March 20, 2017
Pregnancy is a journey like no other. Suzanne Finnamore tried to explain its magic in her book The Zygote Chronicles: “When you moved, I felt squeezed with a wild infatuation and protectiveness. We are one.”
For pregnant women, the changes in their life become truly evident when symptoms start to kick in. Symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, heartburn, and fatigue may worsen. Falling and staying asleep can be challenging due to the extra weight and chemical changes in the body. Doctors recommend sleeping on a memory foam to avoid pressure ulcers or bedsores and promote good sleep.
Aside from proper nutrition and exercise, sleep is essential for every pregnant mother. A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG) suggests that first-time mothers with less than six hours of sleep at night are 4.5 times more likely to have a C-section, and undergo an average of 10 hours or longer labor than mothers who slept for more hours. However, the chemical changes in a woman’s body during pregnancy make uninterrupted sleep a struggle. One of these changes is the increased urine production, forcing an expectant mother to get up several times a night for bathroom visits.
To make sure that you get the most out of your bedtime zzz’s, you can take note of these 6 sleep care pregnancy hacks.
Because of changes in her body, a pregnant woman is often tired. Kathy Lee, a professor of nursing at the University of California San Francisco, noted that fatigue during pregnancy is, to some extent, due to higher levels of progesterone. “Progesterone is a hormone that slows a woman down and mellowed her out, and some women may perceive these effects as fatigues,” she told Live Science. Her body is also working harder to accommodate the growing fetus and fluid accumulation.
There are pillows for pregnant women that can help get satisfying sleep at night and combat fatigue in the morning. The Cherissa Full Back and Body Support Pillow reduces your movement during sleep and provides support to the head, back, tummy, and legs. This maternity pillow is made of Permasoft foam with fiberfill.
During the second trimester of pregnancy, hormonal changes level off before they become erratic again in the third trimester. Women with low iron levels may experience restless legs syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by throbbing or pulling sensations in the legs. This can be extremely uncomfortable and the relief may only be to walk around for a couple of minutes. Leg cramps are also common in the second trimester.
The Gerwyn Leg Support Pillow, a maternity pillow by Uratex Philippines, can bring you comfort by elevating your legs during sleep. Its contoured form is good for swollen feet and tired legs.
On the third trimester, hormonal changes become steep again. This is considered the most difficult stage of pregnancy. Lower-back pain and sciatica are common during this period. Sciatica is the pain along the sciatic nerve. Back pain is due to the extra weight and the pressure from the uterus. Pregnant women are advised to stand up straight with the chest up and the shoulder pulled back, wear flat shoes with good arch support, avoid lifting heavy items, and do exercises and stretches to strengthen back muscles.
The Luvina Back Support Pillow, which is made of fiberfill and polyester fabric, gives support to both sides and eases back pain. During bedtime, Professor Lee suggests placing one pillow between the legs, a second under the belly and a third at the back.
Most pregnant women experience pressure ulcers or bedsores. This is due to constant pressure from lying or sitting on the same position for a long time. Because of a swelling belly, pregnant women are unable to move a lot. Pressure sores can also be aggravated by poor nutrition, poor bladder, and a health problem that interferes with healing.
There are maternity pillows to ease pregnancy sores. The Amie Round-Edge Wedge Pillow is a crescent-shaped cushion that provides pregnant women back and belly support. It can also be used when sitting on a chair, lounging on a sofa or travelling in a car. The Backease Pillow, another Uratex product, also gives comfort during long periods of sitting.
Pregnancy is a crucial period. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a woman is at risk of several health conditions including anemia, urinary tract infection, mental health problems, hypertension, and gestational diabetes mellitus. She is also prone to obesity and infections.
One effective way to combat these threats is to “sleep for two.” Make sure you get sufficient and restful sleep each night as well as satisfying naps during the day. Get yourself comfortable bed foams and maternity pillows to ease discomfort brought by the changes in your body. Most importantly, visit your doctor as often as necessary. Ask for maternity hacks that will help you and your unborn child throughout this challenging period.