For a woman, carrying a baby within herself for nine months is nothing less than a Herculean task. Every day brings in a new challenge. With each trimester, as the baby keeps growing and developing further, the complications and discomfort also see an exponential rise. Morning sickness, cramps, body aches, weight gain, heartburns, constipation, hats off to you mommy! For many pregnant women, the third trimester is synonymous with body pain (especially lower back pain, hip pain, abdominal cramps) and insomnia. After struggling the whole day, a pregnant woman craves for nothing more than a sound sleep. Unfortunately, insomnia robs her of that as well. For all the moms-to-be, here is a quick guide to help you deal with the pregnancy-related (especially during the third trimester) pain and insomnia better.
What causes Insomnia and pain during pregnancy?
By the time a woman steps into her third trimester, there has been considerable fetal development. The growing fetus, needless to say, exerts pressure on the bladder, due to which a pregnant woman needs to urinate frequently, resulting in interrupted or disturbed sleep. The hormonal changes (high levels of progesterone and estrogen), stress, and anxiety, back pain, body cramps, heartburn and acid reflux, leaves most women insomniac during the third trimester. The growing belly also makes it difficult to enjoy a sound sleep.
Almost every woman complain of body pain during pregnancy, especially during the final stages. Here again, the main wrecker in chief is found to be the hormonal imbalance (shoot in the progesterone level). The more the flexibility of the pelvis, the easier it will be for the baby to pass through the birth canal during delivery. Thus, in addition to making the pelvis more flexible, elevated progesterone level also plays a pivotal role in the relaxation of the muscles and the joints so as to make space for the ever-increasing uterus. Unfortunately, this muscular relaxation often results in lower back and hip pain. As the belly keeps growing in size, it exerts immense pressure on the hips and the lower half of the body triggering pain and discomfort. In some women, the back pain can also result from the pressure exerted on the spine due to an overall increase in the body weight.
Tips to overcome insomnia and pain
Spending sleepless nights day after day can take a toll on the health. During pregnancy, one should be even more careful and follow the simple yet helpful tips to manage insomnia with elan.
- Try and be as happy and cheerful as possible. Light exercise and meditation (specially designed for pregnant women) can help to relax the mind and the body. Listening to soft and soothing music can also bear fruitful results.
- Try and have a light dinner. Spicy or heavy foods may result in gas, heartburn or related problems that will only worsen your sleeping problems further.
- Reduce your intake of caffeinated drinks. Unfortunately, chocolates are also known to trigger insomnia and are best left avoided or consumed in moderation.
- Don't wait for the night to hit the bed. Take rest whenever you are tired or fatigued.
- Stay hydrated but reduce the intake of water and other fluids after evening.
- At times, taking a warm bath just before retiring to bed can help to sleep better.
- Try new positions while sleeping to ensure maximum comfort.
- The body pains during pregnancy is indeed a nightmare. Mentioned below are useful tips to alleviate the pain and the associated discomfort.
- The golden rule- Take ample rest and eat healthy and nutritious diet.
- Physical activities, especially swimming (only if you are comfortable) can go a long way to ease the lower back and hip pain along with the abdominal cramps that are inevitable during the third trimester.
- Using a heating pad on your lower back can provide immense relief from the pain and soreness. Make sure the heat is not more than what you can bear.
- A gentle body massage can work wonders to relax the body, especially the joints and the muscles.
- While sleeping, you can place a pillow or a cushion between the legs for some comfort.