If you’re pregnant, you’ve probably found yourself struggling to find a comfortable sleeping position at night. Have you discovered that you cannot sleep in the same position you did before you were pregnant? Why is getting to sleep so difficult now? There are several reasons such as back pain, heart burn, increased belly size and shortness of breath.
The best sleeping positions for pregnant women are called “SOS” which stands for “sleep on side”. The left side is the preferred side to sleep on because blood flow and nutrients from the placenta will travel more easily to the baby when you lay on your left side.
If your problem is back pain, try “SOS” on the left side and place a pillow under your tummy. It should help to relieve the pull on your lower back muscles. If heartburn is bugging you, prop up your upper body with pillows so the acid in your stomach has to fight gravity to make it up your esophagus. Talk to your doctor about which antacid is the best for pregnant women. Propping up your upper body with pillows should also help if you’re short of breath. A lot of women like to use a specially designed maternity pillow to sleep. It cradles the belly and you can prop up a leg on it to alleviate hip pain.
Some of these sleep positions might sound comfortable, but keep in mind that you can move around and switch positions until you find what works for you.
Avoid sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your back can bring on shortness of breath, heartburn, low blood pressure and even hemorrhoids. It also decreases blood flow to the baby because the abdomen puts pressure on your major blood vessels. You also don’t want to try and sleep on your stomach because your stomach won’t permit it! The farther along you are, the more your stomach gets in the way. It can also put a ton of pressure on your back.
If you’re finding that you just cannot get to sleep at night, look at your diet. Are you getting more caffeine than you should be? Avoid acidic foods or greasy foods that cause your body to work harder to digest. Nap during the day. It’s important that you get some good sleep, whether it’s at night or during the day.
Some say that the sleep struggles you have during pregnancy are to prepare you for when your newborn arrives and is up all night. As the mother for a child that woke up every 45 minutes for the first three months, I strongly urge you to try to get as much sleep as you can before baby arrives!