Sleep

Sleep and sleep- related problems during pregnancy and establishing your baby's sleep routine.

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Sleeping positions during pregnancy

Sleeping at this point might be an uncomfortable experience. Given the size of your belly! Even the discomfort you go through can contribute to ruining a good night’s sleep. Or nap time. With that in mind, it’s a relief to find out the best sleeping position to encourage labor. And feel comfortable at the same time. So you can sleep better. Did you know that getting adequate sleep is important right before labor kicks in? Sleeping promotes the development of melatonin in the body. This particular component combines with oxytocin. The result of which comes in the form of labor. All the more reason to get enough sleep, right! Plus, once the baby is born, your sleep will take the backseat. So you might as well make the most of this wonderful opportunity right now. 1. Avoid Sleeping On Your Stomach During pregnancy, sleeping on the stomach is definitely not an option. Am I right? This particular position tends to exert unwanted pressure on your abdominal region. Even the blood vessels responsible for carrying blood from your feet and legs to the heart are subjected to the extra pressure. As a result of which it can slow down blood circulation. To both your own body and the baby! 2. Avoid Sleeping On Your Back If sleeping on the stomach feels uncomfortable, then what’s the next option? Sleeping on your back, correct? But, unfortunately, that’s not a good idea either. You won’t take too long to realize how difficult it is to breathe when lying on the back during pregnancy. The belly tends to push down on the intestines when you sleep in such a position. So expect tummy troubles.In fact, sleeping on your back means welcoming severe morning sickness and nausea as well. This position too affects blood supply to the baby. 3. Sleep On Your Left Side Since you’ve exhausted the first two sleeping positions, it’s time to try another one. Side sleeping during pregnancy is highly recommended. Especially on the left! It’s incredibly comfortable as the abdomen increases in size. But why is the left side better than the right? Sleeping on your left offers tons of advantages, even when not pregnant. The most important health benefit is an improvement in blood circulation. And when pregnant, this particular side sleeping position promotes better flow of nutrients to your fetus. When lying on the left, you’re preventing your large belly from exerting pressure on the liver. The opposite of which happens when you sleep on your right side. So keep in mind that right is not right, left is right. Especially during pregnancy! 4. Use Cushions and Pillows When side sleeping, you can wedge pillows between the legs and behind the back. What this does is add more support to the position. So don’t hesitate to use cushions and pillows to feel more comfortable while sleeping. There are pregnancy pillows as well. If you think you might be interested in such a product, you can find it here. Or a maternity store. Propping a pillow between the knees or under the body offers more spine and belly support. On top of that, it keeps your body from rolling on to your back and stomach. Sleeping Positions to Induce Labor: Important Tips What you see below are a few tips that bring more comfort into action. This ensures better sleep and protects your baby when you’re fast asleep. Getting a good night’s rest is one of the most natural methods of inducing labor. So here are some tips that might help! Consume light meals at dinner. Don’t indulge in spicy foods as they lead to heartburn, which aggravates at night. Feel free to perform light breathing exercises before bedtime. It helps in relaxing the body by supplying enough oxygen. Make sure that you’re wearing comfortable clothes made of breathable materials. Such as cotton. Also, avoid tight nightwear. If lying down on your bed doesn’t feel comfortable, try the sofa or a comfortable chair. Please don’t panic when and if you roll on to your back or front while sleeping. Allow your body to move comfortably during the process. Instead of getting up frequently to sleep on the left side! Your body demands as much sleep as it can get in order to induce labor naturally. So appreciate the rest before your newborn destroys every last shred of a good night’s sleep. Midnight feedings and sleep deprivation are a part of the post-pregnancy journey.  content source

Third trimester sleep: A distant memory!

Most women, who have been through pregnancy, find it troublesome to sleep during some stage of their pregnancy term. A good night’s sleep gradually becomes a distant memory as the mother moves closer to the date of delivery. Here is a guide on what to expect in terms of sleep during the third trimester of pregnancy. Trouble being Comfortable As you move closer to the end of your pregnancy term, getting sleep becomes a hazy memory. The baby bump just gets bigger and by the third trimester it’s big enough to not let you lie on the bed comfortably. Try sleeping on your left side with pillow fit between your knees and behind your back. If this doesn’t help, settle in a comfortable chair. When you are due by four to six weeks, you will realise that the best sleep that you get is when you sit up. Pressure on the Bladder Do you remember having spent more time in the bathroom than outside during the first trimester? Well, that phase will be back by the time you are approaching or are already in your last trimester. This time, however, it is the baby that is putting pressure on your bladder. To cut the number of trips you make to the loo, you may reduce the number of fluids you take, especially in the late afternoon so you can have a peaceful sleep at night. Heartburn When you are in the third trimester of pregnancy, you are likely to experience heartburn, leg cramps, snoring, restless leg syndrome and the baby’s kicking and squirming at night. Several studies have shown that pregnant women in their last trimester experience only few periods of deep sleep and are more likely to wake up in the middle of the night than they did before. It is during the third trimester that a pregnant woman’s sleep pattern takes a nose dive. Tips Once you have crossed the 28th week, it is advisable that you sleep on either side. Avoid lying flat on your back when you are beyond 28 weeks or in labour as the pressure of the womb that is carrying the baby, the amniotic acid and placenta may add strain on blood veins and block blood circulation to your brain and heart.  This may also lead to a decline in the blood pressure and thereby cause you to be dizzy apart from causing other negative impact on the baby and its heart pulse. Content Source  

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Are you having some strange dreams? Here's why?

Managing sleep during pregnancy can be extremely tough. You have to get up to pee, you’re tossing and turning on the bed, and you can' find a comfortable sleeping position.Now to add to all this, heart-pounding and vivid dreams make things even more difficult and stressful. But there are various reasons for this: Particularly in the third trimester women complain of vivid dreams. The medical reasons for this are: 1. Hormonal changes- When pregnant, your body produces more progesterone and estrogen. These hormonal changes impact how your brain processes information and emotions, which can disrupt sleep. Because of similar hormonal shifts, PMS has a similar affect on your ability to sleep. (source) 2. Changes in REM cycle- As your pregnancy progresses, the amount of deep sleep you get decreases and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep increases. According to Dr. Sears, REM cycle affects your dreams because: This state of sleep encourages more dreams, because your brain is more active. Since you’re more aware of your environment and arouse from sleep more easily during REM cycles, you’re more likely to remember your dreams. 3. Stress- You’ve got a lot on your mind, mama! Stress is a natural part of pregnancy as you adjust to so many new changes, but it can lead to insomnia and interrupted sleep. Studies show that daily stress can affect our ability to get a good night’s sleep and that people who feel stressed report more frequent dreams. 4. Heightened emotions of pregnancy- There are a lot of reasons your emotions are heightened during pregnancy—after all, you’re bringing a new life into this world! Even if you’re not stressed or fearful, excitement can send your mind spinning in a million different directions. And research proves that lack of sleep compromises our brain’s ability to regulate emotions. Since dreams help us work through our emotions, you’re more likely to have more dreams when you feel overwhelmed.  Pregnancy Dreams Decoded Now that you know why your pregnancy dreams are more vivid, you’re probably wondering what those dreams mean. Does a positive pregnancy test dream really mean you’re pregnant? If you dream you’re having a girl, is that really predictive of the baby’s sex? Is there any truth to common interpretations of pregnancy dreams? Dreams about conceiving If you’re dreaming about being pregnant or conceiving, but haven’t yet gotten your BFP, it could be your mind’s way of clueing you in. (Though there are no studies to support this theory!) A dream about conceiving could also symbolize a new project or phase in your life that you’re thinking of starting. Dreams about the sex of the baby In one study, women were more likely to correctly guess their baby’s gender if the prediction was based on psychological criteria (feelings or dreams), as opposed to old wives’ tales (lack of morning sickness or belly shape, for example). Dreams about the baby’s sex aren’t foolproof—they can be influenced by social and cultural factors—but there could be some accuracy to them. Dreams about labor Dreams about being in labor could mean you’re anxious or worried about giving birth. It could also mean that you’re ready for changes in your life, or are actually on the verge of giving birth. A dream about labor could also symbolize bringing a new project to fruition. Dreams about something happening to the baby Pregnancy dreams can be a result of heightened emotions, so it makes sense that you may dream about something happening to the baby, both in utero and after birth. Pregnant women’s nightmares often involved miscarriages or still births, Dr. Sheldon Roth, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and a dream expert, told NBC. “People use dreams as a way of problem solving and adapting to new circumstances. These parents are simply using their dreams to mentally sort out a huge life change.” Dreams about forgetting the baby The same sleep researcher found that expectant and new mothers commonly have dreams about forgetting or losing the baby, because new memories are organized and stored during sleep.These dreams don’t indicate anything about your ability to parent, they’re just a sign that your brain is still connecting all of the dots. Dreams about you or the baby as an animal “Animals almost invariably represent instincts when we meet them in dreams,” Jungian analyst Barbara Hannah told Psychology Today. Dreaming of your baby as an animal reflects your instinctual role as mama bear, and dreaming of yourself as an animal reflects your protective instincts. Dreams about love affairs with an ex or another partner These types of dreams don’t mean you have any desire or intention to be unfaithful. Much more likely, they’re a sign that you fear how your relationship with your partner may change once the baby is born. These dreams could also be about feeling uncomfortable with your expanding body during pregnancy and wanting to still feel desirable. So What Do These Dreams REALLY Mean? Dreams are our mind’s way of working through fears and anxiety. Some say bits and pieces of dreams can be attributed to intuition or can even feel transcendent, but that doesn’t mean the scarier dreams are foreboding premonitions.However, what you can take care of is listed here: You Should Avoid: Stimulants such as caffeine, chocolate, or tea too close to bedtime Violent movies and TV shows Exposure to any screens within two hours of bedtime (The blue light is too stimulating) Heated discussions close to bedtime Exercise within a few hours of going to sleep Eating a large meal within three hours of bedtime You should try: Taking a bath Spraying your pillow with lavender mist Meditating Light stretching Content Source Feature Image Source  

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The 6 most uncomfortable third trimester Symptoms

The 6 most uncomfortable third-trimester symptoms   Here’s what you need to know about the third trimester -   A pregnant woman goes through the third trimester during 28 to 42 weeks of pregnancy. This being the last stage of a woman's pregnancy, there is anticipation, anxiety, and expectation to introduce the baby into the world. It is a time for excitement with thoughts of childbirth and looking at your baby for the first time. It can also be emotionally challenging. During the third trimester, your baby grows and you can feel the movements. In addition to this, you also feel discomfort, heartburn, shortness of breath, discomfort and you keep putting on additional weight as your stomach gets bigger.   6 signs of third-trimester pain and symptoms: A pregnant woman who is in the third trimester experiences 6 common signs and symptoms.  They include the following: Heartburn and reflux: The pregnant women can feel heartburn and Reflux as a result of the growth of the baby which fills up space in the mother's womb and the area of the abdominal cavity. The expansion puts pressure on the other surrounding organs. This prevents the normal intake of food as the stomach gets pushed up to the esophagus. How to deal with it? Take less amount of food and consume smaller meals as your stomach is unable to store much food. This minimizes the bloating and prevents heartburn. Food which is spicy and drinks which are acidic should be avoided throughout the pregnancy as it causes acid reflux.     Consuming caffeine on a regular basis causes heartburn and reflux. It is a bad habit to lie down immediately after eating as the food that you consumed will flow backward. If you feel the need to lie down, then place cushions or pillows at your back and prop yourself up. Consume neutral and basic foods. Drink milk and yogurt which soothes the stomach and minimizes the burning sensation.   When should you approach your doctor? If you find that the heartburn and reflux have not reduced even after taking all the precautions, then it is time for you to visit and consult your doctor.   2. Frequent urination: During your third trimester of pregnancy, you will feel the need to constantly keep running to the bathroom and relieve yourself of the urine. During pregnancy, there is an increase in the fluids and the functioning of your kidneys.   How to deal with it? It is a normal symptom of pregnancy and there is not much you can do about it. Avoid drinking too many fluids and thus you can prevent going to the bathroom to urinate as many times as possible. However, it is also important to stay hydrated as otherwise, it could cause dizziness, headache, and untimely contractions.   When should you approach your doctor? If you experience anything other than the normal and it gives you a cause for concern, then it is vital that you approach your doctor. Such circumstances include frequent visits to the bathroom unlike any other day of your pregnancy, or pain or burning sensation in your urinary organs, expansion of blood in the urine, and other unusual symptoms.   3. Back pain: The pregnancy during the third trimester protrudes your womb even more which in turn lays pressure on your backbone. There is also an increase in the levels of progesterone which makes your tissues, muscles, and joints to relax and leave space for the uterus to expand. Your pelvic area also becomes flexible and prepares the way for delivery through the birth canal. Other reasons for back pain include improper posture during pregnancy, extra weight, leaning or sleeping on one side, or trying to lift certain objects. How to deal with it? Avoid all strenuous activities that cause back pain. Maintain a good posture and wear a support belt just below your stomach so that the weight of the pregnancy is taken away from your back and hip area. When you are sitting down make sure to keep pillows behind your back so as to listen to the pressure and reduce back pain. A good warm bath or a heating pad would do you good in relieving the back pain. Avoid high heels at all times during pregnancy.   When should you approach your doctor? If you experience unbearable back pain and you believe that it is not due to any of the above reasons, or if you experience continuous unrelenting pain, deep, sharp and shooting pain that prevents you from walking or sitting properly, then it is important that you approach a doctor immediately.   4. Excessive hunger: Pregnancy during the third trimester can make you feel like eating every few hours. It is normal for you to feel excessive hunger and it is an indication that your body needs more energy, food, and nutrients as you are now eating not only for yourself but also for your baby who is constantly growing and developing.   How to deal with it? It is important to eat a good meal rich in nutrients and protein. Consume foods rich in fiber as it keeps you feeling full,  prevent the constant craving, as well as regulate the bowel movements.   When should you approach your doctor? If you find that you are unable to control your hunger and a steady weight gain every week of the third-trimester pregnancy stage, then you should approach your doctor.   5. Insomnia: It is quite normal for a pregnant woman to feel anxious, expectant and to worry over her baby and the delivery, which makes her suffer from insomnia during the third trimester of pregnancy. They have difficulty in sleeping and keep awake most of the night.   How to deal with it? You can solve the problem of insomnia through sleep therapy, changing your sleeping position, freeing your body of tight and uncomfortable clothes, avoid drinking a lot of water before going to bed. You can also try and eat small light meals at regular intervals during the day.   When should you approach your doctor? If you find that none of the above remedies are curing you of insomnia and you find it very difficult to have a few hours of sleep, or if you find that you are constantly waking up throughout the night, then it is time to approach your doctor.   6. Breast pain: During the third-trimester pregnancy stage, you will feel that your breasts are sore and painful.  This is a result of your breast growing in size and getting ready for the feeding of milk to your newborn baby.   How to deal with it? Do regular breast massages so as to prevent the formation of lumps and hardening in the breast tissue. Buy yourself new, comfortable and perfect fitting cotton bras.   Read  to know what experienced mums say about the third trimester and how to get comfortable with it:   Lessen the pressure and aches around your stomach and waist by maintaining a straight back or arch inward slightly, this will give your baby some space to stretch, arch and move about freely within your womb. Relax and do not tense up when your baby is moving and kicking, as it will make you feel uncomfortable and painful. Wear comfortable and good shoes that make it easier to walk with all that extra weight and make use of a foam roller to ease the back pain. Do not keep your body stiff in a particular position, keep changing it every 20 minutes.   Other symptoms during the third trimester:   Apart from the above, there are various other symptoms that a pregnant woman experiences during her third trimester of pregnancy. This includes the following:   Hot flashes and chills: Pregnant women generally feel excessive heat and sweat a lot, while at other times they feel quite chilled to the bone even under normal temperature. Dizziness, vomiting, and nausea: Pregnant women will feel these symptoms due to the pressure exerted by the growing baby,  which leads to poor circulation of blood and nutrients within the mother's body. Leg cramps: The excess weight will put pressure on the legs which cause leg cramps and prevents the proper blood flow to the legs, lesser minerals and electrolytes to the legs. Pain in the pelvis and cervix: During the third trimester, the pregnant woman experiences sharp pain in the pelvis, cervix and abdomen area. This is caused due to the strain on the ligament between the uterus and the groin. Braxton Hicks contractions: The Braxton Hicks contractions are also known as ‘false labor contractions’. It feels like as if a pregnant woman is going into labor. However, they are not painful and it is triggered by an excess of activity either from your baby or by you. Bleeding gums and toothache: Pregnant women during the third-trimester experiences increased the flow of blood to the tooth and gums which causes swelling, bleeding and inflammation. Now that you know the common symptoms that are experienced by a pregnant woman during the third trimester, and the ways to deal with it, you can relax without worries and get ready for your baby’s arrival into the world! Featured Image Source

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7 Strategies to make labour easier

Labour is the hardest physical task that a woman experiences. Since a normal delivery takes less time to heal and doesn’t leave any visible scars on a woman’s body, most women aim to deliver vaginally. In order to do so, the mother needs to prepare her body accordingly. Although labour is a long and painful task, there are some things that you can definitely do to make it easier and smoother for you. 1. Do Squats Daily Squats is the most beneficial exercise for every woman looking forward to delivery close to their due date. Due to its role in facilitating smoother deliveries, squats are considered to be the best exercise for easy labour. The best way to do squats is using a medicine ball, keeping it between the lower back and the wall and rotating the toes and knees as wide apart as possible. It is recommended to do 15 squats daily in this position for expecting mothers to have a great delivery experience. 2. Practice Yoga After consulting your gynecologist, practice yoga during pregnancy regularly. Not only does it help to relax the body and make it flexible but also improves your breathing and prepares the body for labour. Various yoga asanas help to make the pelvic muscles more flexible to ease labour. It helps to get rid of stress and also provides relief from the aches and pains of pregnancy. Women who practice yoga during pregnancy suffer from fewer health problems. 3. Sleep Adequately and Regularly Among all the tips on how to make labour easier and faster, this is the easiest to follow and is the most effective. As discussed earlier, such a stressful and important event like labour requires calmness from the mother’s end. Only a well and adequately rested person can adapt to such a scenario seamlessly. An expecting mother should sleep at least seven hours or more every day for a faster and smoother labour experience. The sleeping experience should be enhanced with soft, skin-friendly pillows and recliner beds for the comfort of the mother and the child. 4. Massage Regular massage of the stomach along with perineal massage towards the end of the pregnancy helps to decrease discomfort and relax the muscles of the stomach and the vagina. Perineal massage helps to stretch the tissues of the vagina and this reduces the chances of vaginal tearing during birth. Massage also helps to increase the blood circulation in the perineal tissues and this in turn speeds up the process of healing after childbirth. Massaging of the thighs may also be done during labour to release tension between the contractions and to encourage the labour to progress. 5. Practice Breathing Techniques Labour is an extremely painful experience for any woman. Breathing helps the woman in labour to adapt to the pain better and also helps in relaxing her. Breathing also helps in setting rhythmic contractions and helping the woman to push better and more efficiently. Breathing also ensures that the body has enough oxygen and the mother does not pass out due to the astronomical labour pain and cramps due to her contractions. 6. Take a Childbirth Class Pregnancy is a mentally and physically taxing period for expecting parents where there is a lot of new things to be learnt and a lot of responsibilities to be understood as well as the do’s and don’ts of parenting. Hence, it is always good to be prepared for the moment of childbirth well in advance to make sure everything goes perfectly and according to plan. A childbirth class also relieves pressure that can be faced by dealing with the unknown and helps the partners be prepared for everything from the water-breaking to the cutting of the umbilical cord. A childbirth class can also be beneficial in providing easy labour tips to make the whole process simpler and faster. 7. Stay Upright during Labour Rather than lying down and trying to push, it is considered to be better to stay upright on the bed and push. This is because gravity plays to the advantage of the mother and child as the child’s head pressing against the cervix due to gravity helps it in dilating faster and more easily. A variety of positions can also be tried out, like kneeling, squatting and standing to see what gives the best results during labour. Movement of the body also helps widen the pelvis helping the baby’s head to pass through easily. Hope the above strategies help to make your labour shorter and easier!   Content Source Featured Image Source

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7 reasons why you can't get sleep at night

One of the best things you can do to manage insomnia while you’re pregnant is to have a good sleep routine. Begin by trying to go to bed at the same time every night. Start your routine with something relaxing to help you unwind.  Avoid screen time at least an hour before bed. Blue light from the TV, your mobile phone, or tablet can have an impact on your body’s circadian rhythm. Try reading a book instead. Taking a soothing bath might also make you sleepy. Just be careful that the temperature isn’t too hot — that can be dangerous for your developing baby. This is especially true during early pregnancy. Being pregnant is the best phase of your life, this is the common term everyone says, but no one tells you about the challenges. There are also a lot of sleepless nights that a woman has to face. As, the reasons can vary as per your body but the most common ones are discussed below: Frequent visit to the bathroom: Holding a life inside you is not easy. As you eat you eat for two, similarly as you drink your water intake also increases. The more you drink the more you want to pee. Your bathroom visits can make you stay up during nights. Indigestion: The hormones play a major role in here, increase in hormones can lead to indigestion. Avoid eating spicy food and opting for a healthy diet can be of help here. On the other hand, avoid eating two hours before going to bed can be of help. Baby’s movement: Baby’s like to move in the womb when mothers are lying still. Movement in the rib cage is uncomfortable for mothers and can make you stay up for all time.   Even if you are not able to sleep after adequate efforts, see your doctor and get help rightaway. Feature Image Source

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Stages of Pregnancy

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What to get when you are Expecting

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