Most parents expect to experience sleepless nights when their twins are babies. However, many pregnant moms are surprised by how difficult it is to get proper rest during their pregnancy with multiples. Physical discomfort and anxiety can produce occasional restlessness, or full blown insomnia. What can you do to get more shut-eye during pregnancy? Try these tips from moms who've been there.
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"I napped at noon, after dinner, and then went to bed at the normal time." Catching up on sleep during the day can alleviate fatigue after a restless night. Your body will let you know when to rest, so find a quiet spot and give in to your drowsiness. Even a quick catnap of 20 or 30 minutes will refresh you.
A body pillow supports your pregnant form in a comfortable position, easing the strain on your muscles and spine. Look for one that is at least five feet long, designed to support the back and cradle the belly. Although they're definitely a worthwhile investment, you can also improvise by using a combination of regular bed pillows.
"A friend gave us an old recliner. I slept in it for the last month of my pregnancy, and then, since I had a C-section, I continued to sleep in it for about another two weeks after the twins were born." If you just can't get comfortable in bed, consider a roomy recliner, like a La-Z-Boy. You may find it more comfortable than lying flat. (Test it out first to make sure you can get in and out!)
4. Eat & Drink RightWhat you put in your mouth may be at the root of your sleep problems! Drink plenty of water during the day to stay hydrated, but slack off on your intake in the evening to avoid frequent bathroom trips throughout the night. Cut back on spicy or salty foods and completely avoid caffeine. Try eating bananas to prevent leg cramps. Warm milk is soothing and gives you an added boost of calcium.
Don't suffer. If you're constantly tossing and turning, seek help. Your doctor may be able to recommend an over-the-counter or prescription remedy that is safe for you and won't impact your babies. Discuss the exact reasons for your sleeplessness. Is it physical discomfort like heartburn or leg cramps? Is it anxiety? Pinpointing the cause will help your doctor find the most effective solution.
6. RelaxYou're pregnant! How can you be expected to relax enough to fall asleep? Anything soothing is worth a try: warm baths, warm milk, soft music, a good book. Your sleep environment should be conducive to relaxation: diffused lighting, reduced noise, cozy linens, comfortable temperature. Ask your partner for help; a massage, gentle hair brushing, or a foot rub may do the trick.
How did you cope with sleeplessness during your pregnancy with twins/multiples? Share your solutions in our message forum or e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.