Sleep? Are you there?

I have been saying a lot. I just want to put it out into the universe… pregnancy should be the most restful time in life.  

I will likely never get to sleep in again.  Kikka is almost one and getting busier everyday.  First it was the frequent feedings, then the random rolling over, then the random falling over while trying to sit, then the crawling and reaching new uncharted places, then the cruising and reaching more uncharted territory and now the walking is upon us! 
I constantly watch her like a hawk, but after a year I am beat. Also because I was exhausted going in after a tiring pregnancy and equally tiring labor and delivery.  Even when she sleeps the whole night I am still tired.

It should really be that you are cocooned in constant comfort and an extended period of relaxation when pregnant.  That should be what pregnancy means. Everyone should pamper you with treats and massages. This way when the baby arrives you feel better about the chaos and lack of …everything.  You would say to yourself…”well, I had 9 months of deep relaxation and restfulness and now I am ready for motherhood.”  And when times were hard with your new little human you could think back to that wonderful time when you slept to your hearts content. 

Just imagine that…

Getting Enough Sleep While Pregnant 

First do not discount non-sleeping rest.  It is often difficult to sleep throughout pregnancy but you can manage your day by allowing for rest periods and down time.

Find a new sleep location.

Many pregnant women find that they sleep better in a chair or sofa.  Especially in the later months.  Maybe you can’t sleep the whole night in the chair but let’s face it- you will be up a million times to pee in the night anyway.  Try switching to a new sleep location after a pee break if you can.  It will hopefully allow you to rest different parts of your body and wake up reasonably rested.
Some women need their whole bed and have their partners sleep elsewhere.  You do what you need to and don’t feel bad because you deserve rest.  After all you are resting for two.

Pillows, pillows and more pillows.

Get as many as you can and tuck them all around you.  A body pillow is nice too.  I used one I had prior to pregnancy quite heavily.  Roberto barely had space in the bed towards the end between the giant belly and six pillows.   I think I only left him with one, probably flat, pillow for his head.

Strategic eating and drinking.

Food was not my friend during pregnancy or drink for that matter.  I had hyperemesis before the end of my trimester that lasted until birth. I couldn’t even keep down water. On top of that I got heartburn from the few foods I ate.  Heartburn coupled with the near constant urge to pee can prevent you from ever getting settled at night.  Also factor in how long it takes to find a comfy position with the aforementioned belly and six pillows.
So yes think wisely about those last couple meals of the night and if you want to chug that gallon of water.  Try to spread out your water intake throughout the day.  It is healthier for the baby and the bladder squished under your baby’s butt with thank you.

Sleepytime tea. Chamomile.

Pregnancy anxiety keeping you up at night?  Wish you could throwback some Zquil?  Then try some celestial seasonings sleepytime tea!  In all seriousness though – try the sleepytime tea or some chamomile.  You don’t need a giant cup either.  Brew 3 oz very strong and toss it back.  Sleepytime tea has gotten me through many a night. Sometimes I wake up and can’t fall back asleep and I make myself a small, strong cup.

Extended sleep time. Go to bed earlier and wake up later.

This one takes some real schedule and life changes.  Personally I have flex time at my office where I can arrive anywhere between 8-10am.  I basically never arrived before 9:45am the entire pregnancy. Going to sleep was another story.  I have a long commute of over an hour -each way- so by the time I’d get home I was exhausted. So I would rest before doing anything else. So it would be 8pm and I’m trying to have dinner, shower and whatever else. I rarely made it to bed before 11pm.


Yeah. I know.  If you work a typical 9-5 where are you doing these naps.  But for those who can -definitely do!  For you 9-5ers start blocking time to rest.  Long before I got pregnant I would block off times on my calendar and mark it as no appointments so people wouldn’t schedule with me during those times.  It is one of my time management tricks to make sure I am not distracted from making my deadlines.
Anyhow, block off time each day to rest and to manage your work pace.  For example, you can block off time before or after meetings if you need extra time to get to and from places or time to catch your breath. Make your schedule work for you.

Say no.

It is important not to put too much on your plate.  You do not know what effect pregnancy will have on you physically, mentally or otherwise.  Even if you have a super smooth pregnancy there will be lots of doctors appointments and baby prep situations that will make your day hectic both during and after the workday. And pregnancy is exhausting in itself.  So think twice before you decide to head up new projects.  Of course sometimes these things cannot be avoided but definitely ask for team support where you need it.  It is the law for your job to provide reasonable accommodations.