Published Jun 4, 2005
Hello Everyone. I have a question about night shift and pregnancy. I have been doing nights for about three years now. My husband and I are going to start trying to get pregnant and I am worried about the amount of sleep that I may get. Currently I take benadryl to sleep (which I stopped now that I am trying to get pregnant). Everything that I have looked up says not to take benadryl, melatonin, etc...so I won't. However, I was wondering what you do to have a restful sleep. Any tricks other than the typical fan, dark room, etc (which I already do)? Normally I don't consider myself to have a problem switching back and forth and typically sleep pretty well but do have a bit more trouble without the benadryl (I used to only take 15-25 mg). I am starting a split shift so thankfully I will only be working four nights every two weeks. Any suggestions or experiences with sleep and pregnancy or just working nights and pregnancy are appreciated!! TIA...
LeahJet, ASN, RN
I am 29 weeks pregnant and working night shift right now. I have been doing night shift for the majority of the 10 years I've been a nurse and I have to say that sometimes I still feel groggy without the whole pregnancy issue. With the pregnancy factor added in...yes, it is rough sometimes. But I think it would be rough no matter what shift you worked. Pregnancy hormones combined with the discomfort make sleep kind of difficult no matter when you try to do it. I am just at that "getting uncomfortable" stage where you have to sleep with many pillows and just turning over in bed is a huge ordeal.....add in sore hips and trips to the bathroom. But on the up side, my co-workers have been great. They won't let me lift and I get to go to triage most of the time (less physical stress but more psychological) I wear a belly/back support maternity belt and that helps. To be honest, it's not easy sometimes.... there is a huge difference in working 8 hours vs. 12 hours. I may go down to 8 hr. shifts the farther along I get.
But really, I don't think the day/night shift thing is much of a factor if you are used to working nights anyway.
Sorry I wasn't much help...just giving you my personal experience... :)
Zambezi-ask your practitioner about cammomile tea and Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer Tea-they are both helpful in sleeping; pluw wih just working four nights in two weeks, you may be able to get into a pattern. I always relied on cammomile tea, a relaxing shower and QUIET to fall alseep while pregnant and doing night shifts. Also, as your pregnancy progresses-when you get there-you will likely be so tired that not being able to sleep won't be much of an issue! Blessings and Peace-dawn
Ok, I'm not pregnant, but when I do have to work nights (which is rare) my DH bought some of those foil backed boards from Lowe's (I think they are sometimes used for insulation between the house and bricks) and cut them to size for our windows. I place those when I get home and they darken the room so that with the ceiling fan going I can sleep. I hope that this helps.
I've read more than once that statistically, working nightshift has a negative effect on pregnancy outcomes. The infomation is widely available online. Here is a sample:
i worked with a nurse on nightshift who was pregnant and she did fine. her only complaint was lack of sleep after baby was born. i can say i had that problem as well when i worked nights after my daughter was born, but doesn't most new parents have that problem? as long as you continue with the dark room and fan i doubt you'll have any problem with sleep. during your first trimester you will be tired most of the time anyhow. once you progress sleep will become uncomfortable because of your growing stomach and all. ask your husband to rub your back to help you relax, besides it's your turn to be pampered since you'll be carrying the baby for 9 months!
austin heart, BSN, RN
Can't help you with the night shift end, I finally have a day position. But I did work night shift for several years and continue to have to take benadryl to sleep. I delivered my son in Febuary and I was able to take the benadryl (75mg) the entire time I was TTC and then through the entire pregnancy. It is a catagory B and is now OK to take per most OBs.
Awesome information here about how to get some zzz's while preggo while working nights. Would love to pick your brains on preggo and working nights.
I'm going on 12-hr nights in a few weeks and my DH and I are planning our first pregnancy. We're giving ourselves some extra time as I think my bio clock may get pretty screwy from the whole night shift thing... Did anyone had a harder time getting preg?
Once I do get preggo though, any tips on how to fight the fatigue while on nights? Also, is it better to do 3 nights in a row or 2 on/2off?
Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated!
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