Pregnancy is never an easy thing. It has both physical discomfort and a lot of mental stress, which may cause expectant mothers to have sleep problems, and even sleep trouble at night in serious cases.
Many expectant mothers will pay special attention to diet, but they do not know much about the importance of sleep. Below, Dr. Clove will introduce the sleep changes and precautions in the first, second and third trimester of pregnancy.
Harm of Poor Sleep during Pregnancy
Lack of sleep may cause the following two types of hazards:
In this way, expectant mothers should really go to bed early. Physical changes and various discomfort during pregnancy can easily lead to difficulty in falling asleep. It is necessary to stay in bed for at least 8 hours a night to ensure at least 7 hours of sleep.
Pregnancy is easy to be tired and should pay more attention to sleep.
In the first and third trimester of pregnancy, many expectant mothers will feel tired and weak. Especially women in the first trimester of pregnancy, they often feel at a loss about such sudden changes.
Researchers have not yet found the exact cause of fatigue during pregnancy, but there are mainly the following possible related factors:
1. Endocrine changes
Weak pregnancy is somewhat related to endocrine changes. Early in pregnancy, the progesterone level in expectant mothers will gradually increase.
Progesterone can make people relaxed, and some expectant mothers will regard this feeling as exhaustion.
Step 2: Physical changes
Tiredness is also related to the physical changes of women in early pregnancy, such as the gradual enlargement of the uterus, fetal growth, weight gain and water and sodium retention, which will increase the body’s load. Moreover, in order to provide nutrition to the fetus, the body needs more blood supply and the heartbeat will also become faster.
3. Emotional changes
I’m going to be a mother. Joy, longing, worry, anxiety… All kinds of feelings are intertwined, which will also bring some psychological pressure to expectant mothers and make them feel more tired than before.
Sleep in the first trimester of pregnancy
1. Frequency of urination
In the first trimester of pregnancy, elevated progesterone will not only cause fatigue, but also lead to frequent urination.
Changes in hormone levels will make pregnant women’s bladder loose, coupled with the enlargement of the uterus, oppressing the bladder, will increase the number of urination. Always get up at night to go to the toilet, will naturally affect the quality of sleep.
Mothers-to-be can reduce the amount of water they drink before going to bed. However, they should drink enough water during the day to prevent constipation and excessive edema during pregnancy.
2. Nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting can also affect the sleep quality of expectant mothers. In fact, this problem may occur at any time of the day or at night except getting up in the morning.
When you get up in the morning, you can eat some bread, cereal and the like first, which can help.
3. Dry heat
Because of the increase in basal metabolic rate, expectant mothers sometimes feel hot and dry when sleeping. Especially in summer, it is best to wear light cotton clothes to sleep and blow electric fans.
Many reasons may affect sleep during early pregnancy. On the premise of not affecting sleep at night, expectant mothers can appropriately increase lunch break.
Note: Even if you have sleep problems, try not to use sleeping pills and some so-called tonic that can promote sleep (such as melatonin) during pregnancy.
Sleep in the second trimester of pregnancy
The second trimester of pregnancy may be the most comfortable period for expectant mothers. At this stage, the physical condition of pregnant women will be relatively stable and all kinds of changes will be advancing steadily.
The endocrine changes mentioned earlier in the first trimester of pregnancy will gradually stabilize in the second trimester of pregnancy, and there will be obvious changes only in the third trimester of pregnancy.
Step 1 Heartburn
Heartburn in the second trimester of pregnancy may cause expectant mothers to be unable to sleep at night. At this time, the uterus gradually increases and presses the stomach, and heartburn will become more and more common.
Bend your knees and sleep in the left lying position can obviously relieve the heartburn of pregnant women, and at the same time, you can properly elevate the pillow to relieve the discomfort caused by gastric acid reflux.
Step 2 Dreaming
Many pregnant women reported having strange dreams related to their babies.
However, please rest assured that research shows that dreams during pregnancy are not substantially different from dreams before pregnancy in what. This situation may be due to increased sleep interruption during pregnancy and deeper memory of dreams.
3. Restless leg syndrome
In the second trimester of pregnancy, leg cramps may be a condition that affects sleep.
Some pregnant women, especially those expectant mothers with anemia or iron deficiency, may not sleep soundly due to [restless leg syndrome (RLS)].
At present, epidemiological studies on RLS during pregnancy have reported that the incidence rate of the disease is 11% ~ 27% [2, 3].
Unlike cramps, RLS feels extremely uncomfortable in the deep muscles of the lower leg (this is also the case in some people’s arms), just like ants climbing up and down blood vessels, which is painful.
RLS may occur when sitting or lying down, and may even worsen in the third trimester of pregnancy. However, many clinical data show that RLS-related symptoms will naturally relieve or disappear about 4 weeks after delivery.
U.S. RLS Basic Medical Advisory Committee recommends that if pregnant women suffer from intermittent RLS, they may not be given daily drug therapy .
Usually the main way to relieve this discomfort is to get up and try to take two steps, of course, it will inevitably interrupt sleep. Developing the habit of regular work and rest can regulate the circadian rhythm of RLS, thus controlling symptoms.
To be on the safe side, expectant mothers should pay attention to supplementing iron-rich foods and folic acid.
Sleep in the third trimester of pregnancy
By the third trimester of pregnancy, the abdomen is getting bigger and bigger, and the uterus becomes bigger and more active. At this time, more attention should be paid to sleep problems.
1. Left Sleeping Position
It is better not to sleep supine. At this time, the heavy uterus will compress the back nerves and inferior vena cava, resulting in reduced blood reflux of lower limbs and affecting blood circulation.
The American Sleep Foundation recommends that pregnant women should use the left lateral position when sleeping, which is also beneficial to providing blood and nutrients to the fetus, and also ensures the blood supply to the heart, uterus and kidney of pregnant women.
In addition to placing a pillow between your knees, you can also place another pillow under your stomach and one behind your back, which can play a supporting role and also help relieve pain.
What if the left lateral position is uncomfortable? Then the right lying position. If you feel the most comfortable lying down, it is not impossible. The left lying position is not mandatory, in short, how comfortable how to come.
STEP 2 Watch out for snoring
Many expectant mothers snore in the third trimester of pregnancy, mainly due to further weight gain and more frequent nasal congestion.
If the nasal congestion is severe, an anti-snoring patch can be used to open the nasal passage, which is also helpful to improve sleep breathing at night. Mothers-to-be who continue snoring can use a household positive pressure ventilator to open the airway and ensure oxygen supply during sleep.
A study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that pregnant women who snore at the beginning of pregnancy have a higher risk of hypertensive disorder complicating pregnancy or even preeclampsia, and must pay attention to this symptom.