Sleep. It’s every mama’s best friend. But as many women know, sleep can be difficult to get when you’re pregnant and even more so once you have your baby. But when you’re pregnant, you’re more than likely tossing and turning each night trying to find a comfortable position. (That and getting up to pee every hour.) It then takes forever before you finally fall asleep. And if you’re like me, who usually sleeps on her stomach, your normal sleep positions don’t work.
There are many reasons for these new discomforts that you’re feeling while lying in bed. Those being back pain, heartburn, your growing bump putting pressure on your bladder, and having shortness of breath or feeling lightheaded. All of these can cause major pregnancy insomnia. But some sleeping positions can help you get that much needed rest that you are desperately seeking. Here are the best sleep positions to use during pregnancy.
1. Sleeping On Your Side
The best sleep position during pregnancy is to be on your side. Preferably, the left side. The reason for this is lying on your left side releases any pressure that might be on your vena cava. A large vein that runs down the right lower side of your body and is responsible for bringing all the unoxygenated blood from your lower extremities to your heart. Your vena cava is responsible for sending blood to your uterus, which increases the amount of blood, oxygen, and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby. This is why sleeping on your left side is preferred. However, I don’t want you to lose any more sleep if you end up sleeping on your right side. As long as you are switching positions each night or even throughout the night (which I’m sure you are), you are doing just fine.
And when sleeping on your side, I’m a big advocate of finding a good pregnancy pillow that will keep you comfortable throughout the night. I’m using this pregnancy pillow and highly recommend it. As you can see, when lying on your left side, you can keep your legs and knees bent, and put one side of the pregnancy pillow between your legs. I’ll demonstrate the other sleep positions with this pillow.
2. Support on Your Back and Belly
If you are experiencing back pain when trying to sleep, the side-lying position is also helpful. I recommend putting a pillow behind your back for more support and tucking the side of the pregnancy pillow under your abdomen. This will help relieve some pressure off of your back.
The side-lying position can also help if you add more pillows in-between your legs. This will help open your pelvis and take the pressure off of your lower back.
3. Sleeping Elevated
Tons of women suffer from heartburn during pregnancy. And during the night is when it can really flare up. To help with this, you may want to try propping up your upper body. Having your upper body elevated will help the acidity that builds up to stay down. Here are some different ways you can do that with a pregnancy pillow.
This position can also help if you are experiencing shortness of breath or feeling lightheaded.
The best part about having a good pregnancy pillow is that when you are changing your position in the middle of the night, you don’t have to rearrange your pillows every time. It’s one and done! As you can see from my demonstration here:
A pregnancy pillow is also a great investment even after you have baby. There are tons of ways that you can continue to use it!
These sleep positions that I’ve mentioned may not sound comfortable to you, especially if you are used to sleeping on your stomach or back. But I promise that they will help! With proper positioning and a good pillow, your sleep will get better.
NOTE: It’s normal for you to not stay in one position all night, and rotating positions is fine. Just know that the two positions that you should avoid during pregnancy are 1) sleeping on your back, and 2) sleeping on your stomach. When sleeping on your back, the weight of baby on your back could cause problems with backaches, breathing, the digestive system, hemorrhoids, low blood pressure, and a decrease in circulation to your heart and your baby. Sleeping on your stomach will apply too much body weight and pressure on your uterus and growing baby. Stay safe by sticking to the positions that I’ve listed above.
Cheers to better sleep!
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