Most women don’t know what’s in store for them when it comes to sleeping during pregnancy…
Pregnancy is a period marked with severe sleeping disturbances, even for women who have never had any sleeping problems. The “Women and Sleep Poll” report published by National Sleep Foundation in 1998 explains, 78% of women reports having troubles sleeping during pregnancy than at other times. Most women also recorded cases of extreme fatigue when pregnancy (more so during the second and the third trimester).
If you’ve undergone this experience, this is not news to you… You might have suffered significant loss of sleep, all in the name of the body changes and discomforts that come with pregnancy.
Interestingly, poor sleep sessions during pregnancy can be turned into comfortable and peaceful nights by adopting effective strategies for managing your sleep- the best being taking better sleeping positions during pregnancy…
What is the best Sleeping Position During Pregnancy? And What are the most comfortable sleep positions during pregnancy?
The aim of this post is to educate you on the correct positions to sleep during pregnancy.
Why Do I Feel Uncomfortable in Your Normal Sleeping Position?
If you’re like many other pregnant women, you’d want to find out why you always find it uncomfortable when sleeping in the usual sleeping positions you’ve adopted for ages.
Here is the answer:
During the pregnancy period, your body undergoes many changes- ranging from emotional, physical, physiological, etc. And these changes eventually disrupt the sweet slumber you used to enjoy.
Specific reasons for the discomforts include:
- Back pain
- Shortness of Breath
- Increased size of your belly/abdomen
How Should I Sleep During Pregnancy?
This question draws us closer to our most important topic- what are the best sleeping positions during pregnancy.
If you follow the sleeping positions described below during pregnancy, you’ll be free from the long insomnia nights, aches, etc. Plus you’ll enjoy a comfortable sleep with your unborn baby.
The most effective sleep positions during pregnancy are explained below:
Sleep On Your Left Side
All the experienced moms and even your professional physicist will tell you this a thousand times. That the best sleep position during pregnancy is SOS- Sleep on Side. To be specific, the left side.
Why you are highly recommend to sleep on your side? Well, this is the BEST way to increase the flow of blood (which means increased oxygen and nutrients supply) to your unborn and ensure that you deliver a healthy baby in the end.
Medical doctors also point out that sleeping on your left side helps with a range of sleep problems during pregnancy, including insomnia.
Keep in mind that when you sleep on your left, you’ll be more comfortable as there’s less pressure pushing your stomach down.
To experience the ultimate comfort on your left side, try bending one or both your knees, place a pillow under your belly, and another pillow (or rolled up towel) behind your back. Hugging a full-length body pillow will also add extra comfort.
Placing pillow under your abdomen while sleeping on your left helps relieve back pain
Propping your upper body with pillows as you sleep on the left side kicks out heartburn.
If your pregnancy is in the late stages and you’re experiencing shortness of breath, lying in this position also helps solve the issue.
Still on your left side position, you can try the three quarter sleep position. This one involves lying on your left side, placing your bottom arm behind and the bottom leg straight out and down. Then bend your top leg and rest it comfortably on a pillow. Finally, bend the upper arm and place another pillow behind your head.
Sleeping on right side while pregnant
Sometimes you might feel uncomfortable or awkward on your left side position. In that case, you can roll over to your right side. Complications arising from lying on your backside are next to none. Therefore, don’t be afraid of sleeping on your right lateral position (only if you feel uncomfortable on your left side).
Getting Frequent Heartburns? Try Sleeping in an Upright Position
Frequent heartburn is a problem common in most pregnant women:
If you keep getting this problem no matter what measures you take, perhaps it’s time you need to adjust the sleeping position and see the miracles…
Sleeping in an upright position (with your head elevated) does more than just giving you comfort at night. It helps lessen the symptoms of this condition.
If a reflux occurs when in an upright position, the gravity and saliva will quickly return the acidic content to the stomach. The quick return is effective at making the heartburn symptoms shorter as well as minimizing any potential damages to your digestive system.
To sleep in the upright position, simply prop up your head on a full-length body pillow before nodding off. And make sure you still sleep on your left/right side.
Sleep Positions to Avoid When Pregnant
Sleeping on Your Back
Sleeping on your back is only allowed during the first few weeks of your pregnancy. At this time, your uterus hasn’t expanded yet, meaning it does not exert any pressure on the vena cava vein which is tasked with carrying blood back to your heart.
When the second trimester of your pregnancy takes effect, NEVER attempt sleeping on your back as it might lead to serious health complication to you and your baby. For example, it leads to backaches, breathing problems, digestive system complications, low blood pressure, hemorrhoids, limited oxygen supply to you and your baby, nausea, and dizziness.
All this is as a result of your ‘growing’ abdomen exerting too much pressure on your intestines as well as the major blood vessels- aorta and vena cava.
If you want to sleep comfortably during the first weeks of your pregnancy, put a pillow under your thighs and allow your legs to roll open to the side. Or move one or both legs in a back and forth manner to help ease the tension building up on your lower back.
Sleeping on Your Stomach
Sleeping on the stomach is a hobby many women during the first week of their pregnancy. This is particularly the case for women who’re used to sleeping on their belly.
While this position feels comfortable and is safe in the first trimester, you’re highly advised to avoid it when you enter the second semester.
Why is this position hazardous to you and your fetus?
Well, as your pregnancy advances, you uterus starts expanding, making you feel like you’ve the beach ball in your stomach. Your baby might also feel uncomfortable in this position and might disrupt your sleep with a kick when he feels stressed up.
Things to Observe Before Going to Bed While Pregnant
Use Pregnancy Pillows for Support
As you know, there are many specially designed pillows to help offer superior comfort and support to all pregnant women. Such cushions are made of high-quality materials that make the form, robust and capable of supporting a lot of weight.
If you use one such pillow as you sleep, you’ll like how sweeter your nights of sleep will become.
Take Your Meal Several Hours Before Going to Bed
Most pregnant women develop heartburn problems which lead to interrupted sleep and discomforts. However, this can be avoided by skipping spicy meals several hours before lying on your bed. Ensure you eat at least two hours before sleeping if you don’t want to get heartburn.
Still on the same topic, avoid taking heavy meals before bed. Nausea and indigestions are common problems during pregnancy, and you can accelerate their effects if you take a heavy meal before bedtime.
Avoid Too Much Intake of Drinks Before Sleeping
Have you noticed that you tend to urinate more frequently when pregnant? Right, it’s the same experience for any other pregnant mother out there. And it occurs because your baby is exerting some pressure on your bladder.
Simply cutting down the intake of any drinks in the hours leading to bed is a good idea to reduce the urge to urinate throughout the night. You should especially avoid too much intake of caffeinated drinks at this time as they’re known to keeping you awake the whole night.
Important Note: This does not mean that you shouldn’t drink anything throughout the day. Taking fluids throughout the day is important as it promotes good health in pregnant women.
Bringing it All Together
Sleeping is difficult for pregnant women. With your belly growing as time goes by, it becomes almost impossible to find a cozy sleeping position. Frequent cases of nausea, heartburn, frequent urinations among other discomforts will also keep you up throughout the night.
But in the middle of all these problems, you can still afford to sleep comfortably by sleeping on your left side. This is the best sleeping position during pregnancy as we’ve discussed above.
Also, avoid sleeping on your back and on your stomach as this might lead to fatal health complication to both the mother and her baby.