Sleep & Your Third Trimester of Pregnancy
Catching every minute of sleep before your baby arrives
This is the third and final installment of our three-part series on the challenges of sleep during pregnancy.
Congratulations! You’ve made it to your third and final trimester and you’re in the home stretch. You’re little bundle of joy will be here before you know it. While we know you’re excited, we also know you’re probably feeling more than a little exhausted and anxious. Your belly is making it hard to get comfortable…period, let alone while trying to sleep.
At this point, you can really only sleep on your sides, preferably on your left. Your ankles and feet may be swollen and your back aching. Trying to fall asleep at night is nearly impossible – because of your size and that never-ending tsunami of hormones. The last few months of pregnancy can feel like they drag on forever but they don’t – we promise. We’ve trolled the web in search of sleep solutions during your third trimester and we’ve got some finds we know you’ll love. What’s more, you’ll find the sleep you need so when your baby arrives, you’ll be well rested and ready for a whole new slew of sleep challenges.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
Restless legs syndrome is a tingling or burning sensation that creates an urge to move your lower limbs. Weird, right? While it’s still being debated what causes RLS, there are a few options for to relieve symptoms. Taking a warm bath before bed, moderate exercising or yoga and vitamin supplements have all been proven to help alleviate discomfort. Read more at BabyCenter.com
Midnight bathroom runs
“As the baby settles into a head-down position for delivery, his head will press against the bladder, and many women get up four to six times each night to urinate,” says Barbara Dehn, RN. (Tell us something we don’t already know!) In addition, your kidneys are now working overtime, filtering your blood and producing urine at nearly double the rate than before pregnancy, which can lead to more frequent urination. Read more at Parents.com.
You may start snoring because of nasal congestion and the increase in abdominal width and the uterus pressing on the diaphragm. About 30% of pregnant women snore because of increased swelling in their nasal passages, which can block airways. If you start snoring, have your blood pressure and urine protein checked — especially if you suffer from swollen ankles and headaches as this could be a warning sign that something is not right. Read more at SleepFoundation.org
Your third trimester is, in many ways, a mirror of your first trimester – except that all your symptoms are bigger, just like your belly. As you make your way to the final yards of this race, give your body credit for how hard it’s worked these past few months. Go easy on yourself and give yourself permission to play the pregnancy card – this is your best chance to use it. Nap often. Go to bed early. Gracefully accept when someone offers you their seat – you’ve earned it, baby.
We’d love to hear how you’re sleeping during pregnancy and any tips you might have that we haven’t shared yet.