Getting a good night’s sleep in the final stages of pregnancy is pretty much impossible. Apart from the obvious – the massive baby in your belly – there are plenty of other things ruining your sleep routine, from crazy dreams to the constant need to pee, from restless legs to back pain, the list goes on and on.
So how can you catch a decent night’s sleep during those final stages of pregnancy without relying on heavy duty tranquillisers? It’s all in the positioning.
Sleeping during pregnancy
When you’re in the final trimester, you’re pretty used to being uncomfortable. Your days are probably filled with moments of awkwardness as you attempt to put your jeans on, fasten your seat belt and get out of your office chair without needing assistance. When you finish waddling around for the day, you assume that you will find comfort in your cosy bed.
But this is not to be. Because sleeping becomes a thing of the past once you get to this stage. Or so you thought. Turns out, it is possible to sleep soundly, no matter what pregnancy symptom ails you. Here’s how:
1. Sleep on your side.
And, if you can swing it, on your left side is even better. Why? It will increase the number of nutrients and blood supply to your baby through your placenta.
2. Grab a pillow pal.
Placing a pillow in-between your legs can help alleviate both back and leg pain caused by pregnancy. Or try putting a pillow under your abdomen region to help with back pain.
For heartburn, try lifting the upper body using a pillow along with sleeping on your side.
3. Consider downward facing dog.
Another position that may work for you is to sleep on your stomach in a down-ward facing dog position, with your stomach resting on a pile of pillows and your knees to your chest.
Sure, you may look a little silly, but this position can take the pressure off your body parts and use gravity to help shift bub off your pelvic region (meaning you may get a couple hours of sleep without needing to pee).
4. Safely sleep on your stomach.
If you are a stomach sleeper, it is possible to stay in this position (sort of). Prop your upper body up with a mountain of pillows and bend one of your legs. Let your chest lay flat on the mattress and make sure your knee is at a right angle to the bed. You will probably be in a half-side-half-stomach position but it is actually fairly comfortable.
5. And, finally, try not to stress.
One of the reasons why it can be hard to sleep during pregnancy is because you’re stressed out. And not sleeping because you’re stressed can lead to you stressing about not sleeping.
Just relax. Even if you’re not getting the sleep you think you need, you will be alright. Your body is capable of growing an infant; it is fully capable of surviving on minimal sleep. Just think of this time as a precursor for what’s to come…
Broken sleep is part of the newborn journey but what else can you expect? Check out 10 Things I Wish I’d Known As A First Time Mum.