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Pregnancy Sleep Tips

Pregnancy is certainly a time of great excitement, anxiety and exhaustion!  The wheels in your head are spinning as your prepare for your new arrival. Your body is working hard to grow your beautiful baby—burning an extra 300 calories a day.  Your physique is changing as your baby grows; ligaments are stretching, muscles may be aching!  For many ‘moms to be’ the physical and emotional changes associated with pregnancy are often heightened by the fact that sleep can often become more and more challenging.   During pregnancy many woman (especially in the third trimester) may not have those long, uninterrupted stretches of sleep they were once used to.  Restless sleep may be attributed to the increased need to urinate, restless leg sensation, heartburn, the inability to find a comfortable position, an awake and active baby.  Whatever the reason for your lack of sleep exploring strategies to help with your rest and relaxation is important. 

  • Emptying your bladder frequently can help remove some of the pressure of your growing uterus on your bladder
  • Staying active with walking, swimming, or yoga can help you sleep and will only benefit you in labour/birth and with your recovery
  • Leg/body massage from a partner or support person before bed can help to relax strained muscles and encourage blood flow helping to decrease restless leg sensations
  • Eating smaller, more frequent meals and elevating the head of the bed can help alleviate challenges with heartburn
  • Using pillows in bed can help to alleviate pressures on certain areas of the body to help make sleeping more comfortable-Bring on the pillows!

Many people will say it is the restless nights of pregnancy that help prepare you for the night feedings that come with your baby.  Although the above challenges can be a very normal part of pregnancy it is always best to consult with your care provider if you are unable to sleep despite using strategies like the ones above.  Consult with your care provider or supports if you are having anxious thoughts or changes with your mood that are affecting your sleep.  Many women are able to work through the challenges of decreased sleep during pregnancy, while others may find it difficult to continue with their normal day to day activities.  Understanding your workplace benefits and rights for early maternity leave is important if you need to consider changing the pace of your activities in preparation for baby’s arrival.  Taking care of yourself is one of the best ways to take care of your growing baby.  Congratulations and good luck catching more zzzz’s!

Join one of of our Prenatal Child Birth and Baby Care classes for more tips on coping with pregnancy, birth and caring for your baby. Prenatal classes offered in York Region and South Simcoe Ontario.