Alanis Morissette Gets Ready to Rock Her Baby
The music star reveals how pregnancy has helped her learn to slow down, eat up, and look at her body in a whole different way.
Third Trimester Insomnia
Getting enough sleep, however, is still a problem for Morissette, who has battled bouts of insomnia in the past. Ironically, just as the singer announces she's finally able to slow down, her body has kicked into full, third-trimester throttle.
She retires early -- a rarity before -- and maintains a regular bedtime. Plus, she eats some fruit and protein an hour or so before bed, which has been shown to aid sleep. Despite these efforts, she is still regularly up in the middle of the night with surges of wakeful energy.
Brown explains: "Pregnancy is a prelude for parenthood. Insomnia at the end of the pregnancy is really common and may actually serve as a segue to having your newborn home with you."
Having a newborn at home means trading eight hours of uninterrupted zzzs for round-the-clock feedings, diaper changes, crying fits, and lullabies, as most mothers well know. According to Jodi Mindell, PhD, associate director of the Sleep Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and author of Sleeping Through the Night: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night's Sleep, "Recent studies show that mothers of young children lose as much as 120 hours of sleep each year. Sleep deprivation [among parents] is a universal problem."
Still, Morissette isn't losing too much sleep over the issue. She's "surrendered," a term she uses again and again during her conversation with WebMD, to the experience of tiredness. Just as she's given in to what's coming next: labor and delivery.
Home Birth Plan
"Our intention is to do a natural birth at home," she says. "But I 'get' that the baby has his own intentions. I have an amazing midwife, and I'm using a doula. But we have a backup plan: I've called all the doctors and we'll be ready if something should happen."
Smart, says Mindell, who comments: "Women who are at low risk -- meaning they're healthy before they become pregnant, are pregnant with one baby, it's a full-term delivery, and the baby is head-down [a vertex birth] -- these are the women who can have a wonderful, safe delivery at home."
Mindell warns that women who fall into other categories should not risk a home birth. "When emergencies happen, it is an emergency -- and a baby needs care quickly: oxygen, respirators. If you're determined to deliver at home, have emergency transportation lined up. Find out ahead of time if your hospital has an OB on staff, and ask to meet that person -- before the delivery. And remember, the goal is healthy mom, healthy baby. No matter how you bring your child into the world, you're a hero."
Morissette, beaming even as she talks of having a "low threshold for pain" and being nervous about how she'll tolerate her upcoming labor, agrees. At the end of the day, she's just thrilled to add a new note to her singer/composer/actor/author oeuvre: being a mom.