Pregnancy sleeping position tips
What is the best pregnancy sleeping position to stop you tossing and turning?
Did you know that the positions you sleep in while you are pregnant influence not only your comfort levels but also the health and wellbeing of your baby? If your baby bump is keeping you up at night, we’re here to help you find the best sleeping positions for you and your baby.
The importance of sleep during pregnancy
Getting enough sleep, as well as quality sleep, is crucial for a healthy pregnancy and growing a healthy baby. While you are sleeping, your immune system gets a boost, your tissues and cells are repaired and replenished, you produce more human growth hormone, and your body gets to process the endless changes that it is going through during this time.
If you do experience insomnia during pregnancy, it is important to address the problem right away and incorporate various changes into your daily life that will help you get enough sleep.
How pregnancy affects sleep
Being pregnant can affect the overall quality of your sleep, especially when you are in the first and third trimesters. Reasons for this include:
- Experiencing hormonal changes
- Frequently needing to urinate
- Having aches and pains
- Feeling uncomfortable through the night
- Stressing about giving birth or becoming a parent
- Your body changing sizes
- Experiencing indigestion
- Having difficulty breathing
Tips for choosing the right pregnancy sleeping position
Here are a few tips to help you find the right sleeping positions during pregnancy. This is not only important for ensuring optimal comfort at a time when feeling uncomfortable is the norm, but it is also important for your own health and the health of your baby that you get enough rest.
Sleep on your left side
Why is sleeping on your left side better during pregnancy? Laying on your left side is ideal because doing so improves circulation, supports kidney function, reduces swelling, helps with acid reflux, and is likely to be the most comfortable.
Improved circulation is essential for the baby’s health and development while in the womb. When circulation is poor, nutrients that are essential for the health and growth of the baby will have a harder time reaching the womb.
Avoid sleeping on your back
Avoid sleeping on your back as much as possible when you are expecting a baby. Doing so can have a few risks. A growing uterus will put a lot of pressure on your arteries and internal organs. Sleeping on your back while pregnant can also give you back pain, especially if you do not have the right mattress.
What happens if you accidentally sleep on your back while you are pregnant?
Do not worry about it too much. What matters most is the position you fall asleep in and that you do not spend long durations of time on your back. Chances are that it will become uncomfortable after a while due to the weight of your belly pressing on your back and that you will change positions.
You can use pillows and stack them behind you to make it harder for you to roll onto your back during the night or get a pregnancy pillow (keep reading to learn more about this great invention at the end).
Laying on your right side
You can sleep on your right side, but it is important to note that doing so can apply extra pressure on your arteries. While this poses only a slight risk, where possible, it is best to lay on your left side.
Sleeping on your stomach
After the first trimester, sleeping on your stomach is pretty much impossible to do. You can get away with it early in the pregnancy, but as soon as your baby bump starts to show, it will probably be a bit too uncomfortable to sleep on your belly.
Raise the upper body
To help avoid heartburn, you can try using a few pillows to raise your upper body while sleeping. Doing this can also help if you snore during pregnancy and experience shortness of breath.
Elevate your legs
Swollen and sore legs are quite common during pregnancy. To help reduce swelling and leg pain, you can elevate your legs using pillows. This will help to improve circulation and put less pressure on your vena cava, which is the largest vein that leads to the heart.
Use a pregnancy pillow
Invest in your comfort by getting a pregnancy pillow to help provide additional back support throughout the night. They typically come in either a “C” or “U” shape. You can have the pillow support your back and then straddle a part of it between your legs for comfort and stability during the night.
Pregnancy pillows can help to support your neck, shoulders, arms, back, and legs.
Use this information to help you find the best pregnancy sleeping positions for you, so that the 9 months of growing your precious baby do not have to mean months of experiencing discomfort, poor sleep, and back pain.