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Practical Advice, Suzanne Graham

Rest and Sleep During the First Trimester

SGBy Suzanne Graham

When I was pregnant with our first child I was working as a commission sales person for a radio station. I would schedule my morning appointments close to home so I could sleep late except for the mornings we had sales meetings. If I was wiped out in the afternoon, I would go home and take a nap. I was not cheating my employer because I continued to meet my sales quota. I was, however, able to listen to my body, and in the first trimester my body wanted lots of rest.

Before the end of the first trimester, my Honorable Husband said I could quit my job if I wanted to. We had saved enough money to pay for the baby. I was planning to be an at home Mom. If I continued working there would be extra expenses of a professional maternity wardrobe. I had a head full of ideas for making all of the nursery decorations. I thought about his offer for a minute or two and said, “Yes!”

Between high doses of Vitamin B6 and lots of sleep, I didn’t have morning sickness, just occasionally a queasy feeling.

DD did not have that luxury in her first trimester. She works in advertising and marketing. She must be at work on time. She has a one hour commute from home to office. This meant she got up early – about 5:30 and got home late – about 7:00. There was no way she could get eight hours of sleep, much less the amount of sleep that BC wanted.

One day I got a text that said, “I cannot get enough sleep. All I want to do is curl up and sleep for the next 2-3 months.” On Saturday afternoon I got another text: “Sleeping until 11 makes us feel so good.”

She came up with several creative ideas that let her get a little extra rest. Some mornings she would leave for work extra early to avoid the traffic. Then she would sleep in her car until time for work. Her office has a fitness center for employees. Every day at lunch she would curl up on the mats and sleep for an hour. Often in the afternoon, she would go to sleep on the mats giving the traffic time to thin out. It meant she got home late, but she spent less time sitting in the car and got extra sleep.

Friends warned her about sleeping on either her stomach or her back. Those, of course are her favorite sleep positions. Last week I got this text: “I have a new pregnancy problem. Sleeping on my sides is making my hips, knees, shoulders, and elbows hurt. Not my joints, but pressure points on my skin. I tried pillows. No luck.”

The next day she said, “I went to sleep sitting up. At some point in the night I went to my side. It was better, but now my neck hurts.” Obviously sitting up was not going to solve the problem.

HH and I went to see her last weekend. We took an egg crate from our camping equipment. That worked great on the pressure points. No more sore spots in the mornings. I showed her how to put pillows behind her back when she was on her side. She can lean back on them so that she is technically on her side, but she feels support on her back. That seemed to help as well.

Now that she has entered the second trimester, she isn’t as tired. In fact I would say that last weekend she was a little hyper. It was good to see all of her energy.

Modern women certainly have many advantages in terms of opportunity, creativity, and income. Our grandmothers and great grandmothers worked from home. They contributed to family economics in many ways, but rarely got recognition. The advantage they had was being able to listen to their bodies and accommodate their unborn baby’s need for rest.


Suzanne Graham is a type O married to a type A husband. Our type O son is in grad school as a first year physical therapy student. Our type A daughter just graduated from high school and is getting ready to go off to college. Each of us has different diet and health issues. One of the most popular bloggers on www.dadamo.com, Suzanne's blog can be read here.


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