Need Support from Mom's Who Have Experienced Anxiety and Insomnia While Pregnant

Updated on March 06, 2012
M.R. asks from Mandeville, LA
6 answers

I am 27 weeks pregnant with my second and have been dealing with anxiety and not being able to go to sleep. I mostly experience the anxiety when I cannot get to sleep. There have been many nights where I may not fall asleep until 3 and 4 in the morning and a couple of nights where I did not go to sleep at all and then I am so tired and anxious that day and following night, it is hard to relax because I start to worry if I will have another bad night. I may go several nights with good sleep and then the vicious cycle of not sleeping starts. I have Rhematoid Arthritis and have flare ups at time along with back pain that doesn't help the situation. I also work full time so when I have nights of not getting to sleep, it makes me even more anxious because I start worrying about work, etc. My OB Dr. has told me it is safe to take Benedryl or Tylenol PM but I do not like taking medicine and it may sound silly but knowing that I am taking something that will make me feel drowsy makes me anxious - mostly because I just don't like anything that makes me feel unlike my self. I have suffered with worry and anxiety before pregnancy and took a very small amount of xanax but of course I cannot take that now. I try to walk for at least 10 or more minutes after work in the evenings to clear my mind and take warm baths at night. My husband does his best to talk to me to help me relax when I get really anxious and can't sleep, but sometimes that still doesn't help. I would appreciate any suggestions or just being able to talk with women who have experienced the same is comforting. I Thank You for taking the time to read my post and answer if you have been in my shoes, it really means more than you know. I know June 4th (my due date) will be here before I know it but it can sometimes feel like that will take forever:)

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So What Happened?

I just checked in to my post to see if I had any responses and thank you all so much for your concerns and help!! It is late right now and my husband and daughter are fast asleep. I am tired but too anxious to let my body rest and go to sleep. I think I did too much today and waited too late to get into bed. Hopefully I can fall asleep soon without the anxiety. Just to give a little more background with my issue - I started seeing a Dr for my insomnia and anxiety about a year ago and she really helped me by giving me coping skills to better deal with it. She also prescribed me xanax to take which I got to where I didn't need it every night. I did great my first trimester and some of my second and then this started back about a month or two ago. I did have a lot of stress going on at work which I think kicked it in to high gear. Its is just a lonely feeling to be up at night and worrying about things you have no control over especially when pregnant so I Thank you again for the advice:)

More Answers



answers from Phoenix on

I had a lot of trouble with insomnia during my third trimester with my second. I felt like I just could not shut my brain off at night, it kept rambling on about anything from stress about the baby, delivery, how baby #1 would adjust, to silly things like where the missing pice to my son's puzzle was or what I would wear the next day. Here is my list, including suggestions that were given to me that didn't work/I didn't try, but may work for you!

- Bradley classes (they teach relaxation methods along with other things)
- Chiro
- Write down what you are thinking- getting it out on paper may get it out of your head for a bit
- Read until you can't keep your eyes open. Get your brain into some world/story/character other than your own worries
- Eat something high in protein right before bed- warm milk (if you put cocoa in it, it is still totally warm milk) and toast with peanut butter or cream cheese, yogurt, etc.
- Herbal options- chamomile and/or peppermint tea, Celestial Seasonings "Sleepytime" tea, lavendar aromatherapy
- Audiobook- especially if you were read stories as a kid, this can be very soothing with the right story and reader!
- Brain exercises- This is the same concept as counting sheep. I will give you two of mine. I run through the alphabet, starting with a new letter each time. Then I choose a topic. My favorites are baby names and travel locations. So I think to myself "T...I like Tabitha for a girl, maybe Tessa, Tiffany is out..." etc etc etc or "P...I would like to go back to Paris, but I haven't been to Peru..." Sounds silly, but you are focusing on a few different things, including your place in the alphabet, trying to think of different options, and evaluating those options. It occupies a lot of your conscious brain and helps let go of the nagging thoughts.

I hope one of these proves helpful for you. I remember how much I wanted a full night's sleep!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Shreveport on

I have been in your shoes and you are not along. A lot of women get nerves and anxiety around this time in pregnancy, you are doing alot of the things I did walking and the warm baths. One of the things I did was read until I fell asleep. A good sound machine with ocean sounds was good. Also the scent of lilac is a comfort. And June 4th will be here before you know it, good luck in your sleep.

Prayers and Happy sleeping,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Dear M.,

I'm so sorry you're going through this. It's none of my business and you certainly don't have to tell us, but it may be helpful for you to try to target the source of your anxiety. Journaling and talk therapy can be so great for this....either with a trusted friend (perhaps during a brisk walk when the endorphins have you calm) or professional therapist. As with most problems, treating symptoms is rarely effective because unless the root of the issue is dealt with, they can return.

I want to encourage you to be proactive about this now, because when the baby comes, you'll have a host of new things stressing you, including hormones and other physiological changes that can dramatically effect your mood and leave you vulnerable to personally damaging or neglectful impulses.

When I was pregnant (after a traumatic loss/stillbirth), I was wracked with worry to the point where I could have such violent crying spells that I would almost make myself sick. They were always right before I fell asleep - coming on out of nowhere. I'd cry it out and then pass out from the exertion. I remember being so worried that my baby would be harmed from the stress. I prayed over him constantly that he would be protected from my weakness and that he would be strong. He was and is.

So don't worry - your baby will be ok. But you need to help yourself and put some supports in place to protect yourself. We're happy to be one of them - there are such great mamas on here!

Best of luck to you. hugs.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lake Charles on

I dealt with this in my last pregnancy.. I have sjogren's syndrome (similar to RA in some ways) at the time I was pregnant I didn't know but it's known to cause severe insomnia.. my OB put me on Ambien and I had no issues, I didn't take it every night but he said it was safe up to 3 times a week.. I seriously wouldn't have been able to cope without it. I don't know what to say if you don't even want to take tylenol pm or benadryl, its the safest thing you can take.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

I don't know what to say-just God bless you-and feel better! I'm sure I'm worrying enough for the both of us-so you can stop!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I don't have problems with anxiety normally, but when I was pregnant I often had trouble sleeping or would wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to go back to sleep. So many times I would be almost asleep but then be instantly wide awake, heart pounding, and worrying about some minor issue. I never took anything for it, I would just pick up a book and read until I fell asleep or it was time to get up. Not very helpful, I know, but at least I got to read a lot. It will get better!

1 mom found this helpful
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