Dubbed “the best meditation” by the Dalai Lama, we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping— that is approximately 229, 961 hours, 9,125 days, and 25 years dreaming of zero calorie chocolate cakes, more employment opportunities, George Clooney in his prime, and world peace.
For pregnant women, these numbers should be even more elevated to reflect the recommended 9 hours of sleep needed to account for all of the changes occurring in the body. This can be difficult due to anxiety and stress, hormonal imbalances, and the physical discomfort of carrying a baby for nine months— what one would assume feels like a bowling ball in the lower stomach. While most mothers-to-be anticipate sleepless nights following a pregnancy, most women do not expect to have as many before hand. This is when the sisterhood of the traveling maternity support belt comes to the rescue. Plopping into bed is no longer a sanctifying solution to a long day, but a problem in itself, given that no single position is comfortable for you or your baby. However, there are countless time-honored solutions to ease the discomfort and get a better night’s sleep.
One of the most striking challenges for pregnant women is the struggle to get comfortable, from restroom runs throughout the night to using a pregnancy body pillow to adjust to the left to increase blood flow to the baby. We tell our pregnant sleep deprived friends to drink the herbal teas, to meditate, to do a little yoga, to drink some warm milk, to stay away from the computer a half hour before bed, to try out a maternity support belt, and the list goes on. For starters, essential oils such as lavender are a relaxing way of clearing your mind and reducing stress levels. Heartburn is also a nightmare to wake up to at 2 AM, so set aside the fried and spicy foods.
In addition to body aches and “morning” sickness, a mother may often experience discomfort with the weight of the baby on her lungs when lying on her back. As a result, expectant mothers tend to shift their weight more toward one side by arranging pillows or even resorting to sleeping on a chair. A simple solution to this problem is the pregnancy body pillow– an oversized pillow that works to align your legs and spine, easing sciatic nerve pressure and the straining of the back. Statistically speaking, 78% of pregnant women experience some form of insomnia during pregnancy.
The back pains are piercing, the nausea is no laughing matter, and the insomnia is incessant. Finding the best pregnancy pillow is a great investment for more than mothers-to-be, but also for people experiencing insomnia or body aches throughout the night. A maternity support belt can also offer instant relief to excruciating back and pelvic pains adjacent to the tailbone. The gentle compression of a maternity support belt can do wonders in reducing discomfort from physical activity and preventing overextension of the lower back. Don’t let the late hours of the night tease you into an oblivion- relax, unwind, and get the critical rest you need.