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How did you sleep during your pregnancy?

Thursday, 10 December 2015  | 

Sleep, Glorious Sleep!

Pregnancy is notorious for being a time in your life when you are most tired. The extra weight to carry around and the tiny human depending on you for it's nourishment in order to grow is going to affect your energy levels. But why is it, when we come to lay our heads down at night.... we just can't sleep - even if we are really tired!

A lot of women experience "pregnancy insomnia" which is exactly what it sounds like - an inability to sleep during pregnancy. Of course there are several factors which contribute to not being able to sleep whilst pregnant:

- Frequent trips to the toilet
- A wriggly baby in your tummy
- Unable to find a comfortable position in bed
- Anxiety about labour and becoming a parent
- General aches and pains
- Cramp
- Heartburn

By the third trimester you may find that you are really struggling getting enough shut-eye for all of these reasons, which will have an impact on your ability to function the following day, as well as your mood. So what can you do about it?

First of all, if you think the main thing keeping you awake at night is worry and anxiety, it is a good idea to tackle these emotions head on. Make sure you talk to your partner and your midwife who should be able to offer support and soothe your worries. It is a good idea to have a strong support network around you and to let others know how you are feeling. If you are worried about labour itself it would be a good idea to go to antenatal classes and perhaps talk to some friends who have already had babies. Nobody can tell you what your labour will be like or even when it will happen, which can be unnerving, so understanding all possible eventualities may help you feel a little more prepared.

Although you can't tell your wriggly baby that you are trying to sleep, it might be a nice opportunity to connect with them as you lay in bed feeling them move. It is a really special time and you will be surprised by how much you miss having a bump once your baby is here. Enjoy the moment.

If you are struggling to find a comfortable position at night, invest in a pregnancy pillow that can help you get some restful sleep. You can use it to take the pressure off your hips and lower back, which just might allow you to drift off. Use extra pillows and duvets if you need to as well!

There isn't a lot you can do about your frequent need to go to the toilet, but it is a good idea to make the trips to the loo as quick and effortless as possible. Try to keep things dark so you can return to bed and hopefully get back to sleep.

It may also help to develop a bed time routine for yourself that helps you relax and wind down - a warm bath, avoid caffeine, limit screen time and try to get yourself comfortable. If you are really struggling, it might be worth considering early maternity leave so that it is possible for you to catch up on sleep during the day. Sleep is so crucial to your general well-being and can have a big impact on your mood and how you are feeling. Rest when you can and try to ignore those who tell you it is your body preparing for when baby is here!

>> By Sarah Morgan
>>
>> Sarah is a crafty mum of one with another one the way and writes a pregnancy, parenting and lifestyle blog over at www.forge

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