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Pregnancy Sleeping Positions

Pregnancy Sleeping Positions

Pregnancy makes finding a comfortable sleep position more difficult, as some sleeping positions are not comfortable with a growing baby bump. Pregnancy puts a lot of physical demands on the body. Most women need extra sleep to meet those demands. However, sleep can become increasingly difficult as pregnancy progresses. It is estimated that two-thirds of pregnant women experience sleep problems during pregnancy. The lack of sleep can prevent pregnant mothers from retaining alertness and being productive throughout the day.

Numerous factors can interfere with sleep during pregnancy, including night-time bathroom trips, nausea, heartburn, lower back pain, and leg cramps. Furthermore, as their bodies change to accommodate the fetus, many pregnant women struggle to find a comfortable pregnancy sleeping position. Here's everything you need to know about sleeping positions as a pregnant mother to stay comfortable and safe.

Why Is Sleep So Important During Pregnancy?

Sleep allows your body to reboot and repair itself. It is the process by which your brain creates memories. It's how your blood vessels repair themselves, which is particularly important now that they're under increased pressure due to the additional blood flow required to support the baby. Sleep also maintains the health of the mothers’ immune system, which has been suppressed to support the pregnancy. In addition, sleep influences how your body reacts to insulin; not getting enough results in a higher blood glucose level, increasing your risk of gestational diabetes.

Common Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy

It can be challenging to fall asleep soundly when your stomach is in the way. If you used to sleep on your stomach, you'll have to change your sleeping position to accommodate your growing baby bump. Here are some possible sleeping positions for you to consider during pregnancy:

  • Sleeping On Your Stomach

  • Many women prefer to sleep with their stomachs down until their baby bump makes it uncomfortable or impossible, at which point they must change positions. Sleeping on your stomach may be more comfortable if you use a doughnut-shaped pillow.

  • Sleeping On Your Left Or Right Side

  • In the second and third trimesters, some experts recommend sleeping on either side - preferably the left, if possible - for a healthy birth experience for the mother and the baby. As a result of this position, the placenta receives maximum blood flow and nutrients, while the kidneys perform better, reducing swelling in the feet, ankles, and hands. The right side of the body is not optimal for sleeping because of the pressure on the liver. It is generally accepted that sleeping on your right side for short periods of time is safe.

  • Sleeping On Your Back

  • Most women may find sleeping on their backs to be more comfortable. However, in the second and third trimesters, this position could be harmful to both the mother and the baby. The back sleep position places the entire weight of the growing uterus and baby on the mothers’ back, intestines, and vena cava, the main vein that carries blood towards the heart from your lower body. This can cause back pain, breathing problems, digestive problems, haemorrhoids, and low blood pressure, as well as a decrease in circulation to your heart and baby. For pregnant women, this is not a recommended sleeping position.

    Best Sleeping Position During Pregnancy

    The majority of professionals agree that bending the knee while sleeping on your left side is the best move once your stomach begins to expand. Side sleeping is not only more comfortable, but it also improves blood flow for both you and the child. Stomach sleeping is also considered to be safe during the early stages of pregnancy, but it becomes impossible at some point, usually during the second trimester.

    The ability to lie on your stomach is no longer possible after your first trimester. Many experts also advise against sleeping on your back all night (but do not worry if you roll over and wake up this way). However, some specialists now believe that pregnant women should sleep in whatever position is most comfortable for them rather than worrying too much about it.

    How To Find A Comfortable Sleeping Position For Yourself?

    It may be difficult to adjust to side sleeping if you are used to sleeping on your stomach or back. Pregnancy can make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position, regardless of whether you normally sleep on your side. However, there are some techniques that can help relieve discomfort and increase the chances of getting a good night's sleep.

    • Bend your knees: Medical professionals recommend sleeping on your side with one or even both knees bent to help support your back.

    • Use pillows: Place a pillow between your legs, against your lower back, or beneath your abdomen to alleviate discomfort and pain. You can also try a full-body pillow, some of which are specifically designed to support mothers during pregnancy.

    • Find a comfortable mattress or mattress topper: Materials that relieve pressure points, such as egg crate mattress toppers, may help relieve hip pain caused by side sleeping.

    • Elevate your upper body: If you experience night-time heartburn, try raising the head end of your mattress or bed. Sleeping slightly upright may help alleviate your symptoms.

    • Sleep on your left side: This is considered extremely beneficial to the mother since it provides maximum blood flow from your inferior vena cava.

    You can make your pregnancy experience more positive by taking extra naps. A study has shown that if you previously slept for about 8 hours, your sleep time could increase to about 12 hours.

    To Conclude

    The vast majority of women have difficulty sleeping, therefore don't be worried if you are not getting as much solid sleep as you did before your pregnancy. Having said that, studies have shown that women who sleep for less than six hours per night may have longer labours and are more likely to require C-sections.

    If you are having difficulty sleeping or have other symptoms of a sleep disorder, you should consult a doctor because some conditions have been linked to an increased risk of pregnancy complications. Pregnancy-related sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, heartburn, and restless legs syndrome can all be treated by a healthcare provider.