Sleeping for Two: Sleep Changes During Pregnancy

When my friend Sasha was pregnant, she told me how often she felt tired. We all know that pregnancy brings its share of happiness and discomforts for the mum-to-be. And sleep problems was just one of discomforts that comes as a part of the package. Most women tend to feel exhausted in the first and third trimesters. But Sasha was completely taken aback by how wiped out she felt right in the initial months of the pregnancy.

Sasha’s gynaecologist said, “A lot of women are totally surprised by how fatigued they feel during the first trimester. Many women know about morning sickness during pregnancy but a lot of women were unaware of the fatigue that you feel during these months”.

So are you meant to sleep for two now?

Just like women are meant to eat for two when pregnant, health experts are now emphasizing on the fact – that women should also sleep for two -during this pregnancy period. The reason being that pregnancy can affect both the quantity and quality of sleep.

As the body undergoes changes and pregnancy discomforts bothers more often, it becomes difficult for the mothers-to-be to fall and stay asleep. However, eight hours of sleep is what every pregnant woman should aim to get.

Researchers have presented their analysis that due to the fact of not sleep well during pregnancy; women tend to be more irritable, exhausted and have poor concentration levels.

According to an article published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (AJOG), first time mothers-to-be who get less than 6 hours of sleep each day are most likely to have a C-section delivery in compare to those who get more than 7 hours of sleep.

So what can you do about it?

Sasha’s doctor suggests the following:

1) During pregnancy, one should make a habit of hitting the bed early rather than late.

2) Sasha’s doctor says, “Because of the many possible disruptions like nightly bathroom visits, morning sickness, snoring, to sleep during pregnancy, napping is a good idea as long as the woman can fall asleep that night.”

3) The last recommendation was trying to position yourself on the left side with the knees bent whilst sleeping especially if you are prone to suffering from heartburn. This position improves the blood and nutrients flow to the foetus and uterus and help the body to get rid of any waste and additional fluids.

And exciting factors can also play a part. The exhilaration and looking forward to of having a baby as well as the uncertainties of the fast approaching parenthood and the nervousness about the actual experience of labour and delivery can all be taxing and make a woman feel more tired than usual. It is best to follow what suits you best during this time. You and your baby come first.