Solving Sleep Snags

You've probably heard all of the talk about losing sleep after the baby is born. But, what many mothers will tell you is that the sleepless nights begin well before then. Tricia O'Brien, features editor for American Baby Magazine gives pregnant women advice on how to get more sleep.

When your belly is growing and you find it tough to get comfortable try different positions. Extra pillows can also help. While on your side, tuck one between your knees. It will align your legs and spine. Full size body pillows are also helpful to support your abdomen and reduce strain on your muscles.

A big change is coming. So when you start to get looming anxiety about motherhood and start to loose sleep write a "mom to be" to do list. Write a list of everything that needs to be done. Delegate what you can and work on the rest. Before you go to sleep every night, give yourself 45 minutes to wind down. Prenatal yoga can also help.

The larger your baby becomes, the less room you'll have for organs like your bladder and lungs. This means more bathroom trips and restricted breathing. Be sure to stay hydrated, but avoid liquids about three hours before you go to sleep. If you do need to run to the bathroom at night, use a night-light. Exposure to even a few seconds of bright light can make it more difficult to get back to sleep. If you are short of breath while lying down, prop yourself up in a semi sitting position to alleviate pressure on your lungs.

In pregnancy your schedule is completely different. You may exercise less vigorously and the excitement and anticipation keeps your brain jumping. Fit exercise into your day and take cat naps. Remember consistency is key.

For more information on getting sleep while you're pregnant and other parenting tips, click here.

Tricia O'Brien & Erika Wortham