Pregnancy Sleep – what do we need to know?

For most women, pregnancy is a time of great joy, excitement and anticipation. Unfortunately, for many it can also be a time of serious sleep disturbance, even for women who have never had problems sleeping. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation’s 1998 Women and Sleep poll, 78% of women report more disturbed sleep during pregnancy than at other times. Many women also report feeling extremely fatigued during pregnancy, especially during the first and third trimesters. So sleep well ladies for you and for bub!

One of the reasons for fatigue and pregnancy sleep problems are changing hormone levels. It is very important for pregnant women to prioritize sleep and to find effective strategies for managing their pregnancy sleep problems as early as possible in their pregnancy.

Poor pregnancy sleep can also have an effect on labour and delivery. Researchers from the University of California at San Francisco recently found that women who slept fewer than 6 hours per night had longer labours and were 4.5 times more likely to have caesarean deliveries. Based on these findings, the researchers recommend that doctors discuss both pregnancy sleep quantity and pregnancy sleep quality with their pregnant patients as part of basic prenatal care and stress the importance of “sleeping for 2”.

By practicing good pregnancy sleep hygiene, most women are able to manage pregnancy-related insomnia.   The good news about most of the sleep problems experienced by pregnant women is that they tend to go away once the baby is born, but women should still pay close attention to their sleep after they give birth as new sleep problems may arise.

Research has demonstrated that sleeping on your left side is recommended for mums and baby’s health.   It is quite common when sleeping on your side however for the weight of your top arm to roll forward and lie against your torso at a sharper angle and compress your armpit-area, limiting circulation to your arm and causing some of those annoying pins-n-needles. This can be exacerbated if you start rolling forward a little bit onto your tummy as you rest (this can be particularly the case for women who are stomach sleepers when not pregnant).

Now let’s get some Pregnancy Sleep

To alleviate this problem you may want to try the Boomerang pillow Large which will help you hold your arm away from your body and minimize compression in that area. The Boomerang pillow is also especially useful for some mums to reduce strain on your upper shoulder and neck muscles (as the heavy arm is rolling forward, it’s pulling on your neck muscles).

Next, try tucking the Boomerang pillow under your belly, not only will this minimize your tendency to roll onto your belly, it’ll support your ligaments and lower back. Also, be sure to check out how you are propping your legs. Make sure you have substantial leg support — the firmer your leg pillows, the less give, and the less you will roll. That is why the Boomerang pillow can be tucked in between your legs or alternatively you may decide to use the Pelvic Support pillow which again is slightly firmer.

If you want total body support then go for a U-shaped pillow but make sure it provides the necessary support and have been recommended by health care professionals.

Try our Pregnancy Sleep Tips:

Sleeping well throughout pregnancy can be challenging. Follow these coping tips throughout your pregnancy to minimize loss of sleep:

  • Plan, schedule and prioritize your pregnancy sleep.
  • Sleep on your left side to improve the flow of blood and nutrients to your foetus and to your uterus and kidneys. Avoid lying on your back for extended periods of time. A pillow like the Boomerang pillow will ensure you sleep on your side.
  • Drink lots of fluids during the day, especially water, but cut down on the amount you drink in the hours before bedtime.
  • In order to avoid heartburn, do not eat large amounts of spicy, acidic or fried foods. Also, eat frequent small meals throughout the day.
  • If you can’t sleep, don’t lie in bed forcing yourself to sleep. Get up and read a book, knit or crochet something for your baby, write in a journal, or take a warm bath.
  • When sleeping, lie on your left side with your knees and hips bent. Place a pregnancy pillow like the Pelvic Support pillow between your knees, or use the Comfort U pillow for all round body support. In most cases this will take pressure off your lower back.
  • Put a nightlight in the bathroom instead of turning on the light to use the bathroom — this will be less arousing and help you return to sleep more quickly.

Good Night everyone![block id=”love-stuff-share”]

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