Best Sleeping Postures during Pregnancy
Understanding the strengths & weaknesses of each sleeping position is very important; however, what works best for all of us are the obvious signs that your body signals & if you are sleeping in the wrong position, you should know immediately.
Sleeping on your stomach
The uterus protects the fetus well, and there is no reason to avoid sleeping on the stomach during the first trimester.
To make this position comfortable, you may consider using a stomach sleeping pillow to support.
Sleeping on your back during pregnancy
Sleeping on your back is generally considered safe throughout the first trimester.
During the 2nd & 3rd trimester, the back sleep position rests the entire weight of the growing uterus & baby on your back, intestines & the main vein that carries blood back to the heart from your lower body. Thus experts recommend pregnant women should avoid sleeping on their backs during this period. This can aggravate backaches, cause heartburn & interfere with circulation.
If you find yourself sleeping on your back most of the time, consider placing a pillow behind you. That way, when you subconsciously roll onto your back, you’ll stop at an angle that will still allow blood to flow.
Side Sleeping: Left or Right
During the first trimester, it is safe for a woman to sleep in whatever position she feels comfortable in, whether this is on her back, side, or stomach. Any combination of the above positions is also fine.
Doctors generally recommend sleeping on your side during pregnancy, as time goes on – It helps to maximize the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby.
But the good news is that a 2019 review of medical studies found that either side is fine.
Even better is to sleep on your left side.
Sleeping on your left side takes the pressure off your liver and your kidneys. This means more room to function properly, helping with swelling issues in your hands, ankles, and feet.
So, if 'Left' is better, should Right be avoided?
A 2019 study review showed equal safety with sleeping on the left and right sides. There’s a very slight risk of compression issues with the IVC when you sleep on the right, but it’s mostly a matter of where you’re most comfortable.
Few more tips
- Keep your legs and knees bent, and put a pillow between your legs
- As your belly grows, it is recommended that your mattress is somewhat firm so your back doesn’t dip.
- If you experience back pain, try sleeping in a side position, & try placing a pillow under your abdomen
- In case of heartburn, you may want to try supporting your upper body with pillows
- Try lying on your side or supported with pillows, helps ease out with shortness of breath during late pregnancy
- Adapting a change in position, may lead to feeling uncomfortable for a few nights. Your body will most likely adjust to a new position.