We spend about one-third of our lives either sleeping or attempting to do so. And recent studies show that there’s an association between mother’s sleeping position and a baby’s well-being. Due to changes in the body, regular positions may no longer be safe during pregnancy.
We at Bright Side havestudied what positions you can try to get some much-needed rest without posing any harm to you or your unborn child.
1. Sleeping on your stomach
If you used to sleep on your belly before you were pregnant, you can stick with this position in the early months of pregnancy since there’s no evidence that shows this can cause harm to you or your baby. However, after the first trimester, you simply won’t be able to lay on your stomach comfortably due to your growing baby bump, so it’ll be very unlikely that you will choose to rest in this position.
2. Sleeping on your side (SOS sleep)
This is the safest position for you and your baby. It enables good blood flow but doesn’t put pressure on your internal organs.
Although both sides are safe, it’s suggested to choose the left side for several reasons.
- It will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach your baby.
- It reduces the risk of stillbirth.
- It helps your kidneys to get rid of waste products and fluids.
It might be challenging at first if you’re a fan of a different sleeping position, but below, you’ll find some tips on how to fall asleep on your side comfortably.
3. Hands/knees posture
This position isn’t meant for sleeping but practicing it can be very beneficial for a mother and her child. The hands and knees position will ease back pain and loosen joints, as well as provide comfort and relaxation for many expecting mothers. As for a child, this position is believed to encourage a baby to move into the right position, which is great for labor.
To practice this position, put a pillow under your knees (or you can use a yoga mat). Stand on your hands and knees but be careful not to arch your shoulders. After finishing, get up slowly so you don’t get a head rush.
You can also use a fitness ball. Resting over a ball while on your hands and knees is another variation of this position which provides additional support.
Tips for better sleep during pregnancy
- Put pillows behind you to prevent you from falling on your back and to make things more uncomfortable.
- Many mothers find it more comfortable to place a pillow between the legs (when sleeping on your side) as it keeps the legs parallel and supports the hips, pelvis, and spine.
- If you suffer from heartburn during the night, propping additional pillows underneath your head will help you a lot.
- Try sleeping with a low bun in your hair since it will make it more uncomfortable to sleep on your back.
- During day naps, pay the same attention to your sleep position as you would during the night.
- Fall asleep in the right position. We spend most of our time in the position we fall asleep in. So, if you wake up at night, check your position and go back to sleep while laying on your left side.
Avoid the supine position
Sleeping on your back during pregnancy isn’t as safe as before since the weight of the baby and the womb puts pressure on your internal organs, causing difficulties in blood flow to the placenta.
That’s why choosing a different sleeping position is safer for both a mother and her child and it’s a simple way to decrease the risk of having a stillbirth and poor fetal growth. However, don’t become too anxious about this. During uncomplicated pregnancies, the risk of having a stillbirth is pretty low (1 in 200).
Have you experienced any trouble finding a comfortable position during pregnancy? What tips did you find to be the most useful? We’d be glad to hear from you in the comments!