Best Positions to Sleep When You’re Pregnant
Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, getting comfortable can be downright difficult! No wonder moms-to-be complain of sleep problems. Even early in pregnancy, you might find sleeping in certain positions, especially, on your stomach, uncomfortable, especially as your breasts enlarge and become more tender. So, what are the best positions to sleep in when you’re pregnant?
Best Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy
As your belly expands, most health care experts recommend that you sleep on your side – but which side? According to the American Pregnancy Association, sleeping on your left side increases blood and nutrient flow to your developing baby. When sleeping in this position, make sure your back and tummy are fully supported. To do this, grab three comfy pillows. Then lie on your left side. Place one pillow between your legs. Then place a pillow behind your back and one across your chest. Place a rolled up towel underneath your neck for extra support.
Why shouldn’t you sleep on your back? Once your belly expands greatly, usually by the fifth month, sleeping on your back places too much pressure on the big vessels in your abdominal cavity. The added pressure can reduce blood flow to your feet and make it harder for blood to reach your baby as well. You can get by with sleeping on your back during the first trimester but avoid it after that. Sleeping on your tummy is ill-advised too, plus, it’s hard to do with your expanding belly and sore breasts. That’s why sleeping on your side works best and is better for you and your baby.
Making Sleep More Comfortable
Late in pregnancy, sleep often become more uncomfortable. For one, as the baby grows, it places pressure on your stomach. You might experience heartburn, also known as acid reflux, due to the backflow of acid from your stomach into your esophagus. One way to relieve these symptoms is to use blocks to elevate the head of your bed by a few inches. This reduces the pressure on your tummy and esophagus and eases heartburn.
Another problem you might develop late in pregnancy is shortness of breath when you lie down at night. Against, this comes from the baby pushing up your pelvis and making it harder for your lungs to expand. One way to reduce the pressure, as with heartburn, is to raise your head and body so you’re not lying flat.
Did you know there are special pillows made for use during pregnancy? These pillows run the length of your body to give your body support and make falling asleep and staying asleep easier. It’s a good investment when you consider how important sleep is and how difficult it can be when you’re pregnant. Plus, you’ll discover a pregnancy pillow comes in handy even after you’ve given birth.
The Bottom Line
Sleeping on your left side is the safest and most comfortable position to slumber in when you’re pregnant. Make it even more comfortable for yourself, and reduce your risk of back pain, by supporting your back and spine with pillows. Then, get some sleep!
American Pregnancy Association. “Sleep Positions During Pregnancy”
PLoS One. 2014; 9(12): e115760.