Sleep Snag: Anxiety About Motherhood
"Expectant moms have a lot on their mind," Dr. Ash says. "A big change is coming, and worries about how you'll handle it can keep you up at night."
The more to-dos you've taken care of, the more in control and calm you'll be. Write down every task, delegate what you can, then tackle one or two items a day. Once the nursery is stocked, meals are in the freezer, and the hospital route is mapped, you'll begin to relax. "Just taking action will help you mellow out," says Tammy Gold, a therapist and parenting coach at Gold Coaching, in Short Hills, New Jersey.
Furthermore, give yourself 45 minutes to decompress before you lie down, Dr. Harris says. As bedtime nears, dim the lights, soak in a bath, or have your partner give you a foot massage; your body will ease into its sleep cycle, increasing the odds that you'll fall asleep faster. Prenatal yoga can also help. According to a recent study from San Jose State University, in California, women who took up yoga in their second trimester woke up less often and got better-quality sleep.
Yes, all this might seem like a lot of effort, but you don't want to be anxiously staring at the ceiling at midnight -- there will be plenty of time for that when your baby becomes a teenager and you're waiting for her to come home.
Originally published in the December 2011 issue of Parents magazine.
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