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Help for Pregnancy Sleep Problems

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Pregnancy Sleep ProblemsWhile I was pregnant with my first baby, I was often given the advice to get sleep “now,” because sleep would be a precious commodity once our new addition arrived. Not once did anyone mention interrupted sleep prior to baby arriving. Was I the only pregnant woman not sleeping well or was this a conspiracy? As it turns out, it is a common issue with women, especially in their second and third trimester, due to their changing bodies. Sleeping difficulties may be related to a variety of issues, including joint pain, difficulty getting comfortable due to a growing belly, shortness of breath and heartburn.

Whatever the cause of sleep deprivation, positioning is often key in getting a more restful night’s sleep. Positioning oneself in side lying may help to relieve joint pain, decrease pressure from the abdomen and decrease shortness of breath. Placing a pillow between your knees, allows for a more neutral alignment of the hips, pelvis and spine. This helps to reduce strain on these areas, which improves overall comfort, while lying on your side. Pillows may also be placed underneath your growing belly or behind your back to help with pressure relief. If you find it frustrating to find your well-placed pillows on the floor during the night, a body or pregnancy pillow may help ease this frustration.

If sore hips, shortness of breath or heartburn are keeping you up at night, then sleeping at an incline may help to relieve some of these night time annoyances. Pillows, foam inclines or even a reclining chair may help with getting into a comfortable inclined position. When you are positioned on your back at an incline, placing a pillow or two underneath your knees will help to relieve pressure at your back.

While cocooning yourself in pillows may not allow you to “sleep like a baby,” it will often help to ease some of the aches and pains associated with pregnancy. This will help you to feel more rested to tackle the demands of the day ahead.

DawnBeeryDawn Beery received her doctorate of physical therapy from the University of Pittsburgh. She practices at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth, IN, and is a certified lymphedema therapist.  She became interested in treating obstetric patients after becoming a mother to two amazing boys.

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