Doctors’ Advice on How To Sleep During Pregnancy
A good night’s sleep is a must for everyone and even more important for a pregnant woman. But, ironically, they face major issues in getting good sleep because they need to sleep in a position that does not put pressure on the baby and be comfortable as well. You must have encountered people advising or guiding pregnant women about how to sleep and how not to. Surely, it is difficult to sleep considering the baby bump and women find this extremely challenging. There is a sudden change in everything they can and should not do, including sleeping. Sleeping during pregnancy is a major feat, and we spoke to an expert on this topic. Here is what they had to say.
“There is always hype about how to sleep during pregnancy. People are giving undue attention to it, whereas it is not much required, especially in the first few months of the pregnancy. In the initial six months, the sleeping pattern is not so important because it is better if you take a position in which you are comfortable. You can use a pillow, sleep on your sides or sleep on your back if that is more comforting for you.” says Dr. Rinku Sen Gupta, Gynecologist at Shri Ram Bhartiya.
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She further adds- “However, as you proceed to your last term of pregnancy, you have to take care about how you sleep because your uterus would start putting pressure on your spine. There will be a compression of the uterus on the spine which in turn can lead to reduced blood flow to the baby. Therefore, when you are in an advanced stage of pregnancy, and the foetus is significant in size at that time, this compression effect is much more important. If there is a real compression, then the mother will feel dizzy and uncomfortable and automatically, she lies on her sides. So sleeping is not an issue to be concerned about, but it is advisable if you sleep on sides in your later stage of pregnancy.”
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While talking to A .Kameshwari from One World News, she further explained the other common thing every mother is concerned about- the cramps they feel when they are lying down and taking rest.
“This phenomenon of having cramps is quite normal. It happens because the muscle goes into a spasm. When you are walking around, the circulation of blood is better, but if you are not doing so then the circulation decreases, leading to muscle spasms. Sometimes the pain can be much more, so it is important to follow some form of exercise to avoid excess pain. One can do some leg exercises before they go to sleep because that would make the circulation better,” expressed Dr. Gupta.
Some mothers would complain that they are sleepy in the daytime but cannot sleep at night.
Talking on this point, Dr. Gupta expressed, “First of all, inculcating the habit of sleeping late at night and waking up late is really bad for health, not only for pregnant ladies but also for others. Yes, the sleeping pattern does get affected when you are pregnant because the urination would increase, plus you will start feeling hungry at odd hours of the day or the baby’s movement in your womb can disturb you and so on, but as such, there are no hard and fast rules that you cannot sleep at night. Try and sleep a little early so that there are fewer tendencies of disturbed sleep.”
Further, Dr. Gupta advises a few things for all mom-to-be:
- Put the pillow between your thighs if you are sleeping on your sides.
- If you have cramps on a particular part of your body, you can keep the pillow under the thigh.
- If your feet are swollen, then place the pillow below your feet.
- Pillows should not be very soft and should be consistent, or it can cause neck aches. Muscular stretches are quite normal because your ligaments become soft and tissues stretch more. Exercising would help a little with it, and try to sleep in the afternoon for an hour.
- In the first three months, we usually do not recommend workouts because a lot of women may suffer from sickness, nausea, etc.. Still, after three months are over, you can work out for 30-40 minutes and take walks along with some exercises which we teach you while you are pregnant.
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