Simple tweaks can make a huge difference in ensuring pregnant patients get enough high-quality sleep. Here are three of them:
1. Try a maternity pillow for better sleep during pregnancy
With all of the changes that happen in the body during pregnancy, maternity pillows can be a real sleep saver. They offer added support, most often to the stomach, hips, knees and back. And while they’re not medically necessary by any means, they can help you get comfortable at night. It might take a bit of trial and error to find a pillow that provides the right kind of support for you and your sleep style. For example, there are different options for those who tend to sleep on their stomach versus those who sleep on their sides. (Some experts recommend that people avoid sleeping on their back to the extent it’s possible during pregnancy, though not everyone agrees that is necessary.)
2. Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day
Many pregnant people have difficulty falling and staying asleep because they’re grappling with heartburn. Up to 72% of pregnant people experience indigestion in the third trimester, but it can strike earlier, too.
3. Make sure you’re hydrating — but not right before bed
Staying hydrated is important during pregnancy for a number of reasons. Water helps circulate nutrients throughout the body and helps form the amniotic fluid around the baby. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends aiming for 8 to 12 cups a day.