Wondering what the best pregnancy sleeping positions are? Then read on!
Why do pregnant women need to sleep well?
Catching those Z's when you're pregnant is necessary. Your body repairs and replenishes itself during sleep. Sleep also improves your memory which is one of the best ways to fight off baby brain. And because your body is under a lot of pressure to keep blood flowing to help your baby grow, you need to have enough sleep to restore your blood cells. Additionally, sleep boosts your immune function, which is essential for obvious reasons. Lastly, getting enough sleep keeps gestational diabetes at bay. Sleep enhances your insulin function, so your body can lower blood sugar.
On the other hand, sleeplessness during pregnancy can take its toll on you and your baby. Research has proven that pregnant women with insomnia have a greater chance of having prolonged labour or C-section. Moreover, pregnant women who suffer from sleep apnea often have pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, low birth weight and gestational hypertension.
Now that you know why you need to sleep well let's dive deeper into the best positions to get some good sleep.
On your back
Sleeping on your back is safe during your first trimester, but back sleeping can bring about complications during the second and third trimesters. The position puts the weight of your uterus and baby on your back, intestines and vena cava (the large vein which moves blood from your lower body back to your heart). Pressure from the weight can cause back pain, hemorrhoids, digestive issues, poor circulation and low blood pressure that can leave you feeling dizzy. However, you need not worry if you wake up in the middle of the night lying on your back. You can change your sleeping position. Alternatively, you can put a wedge pillow behind you so that anytime you roll onto your back, you'll be in a position that allows blood to flow through your body which is healthy for your baby.
On your left or right side
The side sleep position is the best for the second and third trimesters, particularly the left side. It promotes blood flow throughout your body since there is less pressure on the vena cava. And enough nutrients move from the placenta to your baby. The position also improves kidney function, so your body gets rid of waste (this prevents edema (swelling) in the ankles, legs and feet during pregnancy). Side sleeping may be uncomfortable for some women. Try these tricks to make it as comfortable as possible:
Sleep with a lot of pillows. Lie with one leg crossed over the other and put a pillow between them and another behind your back.
Use a special pillow. You can opt for a wedge-shaped pillow or a 5-foot full-body pregnancy pillow.
Prop up. If pillows don't work for you, then sleep in a semi-upright position in a recliner.
Can you sleep on your stomach when you are pregnant?
Yes, you can. It is perfectly safe until you are about 16 weeks when your bump starts to show. But like sleeping on your back, you need not worry if you wake up lying on your stomach (it won't harm your baby!). The uterine walls and amniotic fluid protect your baby.
You can make sleeping on your stomach comfortable if you sleep with a stomach sleeping pillow. You can get an inflatable one or one that is firm with a large hole you can squeeze in your bump.
Disclaimer: The information shared by this post is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to be professional medical advice nor a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your physician concerning anything you have read here.
By Nana Ama Afoa Osae I Writer I GreatWonderful Team
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