The following information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
“How are you supposed to sleep with a huge stomach?” wonders Circle of Mom member Riane J., who is seven months pregnant. She's desperate to get some sleep now because when the baby, she knows she won't be able to sleep at all.
If you've been pregnant, you know exactly what she means. Another member, Charlie P., sleeps so poorly that she struggles to stay awake during the day. She enumerates the challenges: “With the frequency of urination, inability to get comfortable, extra weight, and preparing for the new baby it’s hard to sleep."
There's no doubt that it’s tricky to catch a good night’s sleep, especially in your third trimester. But help is here: below, moms who've been through pregnancy offer six tips for moms-to-be who are trying to catch a wink while contending with a big belly.
1. Don’t Nap
The temptation to head for a nap on the couch is especially strong when you have toddlers who are taking naps, but Lisamarie K. warns that if you want to sleep at night, you shouldn't give in. “Try never to sleep in the afternoon, it totally messes up your sleeping pattern,” she says. “After your toddler goes down for the night, have some me time. Relax, have a nice long bath with candles and whatever helps.”
Tracey B. agrees: “I haven't slept since the beginning of this pregnancy and I am completely exhausted. Even if you want to sleep during the day, wait, otherwise it will interrupt your nighttime sleep."
2. Support Your Body with Extra Pillows
There are many creative ways to help boost your odds for slumber, say moms like Jessica S. “A body pillow helped me a lot,” she offers. “Yes, it took up half the bed, but let me tell you it was so comfortable."
Holly R. comments that a regular pillow can offer similar support: “I have a pillow I tuck between my legs and cushion my belly with. Some nights I don't need it at all. Some nights are just better than others.”
3. Position Yourself for Success
How you sleep, whether on your back, your side, or propped up with pillows can make all the difference, says Tracy C., who has come up with her own unique sleeping position. “Sounds crazy, but I had to sleep on the couch and let my belly hang over the side. That seemed to be the only way I would get some rest, and it was pretty comfortable. My husband always had clean sheets on the couch for me, and a glass of water on the coffee table. Plus, the T.V. is right there for those really restless nights."
Charlie P. recommends: "Sleep on your left side. This allows for the best blood flow to the fetus, your uterus and kidneys. It also improves circulation of blood back to the heart."
4. Monitor Your Intake
It's important to monitor what you eat and drink before bedtime, says a mom named Charlie P. For her, avoiding sodas and other carbonated drinks helped eliminate leg cramps.
5. Create Calming Rituals
Finding a way to wind down at the end of the day is especially essential for pregnant moms, offers Tammy V. Her ritual of choice: “Take a hot shower then have a cup of chamomile tea.”
6. Try a Sleep Aid Approved by Your Doctor
Practice for the Future?
Finally, as many moms point out, you may just need to accept being tired. Jodie S. explains: "Get used to it. It's just nature's way of preparing you for the next two to three years of attempting to sleep."
What are your tips for sleeping while pregnant?
The preceding information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.