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Sleep During Pregnancy

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Author: Dr. Harry Watters

For most pregnant women, being comfortable and getting enough rest can be two of the biggest challenges. Typically, these problems affect more than 75 percent of pregnant women.

During the second and third trimesters (20 weeks and beyond), lower back pain and stomach discomfort often increase.Women who normally sleep on their back or stomach often find getting enough restful sleep especially challenging. Sleeping on the back is discouraged because of compression of the uterus on the large blood vessels (inferior vena cava) and on the intestines, causing decreased blood flow and oxygen to the baby.

Some Tips on Improving Your Sleep.

Set the proper mood to prepare for sleep through soft lighting, a good book, a warm bath (try adding a small amount of lavender oil) and/or a warm non-caffeinated beverage. Experiment to see what helps you unwind.

Massage by your partner is also a good way to relax.

Try daily exercise - walking or pregnancy aerobics often help.

Use comfort aids, such as the Gentle Air Maternity Bed or a special body pillow to support your abdomen and hips.

Nap during the day to help gain some rest and relaxation.

Ask your doctor can give you additional advice. There are several over-the-counter and prescription medications that are safe to use and effective if other methods are not successful.

Visit for more study results and to find out about health benefits of pregnancy back supports on the market.

About the author

Dr. Harry Watters is an obstetrician/gynecologist at Women's Health Care Associates in Chandler, AZ. The inflatable Maternity Bed is available for purchase at

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