Pregnancy is a wonderful yet exhausting time. It is the time you need the most rest. It is a time you are excited but nervous, and your body undergoes so many changes. A good night’s sleep is more necessary at this point than it ever was, and, like people are ready to point out, it is the most sleep you will be getting in a long time.
However, finding the perfect sleeping position, with a growing baby bump, is difficult, to say the least. There are so many questions that bother you about the safety of your baby, blood supply, pressure, and so on.
Here is what you need to know to sleep comfortably, from your first trimester to the time of delivery.
Sleeping positions during pregnancy
There are very few people who sleep in a certain position and hold that same position throughout the night. Tossing and turning, or even straying to another side of the bed is a given, when asleep. A pregnant woman is no different. Here, we break down a few common sleep positions and how they can affect you.
Sleeping on your stomach
There is not much to be said about sleeping on your stomach, as it becomes increasingly difficult to do as your pregnancy advances. As your baby grows inside you, you will find this extremely uncomfortable. It will almost be like trying to sleep on a watermelon!
Doctors say that it is safe to sleep on your stomach in the first few months of your pregnancy. But, as you move into the later stages, this can increase the pressure on the blood vessels. So, this can become painful for you. It can lead to back pain and discomfort. Though many doctors advise against this, some recommend that you use a special custom-made pillow, with a cut-out area for your stomach, to reduce pressure on your spine and for your fetus.
Sleeping on your back
Many doctors advise that pregnant women avoid sleeping on their backs during the second and third trimesters. This is because the weight of the baby rests on your back. So, there is added pressure to your spinal cord, and the inferior vena cava. The inferior vena cava carries blood to the heart from the lower part of your body.
This added pressure can again lead to backaches. It can also cause hemorrhoids. This can also lead to low blood pressure, and interfere with blood circulation.
All things considered, this is not an ideal position. But, do not worry if you roll onto your back in the middle of the night. You can use a pregnancy pillow to make sure that you are not flat on your back.
You can use a few pillows to help you lie down at an angle if you are used to lying on your back. You can also ask your partner to check if you are sleeping on your back, and help you stay on your side.
Sleeping on your side
Doctors recommend that the best sleeping position for a pregnant woman is on her left side, with legs slightly curled up. The most important reason behind this is increased blood flow. Sleeping in this position helps maximum nutrients to reach the placenta.
Sleeping on your side also helps your kidneys to function better. So, waste products are sent out of your body. You will have less swelling in your feet and hands.
If you are not used to sleeping on your side, or you find it difficult during pregnancy, we have some recommendations that can help you.
1) Using the pregnancy pillow
This is a blessing for an expecting mother. It comes in three shapes- a C, U, and a wedge. It is a full-body pillow that supports your back, neck, and legs. You can sleep comfortably on your side, without fear of lying on your back when asleep. Your doctor or physiotherapist can help you choose the best pillow.
2) Lots of small pillows or cushions
For those mothers who do not want to buy another pillow, you can use lots of pillows to support your body. Lying on your side, use a pillow between your knees to add to your comfort. Use two pillows behind you to rest your back on, and another for your head.
You can use an orthopedic knee pillow during your first trimester. A pillow made of memory foam is the most popular option among pregnant women. Memory foam is your new best friend. Pillows and mattresses made of memory foam lend support as your baby grows and your back starts to feel the weight.
3) Prop yourself up
You can use a recliner to sleep in a semi-upright position. You can add some bricks to the foot of your bed to get some elevation if you do not have a recliner. This helps to prevent acid reflux in the first trimester, especially if you are lying on your back.
4) Use a wooden board
A sagging mattress can be your worst enemy as you get closer to having your baby. A soft mattress will cause pain. It would be a good idea to use a wooden board between the box springs and mattress for extra support.
5) Have a night-time routine
This is a very important step to ensure that you get enough sleep. Prepare your bed before you sleep. Arrange your pillows to stay comfortable. Do not drink a lot of water just before bedtime, as you will wake up multiple times. Avoid any food that can cause a burning sensation. This will make you toss and turn during the night. You could also use various relaxation techniques if insomnia becomes your constant companion.
What you must remember
Sleep is the body’s ultimate repair mechanism. It is when we create memories, build immunity and regulate blood sugar levels. Getting a good night’s sleep is important to avoid fatigue. It also helps to lower stress levels and many pregnancy-related illnesses.
Since every expecting mother wonders which is the best sleeping position for herself and her baby, there are many factors to be taken into account-
- Blood supply
- Pressure on baby
Pregnancy, especially when you are going to be a mother for the first time, can be confusing. You do not have to worry a lot about your sleeping position. Doctors recommend that sleeping on your side is the best- to keep you pain-free, and to make sure that your baby gets a proper supply of nutrients and oxygen.
If sleeping on your side is not a natural position for you, you can use pillows to support your body while you sleep. Your doctor can help you choose the correct pillow. Your partner can help you sleep comfortably and check on you during the night. Short naps during the day can also help you feel rested throughout the day.
We wish you to have a painless normal delivery. Don’t miss to check out our newborn collections.