5 Tips For Surviving Night Shift During Pregnancy

night shift pregnancy

If you're a night-shift worker, can I just say I feel your pain? It may not be ideal, but for many of us, it's just a way of life.

For 2 out of 4 of my pregnancies (Hey! That comes out to half, doesn't it?), I was working night shift as a nurse. And it was not fun. Although some people love night shifts, others suffer through it because they have no choice, and still others grit their teeth and get through it in hopes of a day spot opening up. No matter the circumstances, it is still no easy task to perform when one is pregnant.

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I was never someone who loved night shift, but get through it I did, and these tricks of the trade helped me survive.

Pack high-protein snacks

The only thing that gets me through night shift is constant snacking to keep me awake. But when I'm pregnant, the combination of being tired and dealing with morning sickness (that, of course, is at night, too) is almost unbearable. To keep the nausea at bay, it helps to pack plenty of high-protein snacks, even if all you feel like doing is chowing down on a donut. I promise, this way will make you feel better. Try cheese, hard-boiled eggs, or a bag of raw almonds to keep your energy up.

Switch up your caffeine

I know pregnant women are supposed to avoid caffeine, but working night shift is a different world, my friends. I needed some kind of caffeine to make it through, but I found that coffee just made me sick, and pop just didn't seem like a healthy alternative. So I switched up my energy-infused beverage to iced tea and experimented with adding different fruits in it to sweeten the deal as well. It's refreshing, and it helped soothe my nausea.

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Get yourself a sleep mask

Before I was pregnant, I really had no trouble sleeping during the day. I could have the blinds open and some construction workers outside, and I would be out like a light. During pregnancy, however, I experienced a strange mix of torture known as being-exhausted-beyond-belief-but-still-not-being-able-to-sleep. The one thing that saved me and allowed me to rest during the day before work (if my other kids cooperated!) and sleep afterwards was a sleep mask. I bought one for a couple bucks at a local convenience store and my life was forever changed.

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Image via Flickr/ kokopinto

Talk to your doctor

If you're experiencing severe exhaustion, having premature contractions, or are unable to sleep at all during the day, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider. Taking care of yourself physically is important for both your health and your baby's, and there may be some medical treatment that could help get you through until the baby is born.

Give yourself a break

Honestly, to get through night shift during pregnancy successfully, you really need to give yourself a break in the other parts of your life. You just can't do it all, Mama. It really took me a long time to realize that pregnancy is not forever. So, you might feel like a crappy mom or a horrible housekeeper or maybe even a poor excuse for a wife, but it's not forever. You will get back in the swing of things, but for now let yourself focus on getting through work with as much of your sanity (and health) as you can. Order pizza for dinner, let the house be a bit messier than usual, and talk to your partner about how you are feeling–this is survival mode, and you have every right to treat it that way.

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Do you work night shift? Share your own tips in the comments or let us know your favorite from the list!

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5 Tips For Surviving Night Shift During Pregnancy

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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