A good night’s rest is important for everyone ….but it’s even more important to make sure you enjoy quality sleep during pregnancy. Pregnancy can be tiring…hormonal changes don’t just add to your emotional swings and trigger pregnancy nausea – they often exacerbate feelings of tiredness as well. And carrying the extra weight puts an added strain on your body especially if, like many Mums-to-be, you often need to pick up and carrying a toddler as well.
But sometimes that restful night’s sleep can elude you when you crave it most. Your growing baby bump and boobs can feel even bigger when you’re trying to get comfortable in bed, especially if you’re suffering from SPD, restless legs or the pressure of the baby on your bladder means you need to wee more frequently.
We’ve put together our top hints, tips and information for sleeping in pregnancy
Sleep on your side during pregnancy. Research has shown that after 28 weeks falling asleep on your back can actually increase the risk of stillbirth. Lying on your back can put pressure on the main blood vessels that supply the uterus and potentially restrict the flow of blood and oxygen to your baby. Don’t worry if you wake up on your back, it’s the position we go to sleep in that sets the pattern for the night and you are much more likely to spend most of the night on your side it that’s where you start off.
Sleeping on your left side is slightly preferable to the right side when you’re pregnant, facilitating blood flow to the heart and uterus and helping your kidneys to function effectively – but don’t worry if you prefer to sleep on your right, aim for optimum comfort!
Avoid caffeinated drinks in the evening such as tea or coffee. It’s important to drink plenty of water during the day when you’re pregnant but ease up in the evening to minimise those trips to the bathroom. A warm milky drink at bedtime can help you to relax and give you a boost of added calcium and other nutrients as well.
Regular pregnancy exercise will help you feel less tired during the day, whilst working off excess energy and allowing your muscles to relax at night-time. Aiming for 30 minutes exercise a day during pregnancy will help promote healthy sleep.
Prenatal yoga will encourage you to practise the breathing techniques that will help when you give birth ….and will also be beneficial if you are struggling to relax and sleep at night-time.
Staying active and exercising regularly when you’re pregnant will boost your mood and ease the stress and anxiety that can keep you awake at night.
Screen-time is not conducive to bed-time. It’s better to read a book, flick through a magazine or enjoy a relaxing bath before you settle down for the night.
A well designed pregnancy pillow can make a significant difference to your night-time comfort during pregnancy, supporting your baby bump, alleviating the pressure on your lower back and pelvis as well as providing added comfort and support for tender boobs.
FittaMamma co-founder Alex McCabe, who is currently 29 weeks pregnant sleep-tested the Purflo pregnancy pillow. Her verdict? ‘I love it! This pillow sits snugly under my bump and I can wrap my leg over it to ease the night-time discomfort in my lower back, hips and pelvis. I’m suffering from slight SPD and the pillow really helps the pain in my pelvis. It’s big enough to hug around my boobs which second time around have increased in size much more quickly and seem to get in the way much more at night! Sleeping on my side is so much more comfortable and I love the breathable mesh panel too – it’s a really nice touch.’
The pillow is designed for use after your baby is born too, providing support during feeding or for tummy time.
For more information visit https://purflo.com/pregnancy-pillows/