By: Stephanie Duhon
I always knew I’d be sleep deprived once the baby arrived, as newborns require around the clock feeding and care, but I was surprised at how little sleep I was able to get during the pregnancy! And I’m not talking about the last couple of months where it’s hard to even move, much less get comfortable. I had trouble sleeping from the second month of pregnancy until my daughter was born! I was jealous of my mom-to-be friends who said they were sleeping great, including extra naps whenever they could. I could sympathize with others who were more like me, lucky to get 3 to 4 hour stretches at a time. Toward the end of the pregnancy, I would get so frustrated when a well-meaning person would remind me to get my sleep before the baby comes! But that’s the thing … I couldn’t!
It’s so important for expecting mamas to get their rest. Lucky for me, my friends at The Motherhood Center were full of good advice since they see moms and moms-to-be every day! They made great suggestions that helped me get a few extra hours of sleep here and there before the baby arrived. Here are five tips to help you sleep better during pregnancy.
1 – Prenatal Pillow Wedge: Support that bump with a pregnancy body pillow or wedge. These pillows are specially designed for use during pregnancy and not only make you feel more comfortable, but promote better spinal alignment and help you maintain a position of sleeping on your side, which is recommended, especially later in pregnancy, for optimal blood flow. You can find a prenatal pillow wedge in The Motherhood Center’s retail store.
2 – Light Exercise: Light exercise not only keeps a mom-to-be in shape, but it can relieve stress and release energy to help you sleep more quickly and deeply at night. Some moms are hesitant to head to the gym during pregnancy, but most doctors agree that for a healthy pregnancy, you can generally keep up a comparable workout to what you did before. Just be sure to modify it for your pregnancy and avoid any movements that affect your belly, such as crunches. If you are unsure of how to exercise safely during pregnancy, try a prenatal yoga class at The Motherhood Center! Prenatal yoga offers a low-impact workout that improves flexibility and balance and helps relieve stress. Breathing exercises used in prenatal yoga also come in handy during labor! Since each pregnancy is different, you should always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program to make sure there are no special concerns.
3 – Prenatal Massage: A professional pregnancy massage reduces stress, encourages relaxation, increases circulation and soothes aches and pains commonly associated with pregnancy, all of which helps you to sleep better too! Therapists at The Motherhood Center are specifically trained in prenatal massage therapy.
No time for a full massage? Have your husband or significant other rub some Mama Mio tummy rub on your growing belly. Not only will it be relaxing, but it’ll give dad a chance for some bonding time with baby and help protect you against stretch marks!
4 – Get Comfy: Wear as much or as little as you need to be comfortable at night. Make sure nothing is tight fitting and offers plenty of room for your growing baby. Buy a sleep bra if you need extra support. Staff at The Motherhood Center can help you find the right style and size for your needs.
5 – Embrace the Late Night Snack: Is your growing belly making your tummy rumble at night? You and the baby need the extra calories, so don’t worry about giving in to the occasional midnight snack. Just make sure to munch on something nutritious, such as a bowl of fruit, that won’t be too heavy and keep you awake.