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Best Sleeping Position for Pregnant Women

pregnancy sleep position

If there is one thing every pregnant woman needs and looks forward to is a night of good sleep. But as the pregnancy advances, getting a good sleep becomes difficult, and finding a good sleep position can become a work. You begin to worry about what sleep position would be healthy for you and the fetus.

In the first trimester, it is ok for a pregnant woman to take whatever position is comfortable for her to sleep and enjoy her sleep even if it is on the stomach. At the early stage of pregnancy, the uterus is not significant to cause any problem when a pregnant woman lies on her stomach. The embryo or fetus is secured in the uterus or the amniotic fluid, which is well cushion inside the pelvis.

However, what could cause sleep disturbance at this stage are the hormonal changes, especially for a first-time mom, frequent hunger, and morning sickness. 

Best positions to sleep during pregnancy

Left side:

As a woman advances in her pregnancy, her sleeping position changes. She can\’t sleep on the stomach by the time she is four months because her growing pregnancy bump will not allow her to. It is advisable for pregnant women in the second trimester to take a sleeping position on their left side. This position maximizes the flow of blood to the uterus and the baby. Lying on your left side is also beneficial to your liver as it keeps your liver from bearing your whole body weight.

Right side:

Although the left side is the preferred or best sleeping position for pregnant women, the right side is ok for women who don\’t feel comfortable sleeping on the left side.

Semi-upright position:

If the sideways position is not comfortable or you are unable to sleep on your sides, you can sleep in an almost upright position using a recliner. But in the absence of a recliner, you can use pillows to place yourself into a semi-upright position.

Downward position:

Get around pregnancy pillow with space in the middle. If you feel like facing downward or lying on your belly, then you lie facing downward with your pregnancy bump in the hollow space. This space prevents your stomach from touching the bed and bearing the weight of your bump. You support your head with two pillows to balance your weight. 

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Positions to Avoid

Lying on your back:

Sleeping on your back is not safe for your baby from the second trimester. When a pregnant woman takes the lying on the back position, the weight of the uterus rests on the back, and this would put pressure on the vena cava and aorta; the main blood vessel that takes blood to the uterus and from the womb. The pressure can stop or restrict the blood supply to the baby, thereby increasing the risk of death or stillbirth. Lying on the back can cause the baby to be less active and affect the heartbeat rate.

There is no need to panic if you sleep on your side and wake up on your back. You waking up in the first place is your body\’s way of telling you to adjust your position.

Lying on your stomach:

Lying on your stomach from the second trimester isn\’t advised. Even though for many women, the pain that comes from trying it would not allow it some women who have small pregnancy bump might attempt it. When you lie on your tummy, your stomach will push down on your uterus. This can cause bloating, gas, or another stomach upset.

Tips to help you sleep on your side

  1. Get many pillows. Get between eight to ten pillows to support you.
  2. Place three pillows at your back to support you from rolling over to your back.
  3. As you get to your third trimester, sleeping on your side becomes more difficult. Your pillows will make it easier.
  4. Place a pillow in between your legs, one under your pregnancy pump to support the belly, two soft pillows below your head to help support the increasing weight on your side.
  5. In case you experience heartburn, raise your upper body with a few pillows.
  6. If your feet and legs are swollen, place pillows under your legs as you sleep.

Sleeping Aids

  • Pillows for back and belly support can help to give you a peaceful night rest. Using pillows specifically designed for use in pregnancy will help in providing better comfort. There are several shapes of a pregnancy pillow, the c-shaped pillow, u-shaped pillow, and body-length pillow are available to purchase. 
  • A pillow between knees with both of them bent; this will support your lower back, tucking a pillow under your belly will support your stomach and back. Placing pillows behind you will help you maintain a side-lying position.
  • It can also help relieve heartburn when it is used to prop your head up.
Food and drink:
  • When you are pregnant, you should be careful about what you eat. Not only because of your baby but also because what you eat or drink can affect your sleep.
  • Milk: Try drinking a glass of warm milk before going to bed. This will help you sleep well likely because of the presence of serotonin in milk and the fact that it can reduce acidity in your stomach, preventing gas.
  • Protein: Hunger could disturb the sleep of a pregnant woman, often waking up with nausea. An empty stomach welcomes the urge to vomit, and that\’s why it is good to eat something that would keep your stomach full through the night. You should snack on highly protein snacks because it will keep your blood sugar up through the night. Smoothies rich in protein is a good choice, cereals with milk, peanuts, sandwich with milk would also help.
  • Do not go to bed immediately after eating, that also has its problems.
  • You should only take drugs approved by your doctors. Your doctor is likely to recommend antacids to help with indigestions and heartburns.

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