Sleeping Positions in Pregnancy

 Photo source: Google

Q: What is the best position to sleep on during Pregnancy?

A:  Pregnancy is a heavy burden, but it is a beautiful burden! If you have a habit of enjoying your sleep in all positions, sorry, I will disappoint you.

Pregnancy imposes a burden on your comfort while sleeping, and in order to have a sound sleep, you must adjust to safe sleep positions.

Fact is, it’s not easy to sleep soundly with your belly getting in the way. So, if you were a stomach sleeper before, now you’ll have to switch sleep positions to accommodate your growing girth (belly). So, what are the Best Sleep Positions? What’s the safest sleep position during pregnancy?

Please, note after, your fifth month, your back is definitely NOT best. Sleeping on your back puts extra pressure on your aorta and inferior vena cava (major blood vessels in the body) that run behind your abdomen and carry blood back to your heart from your legs and feet.

Pressure on these vessels can slow blood circulation to your body and your baby, and can be risky. Also naturally you might find it harder to breathe while lying on your back. And because your belly pushes down on your intestines when you lie on your back, this position can also lead to tummy troubles.

 

Q: So, how about sleeping on your stomach?

A: That’s not a great idea, either. Normally when you lay face down, your stomach presses on your expanding uterus, not to mention your ballooning breasts. This is not the position you want to be in if you want a good outcome. And the winner is ……………………….. Left is BEST. 

Right now, side sleeping is safest for you and your baby. Plus, it’s more comfortable for you as your abdomen grows. Is one side of the body better than the other for sleeping?

Sleep experts recommend lying on your left side, because it improves circulation, giving nutrient-packed blood an easier route from your heart to the placenta to nourish your baby. Lying on the left side also keeps your expanding body from pushing down too hard on your liver. While either side is okay, left is best!


Photo credit: Tootsie joy collection


Some positioning tips to help you get more comfortable and protect your baby while you sleep during pregnancy:

 

1.For more belly and back support: Try and prop a pillow under your tummy or between your knees. BUY a special extra-long pregnancy pillow, or just use one you have in the closet at home. Positioning a pillow under your body can help keep you on your side, preventing you from rolling to your stomach or back.

 

2.For shortness of breath: Put a pillow under your side to raise your chest.

 

3.For heartburn: Prop up the head of the bed a few inches with books or blocks. This helps keep acids down in your stomach, rather than burning their way up your esophagus.

 

4.Don’t panic if you roll from side to front or back while you sleep. You’re better off letting your body move where it’s most comfortable than trying to wake yourself up every few minutes to stay on your side.

 

5.You need as much sleep as you can get right now. You’ll appreciate the extra rest once your baby starts waking you up for those midnight (and 1 a.m., and 2 a.m.) feedings!


Thank you for reading and hope you’ve learnt a thing or two.


Source – Dr. Chuk Ufondu. MBBS, MPH , CPH (A member of the ‘Ask the gynaecologist’ www.askthegynaedoctor.com)


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