to pee a lot especially in the third trimester. Baby’s size and position put a lot of pressure on the bladder. That said, however, you can try! Lean forward when peeing to completely empty the bladder and make sure to go right before sleeping. Avoid drinking a lot before going to bed. You don’t want to cut down on water during pregnancy so try drinking more during the day and less in the hour or two before bed.
I hope these little tips will help you find better and more restful sleep as you wait to welcome your new little one.
Kelly Siebold ~ DONA certified birth doula
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