The final stages of pregnancy are so tiring – yet when you come to sleep you just can’t get comfy.
I struggled with insomnia in both of my pregnancies and spent way too many hours wide awake when I wanted to be catching some valuable sleep.
It’s a combination of factors that keep you awake in the final stretch of pregnancy.
Your bump gets in the way of many comfortable sleeping positions and if you’re tossing and turning it makes it a very slow and arduous task.
You can’t sleep on your back or front, which for many people are the most comfy positions for sleeping.
I had terrible round ligament pain that meant when I shifted around in the bed at night, I was being disturbed by the tugging and stabbing pains around my abdomen. It’s not a pleasant sensation.
The need to pee constantly is also responsible for keeping you from getting a full night of sleep. Some nights I would go four or five times. In the early weeks hormones can make you need to urinate more but in the final weeks it’s the pressure your growing baby is putting on your shrinking bladder.
Thirst can also disturb your sleep, which doesn’t help with the pee problem.
So what can you do to give yourself the very best chance of a restful night’s sleep during your final months of pregnancy?
Here are my tips:
Get a pregnancy support pillow
I loved my pregnancy support pillow during my second pregnancy. The great thing was that once I was done with it, I washed the cover and sold it on eBay for a decent price. So don’t panic too much at the cost of these, you can recoup it.
The other option is to buy a combination support pillow that helps you through the nights during pregnancy and then acts as a breastfeeding support cushion.
You could always use a spare normal pillow or with my first pregnancy I used a folded up blanket which I popped between my knees. This helped me to get comfy.
Don’t drink too many fluids in the evening
Load up on fluids during the day, because it’s so important for you and your growing baby to stay hydrated. However come the evening, try not to drink as much. Particularly avoid things like milk which tends to linger for a few hours and then make you need to wee all night long.
Find your spot
Experiment with getting comfy. Shift around, surround yourself with pillows to support you. Find a spot in bed that works for you. If your partner complains, tell him to swallow a watermelon whole and see how easy he finds getting a restful night’s sleep.
Keeping fit during pregnancy is a good idea anyway. But gentle exercise during the day can also help to give you a restful night’s sleep.
Have a bedtime routine
Babies need wind down time before they can drift off to sleep and it’s the same for adults. Switch off your screens and instead try listening to soothing music, reading a book or simply lying still and doing your pelvic floor exercises for five minutes before turning your light off.
A warm shower in the evening can also help relax you ready for a good sleep. Moisturising your bump with a good pregnancy moisturiser will save your skin from getting itchy and uncomfortable when you’re trying to get comfy.
Nap during the day
After all of this you may still find it difficult to get more than two hours of restful sleep in a row. In that case try to discipline yourself to take decent naps. This is good practice for before the baby arrives anyway.
I hope these tips help you get the restful night’s sleep you need before your baby arrives.
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