You may be a back sleeper, a stomach sleeper, or a side sleeper. Whichever is your favorite, get ready: it is about to change.
During pregnancy, it will become more and more difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep due to your growing baby bump. While some sleeping positions are not recommended during pregnancy, there are some facts that help you consider the best alternatives both for you and your baby.
What is the best position to sleep during pregnancy?
The best and highly recommended position during pregnancy is sleeping on your side, especially on your left. This position allows you to have the maximum blood flow and nutrients both to the placenta and your baby. It protects your liver and improves kidney function. When your body has good circulation, there is a lower risk of swelling, varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
How about sleeping on your back?
Sleeping on your back is not highly recommended after the first trimester. As your pregnancy proceeds, it might cause poor circulation, back pain, hemorrhoids, digestive and breathing problems. However, if you find yourself sleeping on your back, do not panic; try another position to go back to sleep.
How long I can sleep on my stomach?
Until you reach week 16 or 18, sleeping on your stomach is considered to be a harmless position. Your baby is protected by the uterine walls and amniotic fluid. As the weeks proceed, your breasts will be more tender and your abdomen gets bigger, which may make you feel more uncomfortable. If you are a stomach sleeper and cannot sleep otherways, you may try using a donut shape pillow to protect your growing bump and tender breasts.
So to get the optimal blood flow and have a better circulation for you and your baby, sleeping on your left side tends to be the best way to go about it.
Tips to have a more comfortable sleep during pregnancy:
- Try sleeping on your side (especially left) to help with the circulation.
- Pillows! Use lots and lots of them to support your body, place one under your bump or between your bent knees and legs.
- You can even get a special pregnancy pillow for this period of your life, it can also have other uses in the future!
- Try using a firm mattress to help you reduce back pain.
- Prop yourself up to a 45 degree position or try elevating the head of your bed.
You may also try these to have a better sleep when expecting:
- Avoid eating foods that might cause acid reflux such as spicy or fatty meals.
- Try to eat latest 3 to 4 hours prior of your bedtime.
- Try to eat often during the day instead of three large meals.
- Try not to drink liquids at meal times or before your bedtime.
- Limit your caffeine intake. Keep in mind that caffeine keeps you awake and might be a cause of disrupted sleep.
- Try to have a sleep routine: try your best to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Avoid having screentime before going to bed.
- If you cannot fall asleep in 30 minutes, try to do something relaxing that will help you to go to sleep easily like reading.
- “Best Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy.” American Pregnancy Association, 22 Oct. 2021, americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/sleeping-positions-while-pregnant.
- Colleen, De Bellefonds. “Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy.” What to Expect, 16 Mar. 2021, www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/sleep-solutions/pregnancy-sleep-positions.
- Marcin, Ashley. “What Are the Best Sleeping Positions When You’re Pregnant?” Healthline, 1 Apr. 2021, www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/sleeping-positions-in-pregnancy.
- NHS website. “Tiredness and Sleep Problems.” Nhs.Uk, 3 Feb. 2021, www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/tiredness.
- Shoen, Sarah. “Sleep Tips for Pregnant Women.” Sleep Foundation, 15 June 2021, www.sleepfoundation.org/pregnancy/tips-for-better-sleep.