Changes in eating and sleeping
Here are some things a woman can try to make herself more comfortable:
• Keep her stomach less full by eating smaller
meals more often and by eating foods and
drinking liquids separately.
• Avoid eating spicy or greasy foods, drinking
coffee, or smoking cigarettes — all of which can
irritate the stomach.
As the baby
• Regularly eat papaya or pineapple, which have
enzymes that help the stomach digest food.
• Keep her head higher than her stomach when
lying down or sleeping. This will keep her
stomach acids in her belly and out of her chest.
• Calm the acids in the stomach by drinking milk or taking a low-salt antacid
that contains no aspirin. (Antacids are not dangerous but they cost money
and they make it harder for the body to use nutrients from food. Try other
methods before using antacids.)
Some pregnant women feel sleepy much of the day. This is most
common during the first 3 months.
It is normal for pregnant women to feel sleepy. Their bodies
are telling them to slow down and rest. But if a woman also feels
weak, she may have other problems, like a sickness, depression
(see page 274), or anemia (see page 116).
If a woman cannot sleep because she is uncomfortable or restless, it may help if:
• she lies on her side with something
comfortable between her knees and at
her lower back. She can use a pillow, a
rolled-up blanket, banana leaves, or
some other padding.
• someone gives her a massage.
• she drinks herbal teas that help her sleep.
Fighting, worry, and unhappiness in a woman’s house or family can make it
difficult for her to sleep. If possible, a family should avoid arguing before going
A Book for Midwives (2010)