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Video:Sleep Well During Pregnancy

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A good night's sleep while pregnant is essential for you and your unborn child's health. Learn the best steps to ensure you stay safe and some strategies for a better night's sleep.See Transcript

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Transcript:Sleep Well During Pregnancy

Hi! I'm Dr. Alyssa Dweck.  I am a board certified OB-GYN here in New York and I am here for About.com to speak to you today about sleeping well during pregnancy. 

It's All About Comfort

First, make sure you have a firm mattress, plenty of comfortable pillows, particularly a full body pillow may be helpful as well especially as your pregnancy moves along.  Make sure where you are sleeping has a comfortable temperature.  Most pregnant women like the room to be cool and perhaps a fan or good air-conditioning would be helpful.  

Once you are past your 16th or 20th week of pregnancy, you will really want to concentrate on sleeping on your left side or at least trying to avoid being flat on your back.  This will help prevent pressure from your now larger uterus on a large blood vessel behind it that returns blood to your heart and this is safer for your baby and more comfortable for you.

Things to Remember

Don't panic however if you happen to wake up flat on your back, that is okay.  It is helpful to try to limit heavy meals or lots of liquids before you go to sleep.  This will void heartburn for you and also help prevent you from having to get up multiple times during the night to urinate. 

It is helpful to keep the room where you are sleeping lit with night lights.  You may have to get up several times during the night to urinate and in this case, you do not want to trip and fall and you also do not want bright lights to wake you up for the rest of the evening each time you get up.

It is not uncommon for women to who are pregnant to have racing thoughts when they are trying to fall asleep or if they wake up in the middle of the night.  In fact, some women even complained of unusual nightmares while they are pregnant. 

Before You Fall Asleep...

Try to do something relaxing before you fall asleep, which may help you to get a more restless sleep at night.  This could include a warm shower before you go to sleep or a warm bath.  If you find that you wake up late at night and you cannot go back to sleep due to some racing thoughts, try getting up and doing a quick activity and hopefully, you will get tired enough to fall back to sleep again. 

If you find that you really are suffering from insomnia during your pregnancy, please speak with your healthcare provider about other options. 

For more information, please visit About.com.

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