It’s no surprise that getting enough sleep while in the first few months as a new mom is going to be tough, but for some women catching sleep may become an issue even during their pregnancy. Think of it as your body’s way to prepare you for motherhood! To make nighttime a little easier, we put together our top tips for better zzz’s while you are expecting:
- Use Extra Pillows: Use special pregnancy body pillows or a regular pillow to support both the tummy and back. A pillow between the legs can help support the lower back and make sleeping on your side easier. Avoid lying flat on your back for a long period of times as it can put pressure on the major artery that moves blood between your leg and your heart.
- Practice Relaxation Techniques: Stress and anxiety are key culprits in preventing a good night’s sleep – especially for the mom-to-be! Try relaxation techniques to calm your mind and relax your muscles, such as stretching, yoga, massage, and deep breathing.
- Power Down Your Electronics: Avoid watching TV or using electronic devices too close to bedtime. Electronics emit a large amount of “blue light”, which studies have found can suppress the secretion of melatonin and affect your natural circadian rhythm.
- Exercise: Regular exercise during pregnancy promotes physical and mental health, and can also help you sleep more deeply. However, avoid exercising late in the day – exercise releases adrenaline into your body which can keep you awake at night.
- Reduce Water Intake Before Bedtime: Drink plenty of fluids during the day, but cut down before bedtime to minimize frequent trips to the bathroom at night. Also, go to the bathroom before getting in bed.
- Avoid Food That Can Irritate Your Stomach: Avoid spicy, acidic (such as tomato products), or fried foods as it may worsen heartburn and keep you up night. Try not to recline until 1-2 hours after a meal to keep heartburn at bay.
- Find a Comfortable Temperature: Keep a comfortable temperature in the room, as your body heat rises during pregnancy. Open a window, or if the weather’s not cooperative, keep the room comfortably (for you, not your spouse) chilled.
- If All Else Fails, Talk to Your Doctor: See your doctor for advice if insomnia persists. Now more than ever it’s important to get the rest you need!