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Chelsea at Crunch Gym

Forty Weeks of Fitness!

Chelsea, our pregnancy fitness expert, is a certified personal trainer at Crunch gym in San Francisco, California. She gave birth to her daughter, Madeira Re, in July 2006. Read more


Sleep is something we don't generally associate with motherhood. Moms are asked to lose a lot of sleep while feeding their babies, worrying about their child's well-being, and juggling all of their responsibilities. But for expectant moms, sleep is a major obligation. Their bodies need the strength and energy sleep and a good diet provide. Sleep can be elusive though, and many expectant moms have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep for a number of different reasons.

Your little one needs more and more space to grow as your pregnancy progresses, and this leaves your bladder with less space to expand, and you with the urge to get up and run to the bathroom in the middle of the night. To minimize the number of times you need to wake up and get up, drink a little less before bedtime if you can but not too much less. It is very important that you stay hydrated. Just don't go overboard before going to bed.

You, too, are growing throughout your pregnancy, and your body now needs more support than it used to. To support your more and more impressive bosom, get a very good bra and wear it all night. If bras make you uncomfortable, try a sport or jogging bra. To give your tummy and thighs the extra support they need, consider buying a body pillow, or creating your own version with a rolled up blanket and pillows. Body pillows are long, skinny pillows that you can tuck between your breasts, under your tummy, and between your legs, and they can cushion and support every part of you.

Another factor that might be contributing to your sleeplessness is your internal timing mechanism. Your body's biological clock sets your sleep cycle, and a major life change like pregnancy can upset that cycle. The result is that your body's clock and your schedule are out of sync, and you're suffering from insomnia. Here are five things you can do to get your sleep cycle back on track.

  • Go to bed and get up at the same times each day.
  • Keep yourself in the sunlight or in well-lit rooms during the hours you are not supposed to be sleeping, and in darkness or behind sunglasses during the hours you should be sleeping.
  • Take a walk or a swim three to six hours before sleep to temporarily boost your alertness and then help you fall asleep and stay asleep when bedtime comes. Taking a hot bath two to three hours before bedtime will provide similar results.
  • Don't Worry. Try the relaxation techniques you learned in childbirth class.
  • Eat a light snack before bed to avoid waking up from hunger. Make sure to get all of your nutritional needs met during the day.


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