We all expect to lose sleep once a baby arrives in our lives, but many expectant mothers are surprised to realize how difficult catching enough sleep during pregnancy can be.
During your first three months of the pregnancy, you will notice a marked increase in the sleep your body demands. This is a normal response of the body making sure it has all it needs to nurture and protect its new resident.
Must Reading: What Causes Back Pain During Pregnancy?
Your newly pregnant body is working over-time to form the placenta which nourishes your baby until it’s born and pumping much more blood for your baby to live on, as well.
Generally, as the pregnancy progresses, expectant mothers start having difficulty sleeping.
The growing fetus inside that ever expanding belly is the primary cause of most trouble finding the sweet spot to fall asleep in.
Tossing and turning takes on a whole new meaning when you are large with child. Many women experience trouble adjusting to the new side-sleeping if they have been a stomach or back sleeper before pregnancy.
Other Common Sleep Obstacles:
Content in a Glance
Frequent Need to Urinate
The kidneys work harder during pregnancy due to the increased blood volume, which is 30% – 50% higher than when not pregnant.
This increases urine output. Additionally, there is increased pressure on the bladder due to the growth of the uterus as the fetus develops.
These factors make you have to get up for the bathroom more often, especially if the baby is more active during the night.
Higher Heart Rate
Because your body has to produce more blood for the baby, the heart pumps faster and harder than normal. This can cause you to feel more active and awake even when you are not doing anything.
Being Short of Breath
Early in pregnancy, the change in you hormonal levels can cause a need for deeper breaths. As the pregnancy goes along and the uterus expands, it presses against the diaphragm which is the muscle below the lungs. You will often feel like you are not getting enough air.
Aches and Pains
Cramps in the legs and back pain are natural results of extra weight being carried by the body at the time of pregnancy.
At the onset of pregnancy, the body produces high levels of the hormone relaxing which aids in the body’s preparation for labor by loosening the ligaments in the entire body. Looser ligaments make you more unstable and prone to back aches as well as injury.
The digestive system in a pregnant woman moves much slower in order for the food to stay in the digestive tract for a longer period of time.
This can cause heartburn and constipation. Heartburn is particularly worse when lying down because digested food and fluids are refluxing back to the esophagus.
As the baby and the womb grow with the progression of the pregnancy, more pressure is exerted on the digestive organs increasing the possible occurrence of the digestive problems.
Sleep can also suffer due to stress, anxiety and worry. Many women experience nightmares and more vivid dreams than usual.
Concern over impending parenthood and worries about the actual delivery can result in a loss of sleep. These are natural thoughts and considerations so don’t spend all night worrying about worrying.