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The value of sleep during pregnancy

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Poor quality sleep is damaging to your wellbeing at any time, but especially during pregnancy. This phase in a woman’s life comes with a myriad of physical and emotional changes, and these can disrupt sleep and contribute to complications during pregnancy. Good quality sleep is vital, not just for your physical health and the development of your baby, but also for your mental health. 

Why is sleep so important in pregnancy?

Quality sleep is important for mother and baby, and while the occasional sleepless night is an inconvenience, regularly missing out on quality sleep can lead to fatigue and a host of other problems; from changes in your appetite, to memory loss, mood swings and trouble with decision making, all of which are essential when you’re preparing to bring a baby into your life. Chronic sleep deprivation can also lead to issues with your immune system, impacting both you and your baby’s health and leaving you vulnerable to illness. 

Continual sleep issues take their toll on blood sugar regulation, increasing the risk of gestational diabetes, and can also lead to pregnant women developing high blood pressure later on in their pregnancy. But in addition to the physical side effects of poor sleep, it can also be a risk factor for depression and even sleep problems for the child once they’re born. 

Common issues affecting sleep during pregnancy

There are many side effects and pregnancy symptoms that can affect your sleep; from obstructive sleep apnea brought on by weight gain and nasal congestion, to restless leg syndrome which makes it difficult to fall asleep, and acid reflux which affects as many as half of all pregnant women in the third trimester. But there are also issues such as vomiting and nausea, shortness of breath, breast tenderness, higher body temperature and leg cramps which can all impact the quality of rest you get at night. And, as the baby grows, expectant mothers will likely find it harder to find a comfortable sleeping position. 

How to improve your sleep

If you’re struggling to get to sleep at night, there are ways to adjust your sleep hygiene habits to improve your quality of rest and reduce the risk of pregnancy-related sleep disorders. 

  • Try relaxing treatments to ease stress

Stress is a common cause of sleep disorders, making it hard to unwind and increasing the risk of disrupted sleep throughout the night. When you’re pregnant, your stress levels are likely to be high as you try to get everything organised ready for your new arrival, so finding ways to reduce stress is not only better for your mental health and your baby’s health, but also for your sleep routine. 

Prenatal yoga, for example, relaxes tight muscles and soothes the mind, so it can be a great activity to indulge in for ten minutes before bed. Similarly, regular osteopathy sessions can be used as a stress reliever to reduce tension in the muscles, rebalance the fight or flight response and ease side effects caused by stress such as high blood pressure, shortness of breath and headaches. 

  • Improve sleep hygiene 

Sleep hygiene is even more important during pregnancy than at other stages of your life, so create an environment that’s conducive to quality sleep. That might mean investing in specialised pillows designed for pregnancy to support your body as you sleep, wearing eye masks to block out light so you can drift off quicker and reducing the temperature of your bedroom slightly, as this has been shown to help us sleep more soundly. Make sure you avoid spicy or salty foods before bed, which can cause acid reflux, and try to wind down slowly around an hour before bed by reading a book, taking a bath or listening to calming music. 

  • Meditate and journal

Often, when we can’t sleep, it’s because we’re overthinking and our minds can’t switch off long enough to rest. During pregnancy, this is naturally more likely because you’ll be anxious about preparing for the birth, thinking about what needs to be sorted before your baby arrives and hundreds of other thoughts. 

Meditation and journaling before bed, even if just for five minutes, can make all the difference because it gives you the opportunity to get those thoughts out on paper and empty your mind, so you can truly relax when your head hits the pillow. Apps like Headspace and Calm are easy ways to integrate a few moments of quiet into your nighttime routine to help you unwind. 

Pregnancy and your mental health 

Understandably, pregnancy can impact your mental health in a number of ways, from worrying about what lies ahead, to the birth itself and caring for a new baby. You may find the pregnancy journey exhausting and have difficulty with the changes it will have on your body image. The hormonal shifts can also leave you with feelings of sadness and anxiety.

When you’re struggling with your mental health, talking to someone can really help offload those worries and put your mind at ease. If left unchecked, these feelings can develop into something more serious such as perinatal depression or anxiety disorder

Whether that’s talking to a trusted friend, your partner or your GP, it’s good to let people know when you need support so they can help you in the most effective way. Managing your pregnancy and your mental health with the support of your health provider is the best way to ensure a healthy, safe and happy pregnancy.

Customer Feedback

  • Rachel Wright ★★★★★
    We came to the clinic on NYE and the process was so smooth. Quick questionnaire then on time for the appointment.
    We didn’t want to know the gender and the girls were amazing with it!
    The scan was so clear and it was such a lovely experience
    … More being in the room and seeing our baby.
    We took our own gender reveal idea with us that the girls very kindly filled for us and popped in a black bag so we couldn’t see until we did the gender reveal.
    Amazing prices. Amazing staff. Amazing clinic and the most special end to our 2023.
    We're having a wonderful baby boy! Thank you so much 🩵💙🤍
  • Heidi Brown ★★★★★
    I’ve been to Hello Baby 3 times in my pregnancy and each time has been amazing . The staff are literally the nicest people . I went to another scan place early on in my pregnancy and it was awful and was recommended after that to here . … More The place is spotless and always smells lovely inside when you walk in . Nothing is too much trouble.
    The interior is lovely too and you can always tell real effort goes into making everyone feel welcome and happy 💗 can’t wait till my baby girl is here and I can bring her in to meet you all 💗
  • Laura Mac ★★★★★
    Went to hello baby for a early reassurance/dating scan at 8 weeks, very professional lovely friendly staff..
    Returned today at 19+4 weeks for our gender scan, had the same lady scan us, put my mind at ease so much would highly recommend
    … More 💙💙
  • Sophie Fraser ★★★★★
    Ive been to Hello Baby for both my children! For my little boy a gender scan and a 4d scan and this pregnancy we have been for a dating scan and for a gender scan finding out we are having a little girl! Without fail the staff welcomed … More us with open arms! Katie was amazing! Shes so reassurring at a time when nerves are high! Very thorough and I can’t wait to be back!
    I cannot thank all of you for the most wonderful experience during every visit! 💙💗
  • Amy Cookson ★★★★★
    What a lovely service. The 2 ladies couldn't have been more helpful. I have been here for scans with my twins, my little boy and then returned to have a scan to confirm my miscarriage. We didn't get much support from the hospital … More and hello baby rang me a week after to ask if I needed any advice, support and were just overall lovely. I'm returning Saturday for a gender scan for our rainbow baby.
    Such a lovely welcoming service with staff that really do care and treat you like friends x
  • Rebecca TOPPING ★★★★★
    I've been to Hello Baby a number of times throughout two pregnancies. Every time we have visited we've had a lovely experience. The first we visited was over 3 years ago when I was pregnant with my son. Ive been again more recently … More to see my second baby.
    The girls in there are lovely and super helpful! Will definitely be back again for future scans x
  • Kieran Thomas ★★★★★
    We met the girls at hello baby when we reached just 6 weeks. We’ve had 4 scans with them so far and each one has been the perfect experience.
    The girls are incredibly welcoming, reassuring and make you feel at ease on every visit.
    We can’t
    … More thank them enough for the moments and memories they’ve given us, getting to see our little one grow, to finding out the gender.
    We’ll most definitely be back for a 4D scan later on in our pregnancy. Thank you ! X
  • Kayt Haxby ★★★★★
    Honestly had the BEST experience at Hello Baby.
    We had a rocky start to our pregnancy so we have been to hello baby 3 times now just so we can feel reassured and one of which was for our gender scan. We have been made to feel welcome and
    … More comfortable every single time, but today has outdone the previous experiences by far. And they were already hard to beat.
    The lady who scanned my wife spent extra time with us, no rushing, evening helped get our baby moving around so we could see him better. She gave us a plenty time, and then even went the extra mile and gave us a tiny glimpse of him in 4D.
    We cannot recommend them enough. Friendly staff, great atmosphere and all round GREAT experience! Deffo worth going! 🥰🥰
  • Harriet Wall ★★★★★
    Had our gender scan today and took the kids so they could be part of it. We travelled quite far for the scan and was well worth it! Really welcoming staff and excellent service at the scan. Scan was really clear and we could clearly see … More he was a boy 💙💙 would definitely recommend.
  • And ★★★★★
    Loved our experience at Hello Baby 😃 been here twice ... once in 2018, and again in February 2021. I wanted the gender of my baby kept a surprise as we wanted a gender reveal cannon, and they did not disappoint or give anything away! Staff … More are very friendly and polite. Thank you so much again! Would recommend 5***
  • Merf.Wendy Price ★★★★★
    I came here for a private scan because I was not sure how far gone I was. I got a shock to realise I was already half way through pregnancy and I was having a boy. Came here again for a bonding scan and got some lovely photos. The staff … More were really friendly and I enjoyed the experience. Would definitely recommend xxx
  • Kayla H ★★★★★
    Lovely experience for our first scan! We went for an early reassurance scan and that’s exactly what we got. We turned up at the wrong time but they still fitted us in there and then no waiting around. Would recommend to others in the future … More
  • Jane Jones ★★★★★
    Amazing Experience
    I came to Hello Baby with my daughter for an Early and Bonding Scan, unfortunately they was closed for the gender due to lockdown.
    We had the best experience on both occasions, the receptionist was lovely and friendly
    … More and Katie was fantastic and very professional with what she does.
    On my daughters 1st scan she was too early to detect a heart beat so Katie very kindly offered us to come back the following week for a re scan. It was emotional to hear Katie offering her congratulations the following week and we got the best pictures you can get at such a early date.
    The bonding scan, Katie tried her best and wasn’t going to give up as the baby was in the wrong position, we was told to go for a walk and for my daughter to drink a lucozade.
    Upon our return, the baby had moved position and Katie again got us some amazing images.
    Everybody we met at Hello Baby was warm, welcoming and friendly, nothing was to much trouble and wasn’t rushed.
    We was asked on each occasion if we was happy with the scan pictures before buying them.
    Would definitely recommend and wouldn’t go any where else.
    Thank you Katie and team 💕
  • Annie Kay ★★★★★
    Visited with my Daughter and Son in law. Had the most fantastic experience and loved seeing my little Grandson on screen. Kate was brilliant and everyone made us feel so welcome. Highly recommended.
  • Charlotte Hewitt ★★★★★
    19 week gender scan so professional, nicola on reception was very helpful getting me booked in and arranging my gender reveal heart beat bear. Katie scanned me and told me an my partner when to look away and gave us lots of good views of … More our baby on the screen. I will definitely be booking 3d poss 4d scan in a few weeks. Thanks girls xx
  • J R ★★★★★
    My daughter suprised me with a 4D scan of my first grandchild.
    We were able to see a lovely image of my new granddaughter.
    The staff made our visit so special.
    Super friendly with a personal touch.
    Very memorable.
    Thankyou girls ♥️x
  • Ian Cousins ★★★★★
    What can I say! Katie made our day magical from the moment we walked in. Her care and enthusiasm for our gender reveal was amazing.
    Our little boy wouldn't move but Katie expertly got him in position to achieve some amazing pictures
    … More and footage of him. Thank you all at hello baby!
  • Henna Hussain ★★★★★
    David is amazing! By far the funniest, genuine and caring man I have ever come across. Thank you for the warm hospitality and advice. I will definitely be coming here for my scans in the very near future!
  • Lucy Owen ★★★★★
    I went today for my gender scan. I would highly recommend hello baby. Both ladies who was on shift was kind, friendly and welcoming. I felt comfortable during my scan, the lady was patient and reassuring throughout. Thanks for a nice experience … More and I look forward to seeing you again later in pregnancy 😊 ♥

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