“Sleep more, after giv­ing birth there will be no time for sleep,” friends and rel­a­tives advise expec­tant moth­ers. How­ev­er, for some rea­son, it’s not pos­si­ble to relax and sleep “in reserve” in the third trimester of preg­nan­cy: either sleep is in no hur­ry to come, then you have to get up to the toi­let every cou­ple of hours, then heart­burn tor­ments you before going to bed, the baby kicks, and you can’t find a com­fort­able posi­tion. We talk about the caus­es of poor sleep dur­ing preg­nan­cy, how you can deal with them and when you need an appoint­ment with a doc­tor.

Physiology of pregnancy: night trips to the toilet and heartburn

Physiology of pregnancy: night trips to the toilet and heartburn

Preg­nan­cy brings so many dif­fer­ent changes in the body that it is some­times dif­fi­cult to fig­ure out what is nor­mal and what indi­cates a pathol­o­gy. Let’s check which symp­toms are nor­mal, and which require an appoint­ment with a doc­tor or a con­sul­ta­tion by phone +7 (499) 519–32-56.

Night visits to the toilet

All expec­tant moth­ers face this prob­lem, and almost noth­ing can be changed. Preg­nan­cy and fre­quent urge to uri­nate are direct­ly relat­ed: there is more flu­id in the body, the kid­neys work hard, and the baby and the enlarged uterus put pres­sure on the blad­der. There­fore, the third trimester of preg­nan­cy is the time of fre­quent trips to the toi­let, includ­ing at night. Can this be changed some­how?

It is cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly impos­si­ble to reduce the total vol­ume of flu­id that enters the body. This is a direct path to preg­nan­cy com­pli­ca­tions, kid­ney dis­ease, hos­pi­tal­iza­tion. But you can drink more in the first half of the day and less in the evening. It also helps to pro­vide your­self with con­di­tions for falling asleep quick­ly after going to the toi­let — do not turn on bright lights along the way, but replace it with soft illu­mi­na­tion of night­lights (lat­er they may come in handy in the nurs­ery). Sub­dued light­ing will help you stay drowsy and fall asleep faster after return­ing from the toi­let.

Heartburn during pregnancy

And this com­pan­ion of preg­nan­cy, unfor­tu­nate­ly, is nor­mal. The rea­son is both in the change in the posi­tion of the inter­nal organs, and in the soft­en­ing of the tis­sues due to hor­mones. As a result, the food bolus is clos­er to the esoph­a­gus, and the esophageal sphinc­ter does not close. Part of the food, togeth­er with gas­tric juice, is thrown back into the cav­i­ty of the esoph­a­gus and irri­tates its mucosa. There is heart­burn, burn­ing inside, espe­cial­ly unpleas­ant before bed­time. What to do?

Helps to observe a two-hour break between the last meal and bed, so the food bolus has time to leave the stom­ach. It is also nec­es­sary to avoid irri­tants — spicy, sour, fat­ty foods. A good way for those who are not helped by food restric­tions is to raise the head of the bed. You can sleep on a high­er pil­low or put a fold­ed blan­ket under the head of the mat­tress. Sleep­ing on your left side is also a proven way for those who suf­fer from heart­burn.

Of the accept­able options for drugs, you can resort to sodi­um car­bon­ate, dis­solve a lit­tle soda in a glass of water. And if noth­ing helps, you need to make an appoint­ment with a doc­tor — a gyne­col­o­gist or a gas­troen­terol­o­gist — to select antacids allowed for preg­nant women and estab­lish the main cause of heart­burn. Per­haps the prob­lem is not in preg­nan­cy, but in dis­eases of the gas­troin­testi­nal tract.

Problems with choosing a sleeping position: when do you need an appointment with a doctor?

Most often, a large bel­ly inter­feres with lying down com­fort­ably. The third trimester is a peri­od when the child is almost the size of a new­born, and the vol­ume of the uterus, pla­cen­ta, amni­ot­ic flu­id and grown breasts is also added to it. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, choos­ing a com­fort­able posi­tion is becom­ing increas­ing­ly dif­fi­cult.

But doc­tors say that the prob­lem may not be only in the pos­ture. One in four expec­tant moth­ers suf­fer from rest­less leg syn­drome, which dis­rupts sleep. The legs move invol­un­tar­i­ly when falling asleep, and it seems that the whole rea­son is in an uncom­fort­able posi­tion. Most often, this syn­drome is a con­se­quence of a lack of iron and folic acid, and in order to find out and cor­rect the defi­cien­cy, an appoint­ment with a doc­tor is need­ed. The lack of these trace ele­ments not only inter­feres with sleep, but also affects the health and devel­op­ment of the child.

Snoring during pregnancy

Snoring during pregnancy

Snor­ing is a com­mon com­pan­ion of preg­nant women. Even those who pre­vi­ous­ly did not make any sounds in their sleep may begin to snore and snore. There are two rea­sons: increased body weight and swelling of the nasopha­ryn­geal mucosa, which occurs due to changes in the hor­mon­al back­ground. You can alle­vi­ate the con­di­tion by wash­ing the nasophar­ynx with saline solu­tions at bed­time. An appoint­ment with a doc­tor will help you choose vaso­con­stric­tor drugs. It is espe­cial­ly impor­tant to con­sult a spe­cial­ist if snor­ing caus­es tem­po­rary res­pi­ra­to­ry arrest, sleep apnea.

Even those expec­tant moth­ers who have nev­er snored can hear com­ments from rel­a­tives about new unusu­al sounds. Some­times it inter­feres with the sleep of the preg­nant woman her­self, and occa­sion­al­ly caus­es sleep apnea.

Baby’s night activity

There are kids who seem to be just wait­ing for their moth­er to lie down to start active­ly mov­ing and kick­ing. What a dream there is, if there are such “dances” in the stom­ach! What is the rea­son?

The main thing that needs to be ruled out is the lack of oxy­gen for the child. In some posi­tions, the uterus com­press­es the vena cava, and first of all, the baby feels it, start­ing to move active­ly at first, and then sub­side. In the moth­er, vena cava syn­drome (most often in the supine posi­tion) can lead to faint­ing. All this is extreme­ly unhelp­ful, but is eas­i­ly cor­rect­ed by chang­ing the posi­tion of the body.

If every­thing is fine with the child, and he just likes activ­i­ty at night, you can try to calm him down with stroking his stom­ach, talk­ing and singing. Or start sleep­ing at a dif­fer­ent time of day: unfor­tu­nate­ly, some kids dic­tate their dai­ly rou­tine to their par­ents even before birth.

Daily routine and physical activity during pregnancy

If you man­age to arrange a qui­et hour for your­self dur­ing the day, then it is not sur­pris­ing that in the evening there may be dif­fi­cul­ties with going to bed. In such cas­es, it is bet­ter to fin­ish the after­noon sies­ta before 3 pm so that the body can return to the sleep cycle in the evening in time.

A long morn­ing sleep is also an oppo­nent of an easy evening falling asleep, and you will have to adjust the dai­ly rou­tine. Well, if there is not enough phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, at least ordi­nary walks, it becomes dif­fi­cult to fall asleep too. But all these rea­sons are easy to remove and regain a nor­mal night’s sleep.

Emotions that interfere with sleep

Anx­i­ety and antic­i­pa­tion of child­birth, a new stage of life, com­bined with the influ­ence of preg­nan­cy hor­mones, can inter­fere with falling asleep, or can cause vivid and real­is­tic dreams. And some­times quite scary. If going to bed becomes a prob­lem, you should think about evening rit­u­als — a warm bath, read­ing. But games on devices, surf­ing the Inter­net, social net­works and watch­ing TV should be exclud­ed, the blue light of mon­i­tors pre­vents the body from tun­ing in to sleep.

Relax­ation prac­tices are also a good option for the expec­tant moth­er. Now they will help to calm down and have a bet­ter rest, in child­birth — to remove unnec­es­sary mus­cle spasms, and after the baby is born — to restore strength.

What should you do before bed?

Just 30 min­utes of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty a day improves sleep for every­one. It is worth remem­ber­ing that active exer­cis­es should be car­ried out not before bed­time, but at least two hours before it. But you can take a walk or do a set of stretch­ing exer­cis­es lat­er.

Back pain and uncom­fort­able pos­ture can be cor­rect­ed with a mater­ni­ty and nurs­ing pil­low. It is placed under the stom­ach, arranged between the knees to cor­rect the load on the pelvic organs, and after child­birth, such a pil­low is a great helper when feed­ing the baby.

Leg fatigue and night cramps can also be over­come. If there is no defi­cien­cy of trace ele­ments, then warm baths with salt and foot mas­sage before bed­time help.

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