5 Tips For Sleeping Like a Baby When You’re Pregnant

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The importance of getting a good night’s sleep is not a contested fact anymore. Everyone knows that in order to lead a good life, live longer, and perform to the best of your abilities, a good night’s sleep is key.

And one would think that the important work of growing, you know, an actual human being inside of your body, might necessitate a good night’s sleep as well.

It’s almost impossible to get a good night’s sleep when you’re pregnant.

And one would be right.

Except for the slightly giant problem that—

It’s almost impossible to get a good night’s sleep when you’re pregnant.

So, just like with a lot of things when you become a mom, get ready for some tried and true advice to help you become the best parent you can be…starting with a good night’s rest.

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Image via Flickr/kellylong

Sleep Tip #1: Accept your nightly awakenings as preparation for the baby.

When I’m pregnant, it goes without fail that I will wake up at approximately 4:00 AM on the dot every.single.night. I will open up one eye, sigh when I realize just why my body felt the need to wake me up, and weigh the merits of getting out of bed – is it really worth it? In the end, the battle of the full bladder always wins out, and I will trudge my massive body to the bathroom.

And while you could think of those nightly awakenings as torture, you could also consider thanking them as the best preparation for the nighttime feedings that lie ahead of you. Because really, what’s getting up a few more times a night anyways, after you’ve been doing it for 9 months already?

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Image via Flickr/thriftylook

Sleep Tip #2: Invest in a giant body pillow (or two)

For some reason, it took me two whole pregnancies before I embraced the beauty of the body pillow. Maybe it’s because I was the largest I had ever been with my third pregnancy (my son weighed in at 9 lbs. 2 oz) or maybe it was because I finally just wised up to the  ways of pregnancy, but whatever it was, I was enormously (pun intended, ha!) grateful when my sister gifted me with a giant body pillow.

That body pillow was the only that saved me, especially during the last month of pregnancy, so if you haven’t already embraced the beauty of the body for yourself, (again, pun totally intended) do it. It’s well worth the money. As an added bonus, it might come in handy again for baby's naps and/or breastfeeding.

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Image via Flickr/Witches Falls Cottages

Sleep Tip  #3: Try a pregnancy massage

I am never so sore as when I am pregnant. Literally every muscle in my body aches from the weight of carrying an extra person around day and night. And the addition of toddlers in the house doesn’t help matters either. If you can afford it, splurge a little (a full hour massage can cost as little at $30!) and book yourself for a pregnancy massage. It will do wonders in easing the aches and pains that can keep you awake at night. My massage therapist even had a wonderful pregnancy table that allowed me—for the first time in months—to be able to lay on my stomach. Pure bliss.

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Image via Flickr/justsketchy

Sleep Tip  #4: Get a peppermint oil foot rub

Working 13-hour shifts on my feet as a nurse during my pregnancy left my tootsies a little more than sore and swollen. And although it may sound counter-productive, since peppermint is known to be an invigorating scent, I swore by peppermint foot lotion every night to refresh my tired feet. Something about the soothing scent and how it left my feet and ankles refreshed helped me to sleep a lot better. Bonus points if you can convince your partner to rub your feet for you!

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Image via Free Digital Photos/Victor Habbick

Sleep Tip  #5: Don't suffer in silence.

During my third pregnancy, for the first and last time in my life, I had some major heartburn going on at night. It felt like every time I tried to lay down, the contents of every meal of the day would try to claw their way up my throat in a massive fireball. Not fun.  And even though I'm an OB nurse, I put up with the heartburn as just a part of pregnancy, thinking that on the scale of things that could go wrong, a little heartburn really wasn't that bad. Well, my self-imposed little martyrdom didn't really do much of anything except prevent me from sleeping at night. Honestly, what was I thinking? Ignoring my heartburn didn't help me or my baby. So, if you are suffering from a little thing like heartburn, for goodness sakes, talk to your doctor – there are several OTC options to treat heartburn or even prescription medications if if gets that bad.

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5 Tips For Sleeping Like a Baby When You’re Pregnant

Chaunie Brusie is a coffee mug addict, a labor and delivery nurse turned freelance writer, and a young(ish) mom of four. She is the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Preparing For Your Baby, Moving Forward In Faith, & Reclaiming Your Life In An Unplanned Pregnancy" and "The Moments That Made You A Mother". She also runs Passion Meets Practicality, a community of tips + inspiration for work-at-home mothers. ... More

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18 comments

  1. Profile photo of Jana Jana says:

    I am 24 weeks, expecting my first child and have started getting carpal tunnel symptoms that keep me awake. Any helpful hint would be greatly appreciated.

  2. I believe all the tips are very helpful. My favorite tip is looking at it as a way to prepare you for getting used to having the baby wake up. I try my hardest not to complain because I know that everything in life is temporary. I am currently 29 weeks and I am so excited!

  3. Profile photo of AspenXIzzard AspenXIzzard says:

    I am also 13 weeks I wake up hourly to use the bathroom. And the dreams are to vivid.

  4. Profile photo of Lucille Lucille says:

    I am 13 weeks pregnant and I have the worst time trying to sleep. I get up early so I can sleep better at night but that isn’t helping and I wake up 6 times a night. I dream so much and my brain will not stop. I’m so exhausted during the day and I work the evening shift so I’m cranky and tired, What can I do????

  5. Profile photo of Ricky Ricky says:

    I sleep in a fetal position, I found that it is most comfortable.

  6. Profile photo of Shannon Shannon says:

    I have a pinched nerve in my upper back (between my shoulder blades) due to my pregnancy and while I am getting physio help to deal with it, sleeping is a nightmare. I have been waking up 4-5 times a night in excruciating pain that tylenol can only slightly mute. Using a body pillow or trying to sleep slightly elevated has not been helpful at all. Next, I am going to try just a regular pillow between my knees to see if that helps at all. Wish me luck!

  7. Profile photo of Moya Moya says:

    Those were great tips for pregnant women im about to do some searching for pregnancy massages in my area… in the meantime i will call up the babys father and see if he is willing 😎

  8. Profile photo of fernandez082 fernandez082 says:

    These were really good tips for a pregnant woman and all of them sound great

  9. Profile photo of Crystal says:

    I always love getting a massage and it helps me sleep just a little better other than getting up to use the restroom haha

  10. Profile photo of Ellamiek says:

    I only get up once during the night to go to the bathroom, but I always feel tired throughout the day. Maybe I’m not getting a deep enough sleep. Hopefully these will help to take the exhaustion away!

  11. Profile photo of Katie Katie says:

    Great tips 🙂

  12. Profile photo of Phammom Phammom says:

    Great tips! Thank you.

  13. Profile photo of Tiffany Tiffany says:

    This is my 1st pregnancy and I have never had any sleep problems in my life, until now. My body is so tired and achy all the time but lying down at night just seems to make my back and neck hurt even more. I flop like a fish all night and even though my husband and I have about 8 or 9 regular size pillows in our bed (plus a long pregnancy pillow for me) I still can never get comfortable. I would love to indulge in a massage as suggested here but I’m not aware of any in my area. My husband works a long and hard job so hes worn out when he gets home and needs his own back massage as well. we’ve given each other massages before but not much of a relief. Tylenol is no match for pregnancy pains I’m afraid. any further advise?

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