The Importance of Sleep During Pregnancy was written by the Sleep Help Institute for Circle Surrogacy to help women have the healthiest surrogate pregnancy for themselves and for the baby they’re carrying!
Everyone needs quality sleep to maintain mental, emotional, and physical health. There’s no time in life where that’s more apparent than sleep during pregnancy. The physical demands on a pregnant woman are high, and sleep is a foundational need for the changes taking place in the bodies of the surrogate and growing baby! However, pregnancy presents some unique sleep challenges, which necessitates extra care and effort to get a full seven to nine hours every day.
Sleep for Two
When it comes to pregnancy, you can think about sleep in the same way you do food. You need enough for two! Sleep has a direct link and affects many of the body’s systems. The immune system relies on the sleep cycle to recharge the store of antibodies. Poor sleep has been found to increase the chances of catching the common cold. You can’t avoid illness altogether, but sleep keeps your immune system strong.
The repair of daily damage, both physical and mental also takes place during sleep. The brain flushes out toxins that build up throughout the day while muscles repair from more wear and tear. These processes rely on the special circumstances that only take place while the body is asleep.
The Consequences of Poor Sleep
Lack of sleep can have serious health consequences for pregnant women. Regular issues that occur whether your pregnant or not such as irritability, lack of concentration, appetite changes, and increased blood pressure can cause more problems during pregnancy.
A study that followed medical students who skipped one night of sleep per week not only had longer and more painful labors but a higher percentage of c-sections. While sleep during pregnancy can’t prevent all problems during labor, it increases the chances of a healthy, safe delivery.
Getting More Sleep
Pregnant women face more sleep challenges than normal. There’s the increased need to urinate, acid reflux, muscle cramps, and the mechanics of sleeping with a growing belly. Not to mention hormone fluctuations, which can cause temperature changes and fatigue.
However, better sleep can be one night away. Here are our best sleep tips for the surrogate:
- Make Time for Comfort: A comfortable mattress is more important than ever as are extra pillows for your back and knees to keep the spine aligned. Many pregnant women get too warm at night. A fan on the nightstand is an easy solution. If morning sickness is an issue, keep a few crackers and a glass of water ready and waiting.
- Stay Hydrated, but Cut Back at Night: It’s important to stay well hydrated during the day. Dehydration can cause excessive swelling and constipation. To keep nighttime bathroom trips to a minimum, try to stop liquids two to three hours before bed.
- Give Yourself Extra Time in Bed: Pregnancy may cause you to wake more frequently during the night. Be sure to spend at least eight hours in bed so you can get a bare minimum of seven hours of sleep.
- Eat for Sleep: Heartburn may become a problem as your uterus puts pressure on the stomach. Smaller meals eaten more frequently can help as can avoiding heavy, high-fat foods. If heartburn still plagues you, try sleeping in a more upright position so that gravity works with you.
Adequate rest is essential part of sleep during pregnancy. It takes more effort to get needed quality sleep, but it’s worth it for the health of both the surrogate and the growing baby. Being a surrogate is a big responsibility and it is critical to get plenty of sleep so your body can work optimally for you and the baby. Whether it’s a new mattress, a change in diet, or a shift to your bedtime routine, there are so many ways to improve your sleep during pregnancy and have the best surrogacy journey for you and for baby.
Are you interested in becoming a surrogate? The decision to apply to become a surrogate is a big one! Helping someone achieve their dreams of parenthood is an adventure like no other. Learn more about the process, or apply directly today!