Sleeping with a bump
Between an ever growing bump, back pains galore, and those hourly night-time toilet trips, your 2nd and 3rd trimester can lead to a lot of sleepless nights.
We understand that a lack of sleep can really affect your day to day life, especially if you’re still working full-time or have more children to care for during the day. To help you have a better, more comfortable night’s sleep, we’re here to help you discover the best sleeping positions for you and your bump, and provide some top tips on how to wind down after a long day of carrying a tiny human!
BUMP-FRIENDLY SLEEP POSITIONS
Lying on your back
When entering your second and third trimester we recommend trying not to fall asleep on your back. As your bump grows, your belly may push down on your intestines which can lead to tummy troubles or breathing difficulty. Don’t worry too much about this though, by your third trimester you’ll most likely find it too uncomfortable anyway, and naturally want to lean to the side.
Sleeping on your front
Let’s be honest, it’s not going to be the most cosy sleeping position if you’re far along in your pregnancy anyway, but if that’s how you get to sleep then there’s nothing to be afraid of - better to get as much rest as possible before the night feeds start!
Sleeping on your side (SOS)
The most recommended sleeping position during pregnancy is the ‘Sleep On Side’ (SOS) position. Not only does it allow a comfortable position for you and your bump, if you sleep on your left side, it can actually increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby.
Although highly recommended by health care professionals, our Metanium parents agree that the SOS position isn’t always the comfiest! Luckily, there are plenty of pregnancy pillows that can save the day if you need one; below is a quick guide on a few of the different shapes you can buy:
U-shape is the most popular shape of pregnancy pillow, as it provides a little nest for your bump to rest on whilst sleeping on the side, which is perfect if your natural inclination is to roll over onto your back in the middle of the night.
C-shaped pillows help to relieve hip and knee pain, as well as helping to keep you on your side while you’re asleep. It’s also a great option if you have a smaller bed, or share with a partner, as it doesn’t take up as much room as a typical U-shaped pillow.
Wedge shaped pillows provide extra support and cushioning when tucked under your bump or back. They’re also much smaller than usual wrap around shapes, which is great for when you’re relaxing on the couch or simply want something to tuck under your bump.
HOW TO WIND DOWN FOR A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP
Clear your head
For an expecting parent, stress and anxiety can be key culprits in preventing a good night’s sleep. To offload before bed time, we recommend talking to a friend, your partner or even a professional about all those little worries you might be having about yours or your partner's pregnancy.
A lot of our Metanium parents recommend keeping a notebook on your night stand. This way you can write down any questions you have buzzing around your head at night, ready for the next time you see your midwife or health care professional.
Healthy mum, healthy baby
We know it can be hard to keep active, especially in your third trimester, but exercise has been proven to massively help our sleep patterns and quality of sleep. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do anything too strenuous, activities like swimming, yoga and walking are perfect for a mum-to-be!
If you want to know more about how to keep fit during pregnancy, check out our Everyday Advice on working out whilst pregnant.
Relaxation is key
Similar to how your baby will need a night-time routine, your brain needs time to wind down and relax before it can go to sleep. We recommend the following activities to help get you relaxed and ready for a peaceful snooze:
- The light on your tablets or phones tends to suppress levels of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. To avoid this, give yourself some screen-free time one to two hours before you are planning to sleep.
- Instead, why not run yourself a nice hot bath and enjoy a spot of reading.
- If pregnancy has you getting up to go to the bathroom frequently overnight, try not to drink too many liquids after 6pm - but make sure to stay fully hydrated throughout the day instead!
- Aromatherapy can help to bring on sleep faster, especially scents such as lavender or vanilla.
- Heartburn is a really common symptom of pregnancy, especially in your first trimester. To help prevent heartburn at night, try sleeping with your head elevated on pillows, and try not to eat any spicy, fried or acidic foods.
- We also recommend you avoid reclining after a meal to allow your body the time it needs to digest any food.
STILL CAN’T SLEEP?
Try not to let it bother you if you still can’t sleep, we can assure you it won’t harm your baby to have a few sleepless nights. Metanium are always here for you to talk to if you’re struggling to sleep; we love to hear from our Metanium parents, so why not send us a message on Facebook or Instagram - we’ll get back to you with some love and support as soon as possible!
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