What Are The Best Sleeping Positions For Pregnant Women?
Sleeping while pregnant is a different experience. To keep your baby safe and enjoy a relaxing sleep, there are sleeping positions you have to apply.
It can be difficult to find a good and especially safe sleeping position when you're heavily pregnant. You may have enjoyed your sleep during your first trimester, but your third trimester may have something completely different for you. There are sleeping positions for pregnant women which would help you sleep better at night and keep your baby safe.
As your belly grows and hormonal changes kick in, it can be near impossible to find a sleeping position that works or even find sleep itself. Hormonal changes can trigger insomnia, plus other problems like heartburn, back pain, shortness of breath might all become recurrent.
According to Christy LeBlanc, a Calgary-based midwife, “If you’re having a difficult time sleeping, I recommend journaling to help get your thoughts out,” she says. “And reading something boring—like a phone book—can help distract your mind and put you back to sleep.”
LeBlanc also recommends a daily 30-minute walk, or another form of light exercise, like prenatal yoga for stress relief and improved circulation. Massage or chiropractic treatments can also help.
What are the best sleeping positions for pregnant women?
Here's something for you to learn about safely sleeping while carrying your baby, and a few more tips down the line.
Sleeping on your side
This sleeping position is also known as SOS. The SOS is the best way to sleep during your second and third trimester, preferably on your left side. This allows for better blood flow for you and the growing fetus. Sleeping on your left side will help pump more nutrients and blood to your placenta and your baby. Also, this position keeps the uterus off the liver, which is on your abdomen’s right side. Keep your knees and legs bent. This keeps your heart from overworking.
Which sleeping positions should pregnant women avoid?
While pregnant, the following sleeping positions are neither good for you nor your baby.
Sleeping on your back
As you gain more girth and your breasts grow tender, sleeping on your belly becomes too uncomfortable. So you will need to avoid this position as long as you remain pregnant. This is because the weight of your uterus presses on your spine in that position, which can affect blood flow to your baby.
Additionally, sleeping on your back can cause other problems:
- Haemorrhoids, muscle aches, and swelling.
- Your blood pressure can drop (climb) and this can make you dizzy, especially when you try to sit or stand up.
Sleeping on your belly
You can sleep on your belly while pregnant, but when your belly grows into a balloon, you have to stop for obvious reasons.
What happens if I wake up on my back?
Don't panic should you wake up on your back in the middle of the night. There's a mechanism to it.
If you unintentionally flip at night to a back sleeping position, your body knows to get dizzy and nauseous before the little one gets in any real danger of not getting enough oxygen. And your body will flip over even if you're asleep. This happens before your body is heavy enough to compress a vein.
Tips on getting comfortable while sleeping
Many pregnant women are not used to sleeping on their sides. Over the years most people cultivate the habit of sleeping in a particular position that is not on their sides. Here are a few tips on how to get comfortable.
- Use pillows: Cross your legs and put a pillow in between them. You can also have one behind your back. Or just try a few combinations of your own and find a position that works for you.
- Special pillow: You can purchase a special pillow to give you that much-needed comfort. The usually wedged-shaped, known as the pregnancy pillow.
- Try a recliner: If you have a recliner try sleeping on it and see how it goes. A recliner helps you stay propped up in your sleep.
- For shortness of breath: Sleep on your side and place a pillow where one of your arms rest. This will raise your chest.
You may have tried the aforementioned sleeping position and yet you wake up every morning with aches all over. A harder mattress may be what you need. A hard mattress supports the torso and limbs, helping you master your new sleeping position.
Read also: Leg cramps during pregnancy while sleeping