A major complaint of pregnant women in the last trimester is an inability to sleep well and comfortably at night. Whether it is because their babies are kicking at 2 AM, their bladders have them running to the bathroom every half hour, their hips and backs are hurting as their bodies grow and get ready for childbirth, or their expanded bellies make getting into a comfortable position difficult, the end result is the same. Pregnant women experience many a sleepless night.
Although there is no way to completely eliminate discomfort in late pregnancy there are ways women can help create a sleep environment that will allow them to rest a little longer and more peacefully.
Invest in Maternity Pillow or a Body Pillow
According to Medical News Today, a maternity pillow may help relieve some of the discomfort women experience when they are pregnant. These pillows are shaped in a curve that allows support for the pregnant belly and back, taking some pressure off of the hips as well. A maternity pillow may make it easier for a woman to fall asleep and stay asleep if her inability to sleep is due to pain.
A body pillow may work as well. A body pillow is long and shaped straight up and down. A body pillow may require some manipulation to get it into a position that is comfortable during pregnancy, but an advantage of this type of pillow is that it is often less expensive than maternity pillows.
Limit Fluids Before Bed
A woman requires a great deal of extra fluids during pregnancy and that combined with the pressure of the baby on the bladder can cause her to have to go to the bathroom a lot. As long as a woman is getting enough fluids during the day it is alright for her to limit the amount she drinks a few hours before bed. This may help cut down on the number of times she has to go to the bathroom at night.
Women should also make sure they empty their bladders completely before trying to sleep. Leaning forward after urinating can help make sure that anything left in the bladder is drained.
Women who are prone to heartburn should avoid eating triggering foods in the evening. Doing so may help prevent them from feeling discomfort when they lie down to sleep. If a woman does experience heartburn taking an antacid that is safe for pregnancy such as TUMS with Calcium may help.
Find a Way to Relax
Different women have different ways of relaxing. For some a hot shower before bed will help them sleep better. For others reading before bed or meditating will help. Relaxation before bed is important in pregnant women, especially if they are experiencing concerns or anxieties about upcoming labor or becoming a parent. Women should find what works for them and practice it religiously.
Unfortunately there may be some nights when no matter what a woman does she will just not be able to sleep well. The provided tips will hopefully lesson the number of these nights in the last trimester even if they do not eliminate them completely. On the long sleepless nights women may find some comfort in the thought that perhaps their lack of sleep is one way the body is trying to prepare them ahead of time for what they will be facing when their baby arrives.