Sleep during Pregnancy

Sleep During Pregnancy

Many pregnant women find it difficult to get a good night's sleep in the months that follow the birth of their child. But for many women fatigue and sleep during pregnancy are also a concern.

Sleep during Pregnancy

Sleep During Pregnancy

During the first trimester of your pregnancy you find yourself very fatigued and sleeping more than you did before you became pregnant.  It is usually later in pregnancy, during the second trimester and especially during the third trimester, that you may have the most trouble getting enough sleep.

The typical reasons behind sleep problems during pregnancy are the increasing size of the fetus, the fetus kicking and moving around, back pain, shortness of breath, heartburn and constipation, and the frequent urge to urinate. Other factors causing sleep problems include hormonal changes, emotional worry and stress.

Typically, pregnant women report that the best sleeping position is on your side (especially the left side) with your knees bent.  This position may not only be the most comfortable but it also makes your heart's job easier because it keeps the baby's weight from applying pressure to the large vein that carries blood back to the heart from your feet and legs.

It is recommended the you avoid sleeping on your back or sleeping on your stomach.  Back sleeping during pregnancy can result in problems with backaches, breathing, digestion, hemorrhoids, low blood pressure and decrease in circulation.

If you are having difficulty sleeping you may want to consider one or more of the following:

  • Reduce or eliminate caffeinated drinks like soda, coffee, and tea.

  • Avoid other foods with caffeine such as chocolate.

  • Avoid drinking a lot of fluids or eating a full meal within a few hours of going to sleep at night.

  • Lay on your side and place a pillow under your abdomen and/or between your inner thighs.

  • If you are experiencing heartburn during the night, try propping up your upper body with pillows.

  • Try making yourself develop a sleep pattern by going to bed and waking up about the same time each day.

  • Avoid rigorous exercise in the evening.

  • Before bedtime try to do something relaxing like yoga, meditation, or relaxed reading.

Remember that fatigue is a normal part of pregnancy and that sleep medications, over-the-counter sleep aids, and some herbal remedies are not recommended for pregnant women.

Additional Information

Kids Health: Sleeping during pregnancy

American Pregnancy: Sleeping positions during pregnancy

Sleep problems in pregnancy


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