PLEASE NOTE: This blog post was written by a guest blogger, Heidi Hayes who is the Executive Vice President of California Cryobank's Donor Egg Bank
Becoming a mom is life-changing in so many wonderful ways, but it isn’t without its challenges. From pregnancy to nurturing a newborn, sleep deprivation, anxiety, and fluctuating hormones can have a detrimental impact on your well-being.
Add the emotional rollercoaster of IVF treatment into the mix and it’s clear there’s a lot for you to deal with. That’s why we aim to help you achieve the restful nights you deserve when you’ve chosen egg donation as your path.
Easing Anxiety So You Can Sleep During Donor Egg IVF
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face while going through donor egg IVF is the anxiety experienced with each new stage.
At first, there’s the overwhelming decision of choosing a donor. Then there’s the anxious wait as you take medication leading up to the all-important “transfer day.”
Finally, once your precious embryo(s) are implanted in your womb, you endure the longest two weeks of your life. All you can do is anticipate your pregnancy test to see if everything worked as it should.
In order to achieve the perfect night’s sleep, you need to switch off your mind, relax, and de-stress.
Easier said than done, right?
Here are a few handy tips that’ll help you overcome those restless thoughts at bedtime:
· Write down your worries: One of the worst things you can do when you’re anxious about something is try to push it to the back of your mind. It’ll only lurk there until you try to go to sleep before coming back to plague you for the rest of the night. Before you go to bed, write down what’s worrying you and why. Don’t hold back. This process helps you purge thoughts from your head so your mind feels calmer and lighter.
· Don’t just lie there: While you do need to lie in bed to go to sleep, there’s no point doing this if your mind’s racing – it’s only going to make things worse. So get up and do something that’ll engage your mind. Read, do a crossword, have a cup of tea, do some yoga, or listen to some light music. Just don’t start looking at your phone, computer, or TV. This should help you switch off and start to feel sleepy again.
· Adjust your bedtime: If you’re really struggling to sleep every night, it may be time to go to bed later. While you may be going to bed at “bedtime,” your body isn’t ready to switch off at that time. By keeping your mind occupied a little longer (doing one of the aforementioned tasks, perhaps), you should be ready for bed even if it’s a little later.
Switching Off Your Thoughts and Getting Comfortable at Night During Pregnancy
You’re finally pregnant - congratulations! You can now focus on something you’ve dreamed of for so long – creating your perfect family. You can switch off those anxious thoughts of “Is that donor right for us?” “Has it worked?” “Will everything be OK with my pregnancy?”
But then other doubts may creep in. Will I feel a bond with my baby? Do I tell my baby about his or her donor? What if there are complications with the pregnancy?
While you may have gotten rid of one set of anxieties, another - perhaps even bigger - pile has replaced them. You’ll need to use many of the same techniques you mastered during your IVF treatment throughout your pregnancy. This helps you keep any anxiety-related sleep problems in check. However, you may also experience a few new sleep-interrupting issues during your pregnancy, including aches and pains. If so, try the following:
· Get the right sleeping position: The American Pregnancy Associationrecommends sleeping on your side (left is best) when pregnant to help ease backaches. Propping yourself up with more pillows also helps reduce heartburn and shortness of breath during later stages of pregnancy.
· Avoid late-night snacks: While you’re “eating for two,” late night snacks can wreak havoc with heartburn. Avoid eating anything two hours before bed.
· Don’t nap for too long: If you’re tired during the day, try limiting naps to 30 minutes maximum so you’re still tired at night. You can take more than one of these a day, though!
· Keep it cool: Your body temperature is higher during pregnancy, so try keeping your bedroom a little cooler than normal. Set the thermostat a couple of degrees lower than usual.
Getting a Restful Night's Sleep after your Baby is Born
Over the last nine months or so, you’ve become a pro at switching off your mind, relaxing your body, and letting sleep take over… but now there’s a crying baby to contend with.
How are you going to grab those precious few moments of sleep now? That’s where Desiree Baird can help! As a certified pediatric sleep consultant, she can help you implement healthy sleep habits for your baby that’ll last for many years to come. By helping your baby become an amazing sleeper, you’ll get what many new parents lack but so desperately need – sleep!
Enjoying the Perfect Night’s Sleep
Whether you’re just entering the first stages of your donor egg treatment or about to welcome your baby into the world, we hope the above tips give you everything you need for a peaceful, restful, and restoring night’s sleep. Sweet dreams!