We can be ready for morning sickness, prepped for swollen ankles, and even braced for mood swings that may strike at any moment, but most soon-to-be Moms probably haven’t realized is how much pregnancy may affect sleep. Sleeping is how we spend an entire third of our time on this planet, and that’s because it serves a role as vital to our health as eating or drinking water.
It is vastly important for the health of both Mom and Baby to learn what steps we can take to become a master at sleeping while pregnant. Picking the right sleep position is a vital ingredient in avoiding the discomforts of pregnancy.
Pregnant women can still sleep on their back, but only in the very early stages of pregnancy. Once the baby starts growing, the pressure of this weight may lead to serious complications for both Mom and Baby.
Sleeping on the stomach is not generally recommended even for those who are not pregnant because it tends to cause stress on the neck and upper back. For some people, this is the only position they feel comfortable enough in to actually get some rest. In that case, go for it. Just keep in mind that later in the pregnancy when the baby is getting bigger, stomach sleeping will most likely become extremely uncomfortable for Mom without some serious pillow voodoo.
Side sleep is widely regarded as one of the best positions for pregnant women and is probably the safest choice for Baby. This position can relieve unnecessary pressure on internal organs or the baby that may otherwise cause complications.
Sleeping on the side, especially in the later stages of pregnancy, has been shown to reduce instances of stillbirth.
For pregnant women experiencing acid reflux or heartburn, sleeping in an upright position may help to reduce these frustrating symptoms.
How to sleep comfortably during pregnancy
Pillows, pillows, and more pillows! Sleeping on the side during pregnancy while staying comfortable is all about the pillows. Try placing a pillow under the baby bump. This will help to relieve pressure from the weight of the belly off of Mom’s back and hips. Since it’s best to sleep in this side position, some moms maximize coziness with a pillow between the knees, or a larger pillow that fits between the length of the legs. This will lessen the aches and pains from the knees and ankles resting on top of each other.
For moms who want to sleep upright, use pillows behind the back and lean back while remaining upright. Though sleeping on the back isn’t recommended for later stages of pregnancy, tilting the torso upright can relieve weight on the internal organs, which is good news for both Mom and the little baby bundle.
Does it make a difference which side I sleep on in pregnancy?
The short answer to this question is, yes! Doctors agree that sleeping on the left side is better than sleeping on the right. Sleeping on the left side takes pressure off the vena cava, a central vein that carries blood to the heart. Improving the blood flow will help to ensure that essential nutrients and oxygen from the blood are able to reach the baby and maintain health for Baby and Mom.
Moms-To-Be are best off sleeping on their left sides. And feel free to steal all the pillows to make it comfortable!