17 Weeks Pregnant: How to Get a Good Night's Rest“Deep, uninterrupted sleep is my goal. Deep, restful sleep is my wish.”
Many, many people struggle with getting a good night’s sleep, and pregnancy sleep complaints are no joke. Insomnia affects 75% of pregnant people, so if you aren’t sleeping well, you’re not alone.
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There are many reasons why you are waking up at night. In addition to waking frequently for bathroom breaks, you’ll soon be woken by a kicking, wiggling baby. If you are already a parent who is still in the throws of nighttime parenting, you may be up with little ones. Add to that waking for a midnight snack, leg cramps, vivid dreams, flipping and turning from side to side, and quenching your thirst. Sometimes you’ll wake for one of the aforementioned reasons and easily settle back to sleep. Other times you may struggle with terrible insomnia. You get the picture. Sleep is medicine, and if you’re not sleeping everything else in your life may feel hard.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
- Stick to a routine by planning for 8-10 hours in bed. Having the same bedtime and wake time is beneficial.
- Pay attention to your food and beverages. Being too hungry or too full will disrupt your sleep. Caffeine should be avoided after 12 p.m.
- Your environment is important. Limit screens including TV, computer, tablet, and phones. Use room darkening shades and earplugs, as well as white noise to create a dark, quiet environment. Turn the thermostat down—you’ll sleep better in a cool room.
- Limit daytime sleeping. Long naps will disrupt your sleep. Limit naps to 30 minutes, if you need one.
- Get some exercise and fresh air every day.
- Pillows, pillows, pillows. Find what works for you. Most pregnant people find comfort with a variety of pillows around their sleeping body. Try a wedge pillow for your belly or a full body pillow for more support.
Spinning Babies Activity of the Week
We introduced “Rest Smart” back in Week 9. Now it’s time to put it to use every night. Find the right pregnancy pillows for your comfort; don’t be shy. Some pregnant people have a collection of pillows of all sizes and configurations. The most important props in bed are pillows that support the upper leg, knee, and ankle when you are lying on your side. Many people also like a pillow tucked into the space near their lower back and a small wedge pillow under their growing belly. The belly pillow will become more important as your belly grows. Additionally, a pillow that you can hug will give you a comfortable resting place for your arms and hands. Here is an option for a full-body pillow.
Your Baby This Week
Baby now weighs around 10 ounces and measures about 6-7 inches long. Your baby is finally big enough for your midwife to hear their tiny heartbeat with a fetoscope. You may have been hearing it since about 11 or 12 weeks with the use of a doppler but to hear that tiny tapping with your ears through a fetoscope is pretty magical.
You This Week
If you haven’t felt the first kicks and nudges of your baby, you soon will. Your baby is growing rapidly and so are you. You may start to notice toning surges or Braxton Hicks contractions, but don’t worry if you don’t. Not all pregnant people feel them or feel them yet. Other changes you may notice are the Linea Nigra—this is a darkening of the skin between the pubis and the navel. It’s caused by hormones and will lighten after the birth.
Affirmations are short, powerful statements that can affect your conscious thoughts. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and slowly, and repeat the following to yourself throughout the next week:
“Deep, uninterrupted sleep is my goal. Deep, restful sleep is my wish”