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Pregnancy and Sleep

Pregnancy and Sleep
For women, maintaining good health throughout pregnancy is vital to the growth and development of their baby. With the body undergoing rapid changes, minor issues can quickly escalate and adversely affect the wellbeing of both mum and bub. Nutritious meals and a sensible exercise regime are an absolute must, and equally important is adequate rest.
Despite an abundance of horror stories regarding sleepless nights with a new baby, many expectant mothers are unaware that from the beginning, pregnancy will impact their sleeping patterns. During the first trimester and again later in pregnancy, it is common to feel extremely tired. A couple of hours rest in the afternoon can help offset sleep that becomes increasingly elusive and interrupted as pregnancy progresses.
Sleep disruption during pregnancy is quite normal - nature's preparation for the years ahead! Waking frequently throughout the night makes it difficult to achieve deep restorative sleep, a growing, wriggling baby creates difficulty finding a comfy sleeping position and women are likely to experience an increased incidence of snoring, breathing pauses and leg cramps. With all this going on, it is unsurprising that sleep is less refreshing.
For pregnant women, lack of sleep is a risk factor for high blood pressure, diabetes, pre-eclampsia and even anxiety or depression. The best outcomes for healthy babies come from quickly addressing any serious or ongoing sleep issues.
If you are an expectant mother and your pregnancy symptoms are impacting your rest, these simple tips may improve the quality of your sleep.
  • Sleep in a more upright position to minimise indigestion or a stuffy nose.
  • Limit caffeinated drinks to help prevent legs cramps and twitches.
  • Reduce your fluids intake later in the day to cut down on bathroom visits.
  • Side sleeping with a pillow under your tummy may help ease discomfort.
  • Check with your health practitioner if snoring, breathing pauses or any other issue concerns you.