Figuring out the most comfortable sleeping position is no less than a challenging task for pregnant women. You may also find yourself, turning from side to side or wrestling with the pillows and blankets trying to find the best sleeping posture as your regular sleeping positions may not be very comfortable during pregnancy. Though this discomfort can be very frustrating for expecting mommies, the good news is that there are some ways to alter your sleeping positions to be more comfortable during this time.
You might be wondering why your body is refusing to sleep in the regular positions after the onset of pregnancy and you may have a number of questions in your head. This article will help you find your suitable sleeping position that is the most comforting and relaxing for you during pregnancy. Here are some easy and common questions that pregnant women seek answers for:
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Why this discomfort in Sleep?
Pregnancy can change a lot of things in your body. What seemed normal and regular before pregnancy might feel uncomfortable during pregnancy and it can also impact your regular sleeping patterns too. Most pregnant women find that sleeping on their side(SOS) is very comforting. It has been observed through several studies that sleeping on the left side is even better as it facilitates easy distribution of nutrients and blood to the placenta and the developing baby. Alternatively you can even place a pillow between your legs and fold your legs from the knees for a comfortable nap. The main discomfort is generally caused due to the following reasons:
- Increased abdominal size
- Back pain
- Heat burns
- Shortness of breath
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Best Positions to Sleep
Initially you might find it difficult to get used to these new positions and it may not be very comfortable, especially if you’re used to sleeping on your back or stomach. Nevertheless, you must try them out as they may become comfortable for you after few days. It’s also ok to keep changing positions at night, even while you are pregnant as it’s quite difficult to sleep in the same position all night.
There is no comfortable position which can be 100% recommended for the pregnant women. These are few tips to make your sleep more comfortable during pregnancy:
- Always remember to sleep on your side. Left side helps in improving blood circulation. It also keeps your baby’s body weight from pushing down onto your liver. While sleeping on your side, keep your legs and knees slightly bent and place a cushion in between them
A study in New Zealand found sleeping on left side reduces the risk of stillbirth. So do always remember to sleep on your left side, to avoid complications.
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- Sleeping on the right side is better than sleeping on your front or back. But this is not good as sleeping on your left side because it puts pressure on your liver which most doctors do not advise you to do.
- If you are suffering from back pain, then try keeping a pillow underneath your abdomen as well, while sleeping in the SOS position (sleep on side)
- If you experience any heart burns during the night, it would be comforting to prop up your upper body with come cushions and pillows. This helps in keeping the acid level in your stomach low
- Shortness of breath can be experienced during later stages of pregnancy and it’s better to keep some cushions on your side and upper body for support. Raise your chest and then sleep.
These positions need not suit every pregnant woman. These are the common positions normally followed but each person is different and so is their comfort level. So get to bed and find your most suitable position.
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At night you will probably take a toss and land on your back. But as soon as you realize this, get back to the right position of sleeping on your left side.
Tips to remember
Your sleeping positions during the third trimester are very crucial and important. This is mostly because your stomach is growing bigger to accommodate your growing baby. Below are some easy tips, keep these in mind so that it may be handy and it will help you sleep comfortably and make sure that your baby is safe too.
Avoid late night bites
Do not eat anything just before bed time. Leave a gap of at least 2 hours before you sleep. This will help in avoiding heart burns and as a result you will be able to sleep well.
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Keep surroundings clean
Sleeping in clean surroundings can improve the quality of sleep. So ensure your room and bed is clean before you sleep. This will help you relax and enter your sleep comfort zone.
Stop tossing and turning
If you do not get a good sleep do not just lie on bed. Go take a walk or do some pending work. Once you feel tired get back to bed you might be able to get back your sleep. Do not lie down and toss and turn unnecessarily.
Take short naps during the day
It is always better to take short naps in the day time. This will help to relieve you from daytime fatigue and keep you fresh all day long. To certain extend it helps in boosting your mood up too.
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Complete rest during bedtime
Move away all gadgets before you go to sleep. Avoid doing any late night jobs. Take proper rest during bedtime. You require this rest for the development of your baby and your well being. Keeping you phone on silent while resting is very important and minimize the use of laptop during this time.
Take a warm bath before going to bed, you can even listen to soothing music during or after the shower, this helps in relaxing and rejuvenating the body and will help you to sleep peacefully and in a calmed manner.
Avoid Spicy foods
If you are fond of eating spicy and hot food, then you must change your eating habits during pregnancy. You must remember that what you eat during the coaurse of pregnancy, the baby eats that too. Spicy food therefore is a complete no-no during this time, even though you had it in your daily diet before conceiving.
It is said that spicy foods during pregnancy results in heat burns and also leads to lack of sleep. Therefore during this time it is advisable to have light and non spicy food like warn milk, biscuits, breads, rice and dal etc.
Avoid harmful beverages
Having the correct food in the correct proportion is veny important during pregnancy. It is immaterial what you had in your daily schedule, but pregnancy requires a lot of care. It is important that you do not consume any such beverage which may cause harm to your baby in your tummy.
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Avoid all kinds of cafeinated drinks like coffee, or energy drinks like red bull. These products have special instruction- to be prevented during pregnancy. Do not ignore them. Also stay a mil apart from alcoholic beverages like ber or hard drinks.
In the normal course of life you are advised to minimize the use of gadgets, therefore it is of utmost importance that you take special care during pregnancy. Minimize the use of mobile phones, laptops and other electronic gadgets that you possess.
Even if you do need to use them, keep them at a distance and avoid keeping laptops on yout lap while working Gadgets are known to release powerful and harmful rays which can be very detrimental for your fetus.
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Exercises do make you sleep better. It boosts physical and mental health which in turn helps you sleep well. But before you start with exercises check with your doctor what is safe and unsafe. Never exercise before you go to bed.
Always make sure you finish all exercises in the morning or evening.Getting yourself enrolled for pregnancy exercise classes is a good idea, a professional trainer will train you exercise in the right manner that benefits both you and your baby.
Wrong Sleeping Positions during Pregnancy
Now that you have seen some of the positions that are recommended during pregnancy, it’s also important to know which positions to avoid.
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Sleeping on your back
Sleeping on your back during pregnancy can be a bit risky as it can cause backaches, digestive problems, breathing difficulties, decreased circulation, low blood pressure and hemorrhoids. This is because the abdomen would have increased in size during pregnancy and when it rests on the intestines and blood vessels, it can pose the above mentioned health problems. Sleeping in this position can also cause nausea; morning sickness ans also disrupts the supply of nutrients to your baby. This is the worst position in the third trimester, do remember to avoid it.
Sleeping on your stomach
During the initial days of pregnancy, you can sleep on your stomach. But as you progress in it, the abdomen increases in size, making it very uncomfortable to sleep on your stomach.
Since the body undergoes a lot of changes, the sleeping habits too may vary after getting pregnant. Though you may be struggling to find out your perfect sleeping posture, it’s recommended that you try the positions given above so that you get full rest and relaxation during your pregnancy. In addition to this, try taking a warm shower, drink a cup of yogurt and wear comfortable clothes to help you sleep better.
Dangers caused due to wrong sleeping positions
Sleeping positions affect both baby and yourself. Wrong positions can also lead to a miscarriage.
- Sleeping on your front is quite rare, but it could lead to damaging your baby by putting extra pressure inside the womb. In some cases this can cause developmental problems or even miscarriages
- Some wrong positions causes harm to your baby’s health and growth
Common sleep disturbances
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- Leg cramps
- Back ache
- Frequent urination
It is quite common to toss and turn worrying about becoming a parent. The reality of having a baby becomes true in the third trimester. This is when all tensions and queries begin, whether you will be a perfect parent. All these tensions can disrupt your sleep, so keep away all doubts and trust in yourself. It is most important for you to get proper rest. This will help your baby to grow well and be healthy.