Table of Contents
Pregnancy is rather a technical and tricky situation to be in. As a pregnant woman, let’s accept it for once and for all, the struggles are endless! You begin to constantly question all your daily habits which you never gave a thought to pre-pregnancy. “Am I eating right,” “Am I exercising right,” “Am I walking right,” and the most basic of all- “Am I sleeping right?”
Comfortable sleep positions during pregnancy, especially once the stomach begins to show and bulge, could feel rather difficult to find. Ironically, you will most likely crave a good sound sleep the most during pregnancy and it is also in this phase that the comfortable sound sleep is hardest to find. However, to help you get the closest possible to an ultimate rejuvenating sleep, here we have some of the best sleeping positions during pregnancy!
Ideal sleep positions during pregnancy: Explained
Sleeping position 1: Sleeping on your stomach during pregnancy
If you are a woman who has spent her life sleeping on her stomach, regardless of how many times advised to not do so, here’s a little good news: sleeping on your stomach during pregnancy is absolutely okay until your baby bump starts to show and make things uncomfortable. In other words, the stomach sleep position is okay until the 16-18 weeks of pregnancy. In fact, once that happens, you will naturally switch your sleeping positions to find comfort.
Sleeping position 2: Sleeping on your back during pregnancy
Sleeping on your back, you may be surprised to know, is not recommended during pregnancy, especially during the second and the third trimester. This is so because when you sleep on your back, then the entire weight of the uterus and the baby is put on your back, intestines, and your vena cava- the vein responsible for carrying impure blood back from the lower body to the heart.
This increased pressure on the organs, as a result of sleeping on your back, may cause severe backaches, hemorrhoids, indigestion, poor blood circulation, hypotension, and random episodes of dizziness. Poor blood circulation, subsequently, can cause a reduced blood flow to the fetus, hampering the flow of oxygen, blood, nutrients, and food to the growing fetus.
Sleeping the whole night on your back is also suggested to potentially cause stillbirth as per some studies. Hence, though it is okay to lie down on your back for some time or to wake up on your back at times, pregnant women are otherwise advised to not sleep on the back during pregnancy.
Sleeping position 3: Sleeping on your left or right side during pregnancy
Sleeping on either side of the body – though preferably on the left- during pregnancy is an ideal pregnancy sleeping position. Sleeping on your side, especially on the left, promotes an excellent flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta, reducing the workload on the vena cava (the vein supposed to carry impure blood back from the lower body to the heart). Sleeping on the left side during pregnancy also further boosts the functioning of the kidney, resulting in faster, better elimination of toxic body waste. Enhanced elimination of unwanted body products can also reduce Edema or swelling in the feet, ankles, and hands.
While left is the ideal or the most advised sleeping position, you may be happy to know that a study in 2019. concluded that sleeping on the right side is a safe position too. There could be a slight risk of inferior vena cava compression but again, the risk is very rare.
Tips on finding a comfortable sleep position
Pregnancy, though undeniably one of the most beautiful phases of a woman’s life, can be rather daunting, especially in first-time pregnancies as a mother has to make so many alterations in her life to be able to correctly nurture the baby.
You may be a woman who has been a back sleeper all her life and now suddenly needs to breathe the pattern and get used to sleeping on the left side. Getting an optimal, restful, rejuvenating nap might seem like an ordeal, and rightly so. However, pregnancy pillows could become your best friend to help you tackle your pregnancy sleep problems and to get you the sleep you deserve!
Invest in a lot of pregnancy pillows
As a pregnant woman in today’s times, you can prepare yourself to be spoilt for choices! There are tons of pregnancy sleeping pillows available in the market. Invest in a snug sleep pillow, cross one leg over the other while putting one pillow between them and another pillow behind your back. You may also want to buy a full-body-human-size 5 feet pillow or a wedge-shaped pillow for the special, extra support. Stomach pregnancy pillows are also recommended, however, be informed, sleeping on the stomach is not advised beyond 16-18 weeks of pregnancy. Orthopedic knee pillows for special knee support could also be used.
Pregnancy will be a phase of your life where even the most regular activities of the day might begin to feel like you’re doing them wrong but keep in mind, it does not necessarily have to be so. do not spend your energy and time overthinking; and when it comes to sleeping – especially not! Just remember that as long as you’re sleeping on either of your sides, specifically after the first trimester, you are good to go.
At times you may wake up on your back but look at that as your body’s sign of telling you to switch sides and try making a conscious effort to not sleep on your back. As a mom-to-be, you are sure going to get used to it in no time!