As the final stretch nears, your anxiety levels must be through the roof, right? The thought of giving birth gives you butterflies in your stomach – which, by the way, won’t stop growing and make it harder for you to find a comfortable spot in bed. Or on the couch, where most pregnant women are known for running off to the living room in the middle of the night to try to get some sleep, or where they’ll fall asleep during an episode of their favorite TV show.
Of course, spending the night wide awake isn’t a good idea: after all, you need to rest and sleep for at least eight hours every night. However, during the last trimester, this becomes increasingly difficult: breathlessness, heartburn, reflux, backache … But not impossible, as the following tips will show you:
What to do before bedtime
- Eat lighter meals at night and avoid going to bed right after eating. This will help fight off the heartburn triggered by the acid reflux induced by your hormones, an uncomfortable feeling that impedes a good night’s sleep.
- Hydration is important, but don’t go too crazy about drinking too much water at night. Otherwise, you’ll have to get up multiple times in the night to pee, which can compromise your sleep. During your last trip to the bathroom before sleeping, lean as close to the belly as you can while sitting on the toilet – that’ll help empty your bladder as much as possible.
- Chamomile, lemongrass, or anise teas are very relaxing. Listening to relaxing music and reading a book – pick a light topic, please! – can help induce tranquility and serenity – great for falling asleep.
- Turn down the lights, noises, and the use of electronics for about an hour before going to bed.
- A relaxing, lukewarm shower is one of the best and most efficient natural remedies against anxieties and worries.
How to accommodate the belly at bedtime
- Always lay down on your left side because the two major blood vessels, the vena cava, and the aorta artery, pass by the right side of the uterus. As you compress the region, you compromise blood circulation.
- Your bump should be slightly tilted outwards in bed. As you get up, be careful: first, put your legs out of bed so as not to put a lot of strain on your spine.
- Place a small pad or pillow below the bump and/or underneath your legs to make yourself more comfortable. This will also help avoid twisting your spine.
- Contrary to you, is your baby flaunting energy and won’t stop moving? Try talking to him/her in a soothing tone while caressing the bump.
- Shortness of breath due to the increased abdominal volume will also disturb your sleep. A good way to minimize this discomfort and breath better is by elevating your upper body, with an extra pillow, for instance.