If you’re anything like I was,
you’re looking at this page at 3am in the morning after tossing and turning all night, reading with a bedside light and getting up several times to pee, naturally.
The thought train just keeps rollin’, awake or not. PLUS who’s supposed to be able to get some decent shut eye anyway when baby is doing sumersaults in there?
Oh the exasperation
You feel like you’ve tried everything. You’re exasperated. Your partner’s exasperated – sharing the bed with you entails sharing the bed also with your many cushions propping you up into that perfect position where for once everything doesn’t ache.
AND YET those friends who are already mothers, good intentional passers by and obviously Auntie Liz, insist on recommending that you get all the sleep you can while the baby’s not her yet. Yeah, um…Thanks?!
Having been exactly where you are right now, hiding the phone screen from your partner’s eyes while you squint at this page, I’ve come up with a little list of ideas for you to try that might actually work. I say might cause I’m not promising a miracle, girl.
1. BOOGIE YOUR BABY WORRIES AWAY
Yep, if you’re the type of women that still uses her hairbrush to practice in the mirror, this one could apply to you.
It goes against the odds, I’ll give you that – I’m sure not many articles out there will give you the same advice. I do think though if you really do get all that energy out of your system, you could be in for a good few hours.
This ain’t no sheep countin’ sister, this is the real deal. I’m talking, turning up the volume to your Shania Twayne (who’s even heard of her now anyway?) or get your funk on to James Brown.
You get it. Just dance.
If you feel a bit embarrassed or don’t want to disturb your partner at 11 at night, feel free to put on some decent headphones and get your funk on!
#Tip – Pelvic movement can help get baby in place and help to shimmy her out, so think more Latin/African rather than slow and sloppy ballads. Though you’re welcome to wind your waist to the music you like obviously.
2. GET COMFY
Yawn. Have you heard this before? Did I mention it in the intro? Yeah?
Must work to some level then. The only thing you gotta choose is what kind of pillows you want to get comfy with. Sure, those fancy pants ones on the sofa are classy and stylish – but that isn’t going to guarantee you a night’s sleep now is it?
Invest in a pregnancy cushion
You wanna make a little investment – hey you deserve it! Cut down on the ….. and get yourself a good pregnancy/breastfeeding pillow. Good thing is they double up so you can use it to prop your little one up during those first few important feeds.
Even if you don’t thank me now, you’ll thank me later when you don’t have back ache after three months of breastfeeding.
There’s a whole range of special cushions and matching colours on Amazon you can check out. I personally recommend this as it doubles up as a transat.
3. WRITE IT DOWN
The incessant thought train of a mother-to-be can be overwhelming. What really helped me – and has been known to help others – is keeping a little notebook on the bedside table.
After your bedtime relaxation routine, get into the habit of writing down whatever’s in your head before you turn the light out. Seriously, even if they’re just petty thoughts about the house, you name it, jot it down. Better out than in!
Get out the colouring book
Another way you could ease your mind before bed actually is colouring – No it’s not just for kids!
I’ve had some great fun colouring in Mandalas and feeling my head literally empty.
OR if the time is approaching, you could start preparing your Birth Cards or Affirmations.
4. NAP THE DAY AWAY
Just kidding! Don’t take this literally. Or do if you can. But do try to get your hour long nap in the afternoon if you have the time and you’re feeling extra tired.
Don’t save it til bedtime
Sometimes the counterbalance of the accumulated fatigue can make you find it harder to shut those eyes at night.
Perhaps just 20 minutes during your lunch break at work (hey, no one has to know why you spend extra time ‘emailing’) or if you’re on maternity leave, get into a good book before settling down into a slumber.
By good book, I mean a saucy novel you can really get lost in and read your troubles away. Reading the entire series of Harry Potter during pregnancy is also allowed.
Sleep after exercise
You could also try to sleep after getting back from a prenatal yoga class. You’ll feel tons better for having done some exercise, and it might even bring on some serious sleeping!
5. PUSH PARTNER OUT OF BED
Again, not to be taken literally, but if one of the things that is bothering you is the mere presence of your SO snoring at night and waking you up for the umpteenth time (YES we’ve all been there…)
Get him set up in the spare bed. No doubt he’ll thank you too for the decent night’s sleep.
Sometimes there’s just not enough space in the bed with you, baby and the extra pillows. Pregnancy can be tough – it doesn’t mean you have to do this all the time.
Don’t give up the intimacy
Nor does it mean you have to knock off the intimacy. Just when you need a bit of extra rest, don’t be afraid to ask for it – you deserve it!
If you’re worried or can’t stand the lack of cuddling (I hear you!) then make sure you get your dosis of some good lovin’ on the sofa with your favourite series.
My other half and I used to love indulging in our favourite series, it’s also a good way to spend some quality time together before bub comes along. It’s also easier to go to bed alone with a happy heart, should you need it.
6. ESSENTIAL OILS
Not only did I use this technique during my pregnancy, it also helped me during my labour.
Personally I really love the smell of lavender as my mum used to grow it in the garden when I was a child, then dry it and put it into little sachets under my pillow. Works wonders.
Try mixing it up
Another relaxing scent you could enjoy is Chamomile, well known for it’s soothing effects. Or you could try Ylang Ylang – which has an original fragrance if you’ve never smelled it before. It calms agitation and can help with insomnia – which is why you’re here in the first place!
If you want to find our more about the essential oils that are suitable for pregnancy – because we must proceed with caution – hop over to fitpregnancy here for the 4 oils suitable for pregnancy or consult this extensive list by Mommypotamus here if you’re looking to diffuse them in a carrier oil and use them on your skin.
Quick heads up on how to use them: The safest way is to diffuse them using an Essential Oils Diffuser and reading the indications on how many drops to use.
7. BRAVE IT OUT
If you’ve tried all of the following AND gone back to check again – you’ve only got one thing left to do. Ride it out in the darkness.
I know it’s hard NOT to despair when it’s the fourth night in the row that you’re up in the early hours, but try and relax. Enjoy the silence – that won’t last very long!
Try using the time to practise your breathing techniques for labour. Pop on your hypnotherapy playlist if you have one and relax those achey muscles. You never know, you might just drop off!
Ladies…have I missed any useful tips we could add? As always I’d love your opinions….don’t forget to share if you enjoyed the article!