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Finding a comfortable position to sleep in while pregnant is one of the most common struggles women come across, especially in the later terms of their pregnancy. While your body is constantly changing, restless nights can contribute to irregular emotions and further impact daily activities. While most people sleep in positions that feel comfortable and familiar to them, women who are pregnant may not always have that option. They may need to experiment with a few different sleeping positions to find one that best suits both themselves and their baby.
Besides comfort, it is important to find a good sleeping position because it may help alleviate symptoms of feeling sick while pregnant. Some common symptoms women have during pregnancy are heartburn, shortness of breath, back pain, and abdominal pain. The position you sleep in has an impact on how bad these symptoms affect you. Finding a comfortable sleeping position that helps alleviate these symptoms could contribute to a good night’s sleep.
Sleeping on your side (SOS):
Studies have shown that women who are pregnant find sleeping on their side the most comfortable sleeping position. Obviously, some women may prefer one side over the other, but it is recommended to try to sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side can increase blood flow throughout the body. This is not only more beneficial for you but also for your baby in your uterus. An increase in blood flow also increases the level of nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby. Sleeping on your left side also alleviates pressure on your liver.
Along with sleeping on your side, whichever side it may be, it is essential to also sleep with your legs and knees bent between a pillow. This will allow for a more comfortable sleeping position while also providing benefits to your kidneys. Sleeping in this position will help your body eliminate waste and fluids, contributing to reduced swelling in your hands, feet, and ankles.
Sleeping on your side with your legs and knees bent in between a pillow can also help take the pressure off your back. Especially in later terms of your pregnancy, back pain will increase as you are constantly carrying around extra weight. Sleeping on your side and adding an additional pillow under your abdomen can help alleviate some of that unwanted back pain.
Although sleeping on your back may not be everyone’s most comfortable position, here are some sleeping positions to try to avoid:
Sleeping on your stomach: Even though medically speaking it is okay to sleep on your stomach while you are pregnant, it definitely will be the most uncomfortable position. While your uterine walls will provide enough protection for your baby, sleeping on your stomach will cause a lot of unwanted stress throughout many parts of your body. Overall it is best to avoid sleeping on your stomach while your pregnant, especially during and past the fifth month.
Sleeping on your back: Although sleeping on your back is likely more comfortable than sleeping on your stomach, sleeping in this position while pregnant can come hand in hand with some unwanted issues. Sleeping on your back can cause problems to your digestive system, breathing, and of course, cause backaches. Sleeping in this position can also cause abdominal issues due to the fact your abdominal will rest on your intestines when sleeping on your back. This can cause a drop in blood pressure and poor circulation to your heart and throughout your body.
Although comfortable sleeping positions vary from person to person, sleeping on your side comes along with the most benefits for you and your baby. While objectively being the most comfortable position, this position also contributes to relieving negative symptoms that commonly are seen during pregnancy. By controlling these negative symptoms such as heartburn, shortness of breath, and pain throughout your back and abdomen, your chances of having a restful night drastically increases. If you are pregnant and struggling to sleep, sleeping on your side with your legs and knees bent between a pillow might be a good position to try for a good night’s sleep.
“Best Sleeping Positions While Pregnant.” American Pregnancy Association, 27 Aug. 2020, americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/sleeping-positions-while-pregnant-1012/.