It is no secret that sleep can be compromised during pregnancy. Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure to ensure 8+ hours of sleep for the surrogate each night, but if you are a surrogate actively carrying, we gathered some tips that may increase the quality—and quantity—of sleep.
Experiment With Different Positions
Whether first or third trimester, you should experiment with different sleep positions when aches and pains interfere with quality sleep.
Try flipping from left to right side during the night. Experts recommend sleeping on the left side to increase blood and nutrient flow to the baby, but that is not always a realistic option.
Try sleeping in an alternate location. Some women find a couch or certain chair properly match their physical needs during pregnancy.
Other women recommend a cache of pillows: behind the back to prop you up to an almost sitting position, placed under the hip to cushion the impact from the mattress, between the thighs to help align the spine, or all of the above to meet the body’s needs while carrying the child.
Try everything until you find that sweet spot that allows for some decent sleep.
Sleep When You Can
It is highly recommended that you establish a bedtime routine to help your body unwind and prepare for sleep. Recommendations include: avoiding stimuli (smartphones, books, etc.); keeping lights off or low; and reducing stress (take notes in the night when thoughts keep you from falling asleep).
Unfortunately, not all pregnancies allow for such an easy fix. More commonly, pregnant women will experience extreme exhaustion sometime in the afternoon (maybe at the end of a work day or after a trip to the grocery store), then restlessness throughout the night.
Take advantage of those moments. When your body slows down and feels ready to nap, do it. A solid thirty minutes to an hour will do your body good.
When sleep seems impossible during the night, get up for a while. Do some light chores or walk around the house. Unnatural as it seems to get up in the middle of the night, it may help the body relax enough to get back to sleep.
Walk around the halls, organize a pile of junk mail or fold some towels in the laundry basket. Just remember not to turn on any bright lights!
It is not uncommon to connect food cravings (even some of the debatable ones) to subconscious hunts for key nutrients the pregnant body needs. However, there are smarter eating choices you can make to improve your sleep as a surrogate.
First, try not to eat too late. You should attempt to eat smaller meals, more often throughout the day versus three full meals.
Indigestion during pregnancy can be brutal and can keep a surrogate from getting a good night’s sleep. Pay attention to foods ingested and any that might increase the chance of indigestion.
No Water Before Bed
Staying hydrated is critical when pregnant, but too much water close to bedtime can result in several bathroom trips during the night. Try not to drink any fluids 2-3 hours before bedtime.