Tips on how to sleep better during your third trimester:
- Go back and read no. 1.
That’s how it is, lovely mums-to-be. No sleep at all during those last 12 weeks. You will spend your nights with your eyes closed but you will hear everything around you. You will even hear people breathing in the other rooms. If you have a pet, you will even hear it sleeping soundly throughout the night. These will be the most frustrating nights of your life – especially if you are working and all you want to do is come home and sleep like there is no tomorrow.
I remember those days when once every few weeks I had a 12 hour sleep marathon. This happened when I had been aggregating all my sleepless hours. I would crash into bed one day and wake up 12 hours later and it would feel as though I had been reset. Well, I can only dream of this and my 12 hour sleep marathon will be a distant memory once my bubby arrives.
I have read numerous forums on sleep deprivation during your third trimester and unfortunately they all say the same thing – you won’t be able to sleep. Yes. Good. I know that. But what tips can you provide? BabyCentre is a good website for new and confused mums-to-be to read. They provide a lot of insight to the new changes you will face during your gestation period. Also, you will find a lot of mums sharing their varied experiences. It’s a good read if you have a question at a strange hour and you need an answer RIGHT NOW!
Coming back to the issue at hand, none of these forums give you any collaborative tips on what to do to help you sleep better. Tips I have read are very basic such as drinking a warm glass of milk before bed time, exercise and prescription medications (http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/pregnancy-insomnia). However, these avenues are very individual. They may or may not work. I, for one, am not comfortable taking medication to sleep. My GP recommended Blackmores’ Valerian earlier on in my pregnancy. It is an herbal sleep support medication. However, it did not do me much good. Even though the website says that it’s not recommended for pregnant women, when I consulted with Mothersafe (a free telephone service for the women of NSW dealing with questions regarding medicine and much more) they said it was ok to take. Regardless, it did not do any justice to me. I was still hearing my fat cat Tabby snore through the night!
BabyCentre has confirmed that third trimester sleep deprivation will not harm your baby (http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a547418/sleep-in-the-third-trimester). At least that is one good news. And I know my bubby is not sleep deprived. Bubby kicks well and hard throughout the night and last night my husband felt it kick for the first time. I asked him to keep his hand on my bump and I let him feel the kick. Normally, I would tell him every time it kicked but he would not feel anything. Last night, after waiting patiently for 10 minutes, he felt a kicked and said “Oh my god, was that it?!” So ladies, let them tell you if they feel anything. Leading them to feeling a kick does not work.
Third trimester dilemmas do not just stop at sleep deprivation. It is combined with the constant need to relieve yourself throughout the night. Last night, I woke up four times to use the washroom. This completely disrupts the few winks of sleep I can manage to gather.
BabyCentre has a few interesting ideas. One which I found helpful was to completely empty your bladder when you use the washroom. You can do this by bending forward at the end of your wee to ensure that you have completely squished every ounce of wee from your bladder (http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a547418/sleep-in-the-third-trimester#ixzz3jazpejpZ). This works but it also depends on how much you had to drink. One of their tips I was reluctant to follow was to reduce my fluid intake from later afternoon until bedtime. Keeping yourself hydrated during pregnancy is crucial. You need the extra water to ensure there is good blood flow for you and your baby. Plus, keeping yourself internally hydrated does miracles to your skin. We all want that “pregnancy glow” don’t we?
Pillows don’t help much either. When you are that big, you are just downright uncomfortable. Comfortable sleeping positions are a pipe-dream. Because unless your body and mind are allowing you to sleep, you can try all the positions and pillows in the world – you just won’t be able to sleep. Hence, I did not bother spending money on fancy pregnancy pillows. If you cannot sleep, you just cannot sleep.
This is why I went back to my initial advice. I look forward to something. A movie, a dish I want to cook, a new maternity top, guests and even payday! That way I do not look back on what I have missed out but instead I keep going because I have something to look forward to. Right now, my biggest event to look forward to is 7th September 2015! That’s when my super-mum is coming to my rescue! Hence I have decided to plan and decorate the guest room as much as I can.
As I said once, your first pregnancy feels like an experiment. You do the practical first before writing the hypothesis. Enjoy it while you can mums-to-be! And don’t worry, 20 years from the day you give birth, you can blame everything on the child!