When it comes to pregnancy, everything about the mother’s health is crucial to the baby’s safe delivery. A commonly overlooked aspect of this is the number of rest hours or sleep she gets.
So the million-dollar question arises from this; “Is there a correlation between sleep quality and preterm birth?”
There’s a whole spectrum of causative factors that lead to preterm delivery but there seems to be a lot to understand about this phenomenon.
This article addresses the big question.
Here are some points that better answer the question:
Why Lack of Sleep Happens in Pregnancy
Because of the many hormonal and physiological changes that the body goes through during pregnancy, it is expected that sleep patterns are going to be affected. From research, women have reported experiencing various sleeping difficulties, especially around the third trimester.
There’s a whole host of health challenges related to the lack of sleep and now there are researched backed suggestions that it leads to birth challenges including preterm delivery, increased cesarean tendencies and lengthened the period of child labor. Sometimes it’s caused by an uncomfortable sleeping environment which can be easily solved by getting one of Casper’s leading competitor.
Implications of Preterm Delivery
In definition, preterm delivery is one that happens at least 3 weeks before the approximated due date for the baby. In extreme cases, it can happen around the 25th week of pregnancy. There may be plenty of myths associated with preterm birth, however, there’s also a lot of health implications it has on both mother and child. It is the major cause of birth challenges like brain activity impairment, respiratory diseases, and even infant mortality. Although these health challenges vary, they share few similarities.
In some instances, the baby will experience difficulties in feeding caused by the absence of reflexes for swallowing and sucking. Babies born prematurely are usually at risk of problems including temperature regulation challenges, problems related to metabolism, heart problems, and immune system challenges. Most of these concerns eventually subside with frequent treatment or early diagnosis.
There are some complications that may not be easily diagnosed and take effect in the long term. These include learning problems, eye defects, delayed tooth growth, and other dental related difficulties. Some experience chronic health challenges all their lives.
Relationship between Lack of Sleep and Preterm Delivery
Based on research, only a small percentage of pregnancies end up with the baby/babies being born prematurely. One strange thing about the lack of sleep reported by many women is that it’s a bigger pointer to the quality of sleep than the length of time although its still important to get at least 7 to 9 hours sleep according to many.
There have been established reasons to believe that the correlation between this perceived loss of sleep and preterm delivery is a little above average. What this means in layman terms is that the likelihood for women who experience poor sleep to be at risk for preterm birth. Lack of sleep during pregnancy causes some unwanted form of inflammation that can in turn trigger inflammations related to birth, even before their due time.
What’s the Best Way to Prevent Preterm Birth?
Women who have poor sleep, especially towards the end of the pregnancy, indicate an external source of stress. It can be financial or work-related.
Most times, it’s more complicated to just eliminate the source of the stress. Generally, you may want to improve your sleep conditions like get a much softer mattress and sleep with the lights off to help you rest more deeply. You may need to see your doctor if you’re experiencing poor sleep during this special period of your life. It is possible that the doctor may prescribe progesterone supplements to reduce the risk of having a preterm delivery. In some cases, a surgical procedure known as cervical cerclage may be undertaken to prevent preterm birth, especially in women with short cervices.