This is something that I never thought I would experience. Finding the best positions to sleep in pregnancy can be tough for some pregnant women.
It’s not really a topic that I found a lot of people discussed so I had no idea it was coming my way when I first got pregnant.
I knew that morning sickness could be a problem and a few other things such as back pain but there is so much more in pregnancy that people just do not talk about.
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People don’t discuss the issues you can have during the different trimesters.
In my first trimester of pregnancy, aside from morning sickness, I had no sleeping issues.
In fact, during my first trimester, I took FULL advantage of any sleep time that I could get.
The second trimester is where things started to get a little tricky for me and it will probably have the same effect on you too unless you are prepared.
WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR SLEEP DURING THE SECOND TRIMESTER?
During the second trimester of pregnancy is where your body begins to see its first few real bodily changes.
Your body begins to take shape to adapt and make space for your new baby.
Naturally, your abdomen increases in size and makes sleeping much more uncomfortable than before.
If you are the type of person that likes to sleep on your stomach or your back then you will likely be affected by your new body changes.
Sleeping in positions other than what you are used to can throw your sleep off track and feel very uncomfortable.
HOW MANY HOURS OF SLEEP SHOULD A PREGNANT WOMAN GET?
As your pregnancy progresses you will likely begin to feel much more tired.
A lot of women report having to take an afternoon nap in order to keep up with the demands of their body.
It’s always a good idea to listen to what your body wants.
Most woman during pregnancy will likely need a couple more hours of sleep on top of what they usually have.
It’s a good idea to take advantage of any extra sleep if you can.
A common misconception that people have is that they think that sleep deprivation occurs once your baby is born. This is actually incorrect.
Sleep deprivation starts way before your baby is born. Pregnancy can throw up all kinds of sleeping problems so just bear that in mind.
WHAT IS THE BEST SLEEPING POSITION DURING PREGNANCY?
You may or may not have heard it before but the best position to sleep in during pregnancy is on your left hand side.
Sleeping on your left hand side is recommended from the second trimester onwards.
It is the best position to increase the amount of blood and nutrients to support the placenta and the growth of your baby.
I won’t lie to you, if you are not in the habit of sleeping on your left side then it can feel quite uncomfortable to begin with until you get used to it.
Sleeping on your left hand side also takes the pressure of your uterus off your liver which can be uncomfortable.
Whilst you can sleep on your right hand side it is still better to sleep on the left if you can.
Sleeping on the left is the best position for both mother and baby.
WHY YOU SHOULDN’T SLEEP ON YOUR STOMACH DURING YOUR SECOND TRIMESTER
You can get away with sleeping on your stomach during the first trimester as your baby is still very small and there probably won’t be much physical change to your body during this time.
However, as your baby begins to grow and your stomach gets bigger it is actually not a good idea to continue to sleep on your stomach.
Sleeping on your stomach can cause decreased blood flow through your body and you could experience some dizziness.
Not only will it begin to get incredibly uncomfortable for you to sleep in this way your baby will also feel uncomfortable in this position due to the pressure they will experience from the pressing down.
If you are still determined to sleep in this way you could perhaps try a maternity full bump pillow.
CAN I SLEEP ON MY BACK DURING PREGNANCY?
Sleeping on your back is also not a good idea because your uterus will put a lot of pressure onto the major blood vessel.
Doing this will disrupt the blood and nutrients that should be reaching your placenta and baby causing you to feel very nauseous.
OTHER FACTORS THAT AFFECT YOUR SLEEP DURING PREGNANCY
Sleeping position is not the only thing that disrupts your sleep at night time.
- Back pain
Can all play a part in this too.
If you are experiencing back pain or any of the other things mentioned, I would suggest taking a warm bath or shower before going to bed.
Perhaps your partner could give you a massage to release some tension.
Set up your room to be as relaxing as possible before you enter so you are ready to sleep. Dim the lights, make your room a calm peaceful place and use a pregnancy pillow.
Pregnancy pillows are the best thing ever! They help you to get into the most comfortable sleeping position.
TO SUMMARISE: THE BEST POSITIONS TO SLEEP IN DURING PREGNANCY IN THE SECOND AND THIRD TRIMESTER
Sleep on your left side as much as possible. If it starts to get a little uncomfortable you can switch to the right hand side for a short while before going back to the left.
Use a full body maternity pillow for optimal comfort if you absolutely have too. If it gets you to have a good nights sleep then it’s worth it!
I didn’t hear about a pregnancy pillow in my first pregnancy but funny enough as my pregnancy progressed I started sleeping with a pillow between my legs.
It made sleeping so much more comfortable for me. Probably not as good as a pregnancy pillow but it did give me some relief.
If you are having a hard time sleeping I would highly recommend you get one. You will need all the rest you can get before your baby comes along.
Related pregnancy posts:
- 10 Signs of labor approaching
- How to write your perfect natural birth plan
- Lightning crotch: Do you know what it is?
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