How Lack of Sleep Affects Your Body When Pregnant

Most of us associate sleepless nights with the early days of parenthood, but as moms we know that sleep issues can start long before you bring your baby home.

The change in hormones, the physical discomfort during pregnancy, the nausea, and other symptoms can make it almost impossible to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Your growing belly also makes it difficult to find a comfortable position, which is why a pregnancy sleep pillow is the way to go.

A pregnancy pillow conforms to your body and provides full-body support so that you can get a good night’s sleep.

These pillows come in various shapes and sizes, so it’s important to weigh the benefits of each unique form.

This ensures that you choose the best pregnancy pillow for you, based on your specific needs.

And a little input from experts and other moms who tested them out can help a lot.

The Effects of Lack of Sleep on Maternal Health 

Weakens the Immune System

When you are pregnant, your immune system undergoes changes to protect both you and your baby from infections.

Ordinarily tasked with repelling foreign invaders, your immune system must adapt during pregnancy to protect you and your new little one that your body will begin to recognize.

This adaptation involves the suppression of certain components of your immune system, rendering you more vulnerable to infections during this period.

Further, sleep studies found that poor sleep in pregnancy can disrupt the immune system, weakening it and making you more vulnerable to illnesses you may come in contact with.

Increases the Risk of Gestational Diabetes

Every year, 2% to 10% of pregnancies are affected by gestational diabetes, according to findings from the CDC.

The exact cause of gestational diabetes is still unknown, but we do know many of the risk factors.

Some factors such as a family history of diabetes, advanced age, and race cannot be changed.

However, other risk factors like poor sleep can be addressed.

A large-scale study found that pregnant women who sleep for less than 6.25 hours a night were almost three times as likely to have gestational diabetes compared to those who got adequate sleep. 

Can Take a Toll on Mental Health

It’s natural to feel protective towards your baby and to worry about their safety.

However, if you don’t get enough sleep, a lack of sleep can turn those normal worries into lingering anxieties.

And given the amount of stress that comes with pregnancy already, it’s important not to add to it.

Sleep helps us make sure we have enough mental rest to be able to calibrate accordingly.

The Effect of Lack of Sleep on Baby’s Health

Low Birth Weight

We require approximately 8 hours of sleep on a daily basis.

However, experts recommend that pregnant women aim for 9 to 10 hours of sleep.

One study found that babies born to women who sleep for 6 to 8 hours a night are more likely to have lower birth weights compared to women who sleep for 9 hours or more.

Poor Sleep during Childhood

There is a direct relationship between maternal sleep during pregnancy and their children’s sleep patterns.

One study found that when mothers had less sleep during pregnancy, their children exhibited poor sleep patterns during childhood.

This suggests that poor sleep during pregnancy can have a lasting impact on the child’s overall development. 

The duration of sleep over the course of your pregnancy is important for you and your baby, and it could even play a role in ensuring a smoother delivery.

If you are unable to get sufficient sleep, consult your doctor for ways to improve your sleep during pregnancy.

More pregnancy tips:

Note: This blog post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through these links, we may earn a small commission. Thank you for your understanding and support. Find out more about ads on our Disclosure page: All printable sales are final, due to the nature of digital products no refunds can be made.