September 7th, 2022 | Blog
Get Enough Sleep and Your Baby Will Be Healthy
Pregnancy is a beautiful time–feeling those kicks, the anticipation to meet your baby, the preparation of their room. With that said, as your body does this incredible thing of creating life, there are a lot of challenges that come with it. A big one many of us can relate to is sleep.
Sleeping while pregnant can feel like an elusive concept, but it is vitally important for your body and your soon-to-be baby. Sleep is the perfect time for your body to repair itself, but it’s more than that–a good night of sleep can combat the fogginess that often comes with pregnancy, most notably known as “pregnancy brain.” It can also boost your immune system, repair your blood vessels, and decrease your risk of developing gestational diabetes.
There are, however, ways to sleep that are better for you and your baby so you can reap all the benefits.
The Dos of Pregnant Sleeping
To unlock the many benefits of sleeping while pregnant, you need to know how to make the most of your precious hours of shut-eye.
Sleep on Your Left Side
While you can technically sleep on either side during your pregnancy, most experts recommend that you try to stick to the left side. This position can improve your overall circulation and creates a great pathway from the heart straight to the placenta where your baby receives its nourishment.
Another reason why you may want to consider sleeping on the left side is because of your body weight. As you gain weight to support and sustain new life, it can be hard on your organs. Laying on your left side prevents that body weight from resting on the liver.
Dealing with relentless heartburn? Sleeping on your left side can help with that too.
Use a Pillow
Don’t be afraid to hoard all the pillows when you’re pregnant. Many women do fine with a standard pillow which can be tucked between the legs, behind the back, or under the belly–or all of the above.
With that said, there are special pillows that can make sleeping a little easier. The first type of pregnancy pillow you might encounter is a wedge-shaped pillow that can be nestled underneath the belly when you sleep on your side.
Some women prefer a full body 5-foot pillow that can be used multiple ways. You can easily tuck it underneath the belly and between the knees at the same time. This can make your belly and back feel more comfortable while also easing pain in the joints of the legs and ankles.
The Don’ts of Pregnant Sleeping
Here are some sleeping habits that can make you even more uncomfortable during what should be a good night of rest.
Avoid Back Sleeping
There’s a reason that experts recommend you sleep on your side during pregnancy. Laying on your back is tied to uncomfortable side effects, particularly during the last two trimesters of your pregnancy. By this point, you’ve gained some weight and the baby is getting bigger. Laying on the back puts all of that extra weight on your spine and intestines.
As a result of this pressure, you might have some uncomfortable side effects: back pain, hemorrhoids, and issues relating to digestion.
Not to mention, it also puts more pressure on the vena cava (the vein that transports blood from the heart back to the lower body). The result is low blood pressure and dizziness because of decreased circulation.
Don’t Eat Before Bed
It’s no secret that pregnant women are often ravenous throughout most of their day. After all, you’re eating for two now, so those snacks are vitally important. Unfortunately, eating right before bed can make comfortable sleep less likely and often leads to heartburn.
If you do need to eat a snack before bed, try some yogurt or drink a glass of milk.
You can also limit heartburn at night by keeping your head propped up–a few inches will encourage the stomach acids to stay where they belong instead of traveling up your esophagus and causing heartburn. Yes, another key way that you can make good use of a pillow.
Don’t Underestimate Sleep
Getting a good night of sleep is incredibly important to your health, whether you’re a mom-to-be or a new mom. It’s the best way for your body to repair and heal itself, as well as give you a leg up when it comes to memory storage. While some of these tips can help, there are times when you just might need a little help to get the sleep you desperately need.
My Sweet Sleeper knows that every baby is different and so are your needs through each new pregnancy. We are committed to helping moms get the rest they need so that they can function at their best for their babies. Whether you need one-on-one coaching or prefer the support of a group, we can help you get the sweet sleep you need.