Pregnancy can change your sleeping pattern to become irregular. Most pregnant women usually wake up at night because they feel discomfort in their bodies. During pregnancy, changes in sleep patterns are actually normal. In the first trimester, it can be due to hormonal factors. As for the second and third trimester, it can be due to the fact that the stomach is starting to grow.
Actually, it is possible for pregnant women like you to sleep comfortably if you position your body correctly. There are a few sleeping positions that are recommended during pregnancy and all of them are not dangerous.
Good sleeping positions for pregnant women
According to various sources, the following are the good sleeping positions for pregnant women based on conditions and gestational age:
1. Sleeping on your stomach during early pregnancy
Sleeping on your stomach is allowed from early pregnancy to 16 or 18 weeks of age. After this gestational age, you should not sleep on your stomach.
Safe sleeping position for early pregnancy
There is nothing to worry about sleeping on your stomach during early pregnancy. At this time, the lining of the uterus and amniotic fluid can protect the baby from pressure even when sleeping in this position.
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2. Sleeping on your back
Sleeping on your back can also be done in early pregnancy when the stomach is not yet enlarged or before 12 weeks of age. This position can be maintained until the beginning of the second trimester. According to an obstetrician and gynecologist at Caders-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles named Sara Twogood, MD, before 12 weeks of gestation, you can sleep however you want. However, as the gestational age increases, sleeping on your back and stomach can cause discomfort. If the stomach has started to grow, it is better for you to find another position. Sleeping on your back can cause back pain, breathing problems, indigestion, hemorrhoids, and decreased blood circulation.
3. Sleeping on your left side
When your stomach starts to grow, you can sleep on your left side. According to the experts, lying on the left side with a pillow to support the stomach is the most recommended sleeping position during pregnancy. When moving the position to the side, make sure your legs are bent and supported by a pillow. It should be done to give the baby more space to move around and prevent hip joint pain.
The benefits of sleeping on your side during pregnancy
Sleeping on your left side can optimize blood flow to the placenta and fetus. This position can reduce compression of the inferior vena cava or IVC, the one that carries blood to your heart and the heart of the baby. Not only that, this position is also pretty comfortable when the stomach has started to grow. In addition, it can also prevent breech babies.
4. Sleeping on your right side
Sleeping on your right side can be done during early pregnancy or when the stomach is not enlarged. If you choose to sleep in this position, it is better for you to frequently change your side to the left. While sleeping on your right side for too long can be comfortable, it can make heartburn worse. When the stomach is big, you are not advised to sleep on the right side.
The dangers of sleeping on your right side when the stomach is enlarged
According to an obstetrics and gynecology specialist from Jakarta, Indonesia named dr. Gorga I.V.W Udjung, Sp. OG, the body can put pressure on the blood vessels so they can narrow when you sleep in this position. If this happens, oxygenation can be reduced. Not only that, he also added that there is a liver or heart on the right side of the body which can also be pressed while sleeping on the right side. He said that the bigger the pregnancy, the pressure felt when sleeping on the right side can be dangerous and cause you to feel uncomfortable.
5. Sleeping while leaning back
You can sleep while leaning back if you feel uncomfortable when sleeping on your side. In this position, a pillow is the one that you need as a support. If you want to sleep in this position, you can elevate the pillow. Then, sleep by leaning on the pillow. In case you want your knees to feel more comfortable, you can put some pillows under them.
6. Sleeping position for pregnancy age of 7-9 months
A good sleeping position for 7-9 months of pregnancy is on the left side. According to American Pregnancy, sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby. Aside from that, good circulation can also help to reduce the potential for swelling, varicose veins in the legs and hemorrhoids or hemorrhoids. At this gestational age, you should avoid sleeping on your stomach and back because it can cause back pain and issues with blood circulation.
7. Sleeping position with a pillow
To provide comfort during sleep, you may need pregnant pillows. With the right pillow, you can reduce physical pain during sleep. A sleep specialist and founder of Little Sleep Stars named Lauren Peacock says that the placement of a pillow between your legs when sleeping on your side is believed to help reduce back pain. You can put a pillow between your legs while sleeping on the left side. Besides, pillows can also be placed on the back in order to prevent back pain.
Read also: The 9 Best Pregnancy Pillows for Back, Stomach and Side Sleepers
Types of maternity pillows
There are 3 types of pillows that can be used during pregnancy. The explanation can be found below:
– Wedge pregnancy pillow
The wedge pregnancy pillow is not too big and can be used in the final trimester of pregnancy. You can use this kind of pillow to help relieve heartburn.
– Long pregnancy pillow
Long pregnancy pillow can support the whole body. Aside from that, this one can also support the stomach and provide comfort to the arms and legs while sleeping.
– Large pregnancy pillow (total body)
Large pregnancy pillows or ‘U’ and ‘C’ shaped pillows are ideal during the second trimester. With these pillows, you can support the spine and reduce hip and back pain.
8. Sleeping position when the stomach is heartburn
When you feel heartburn, you should pay attention to your sleeping position. Try to keep your head higher than your feet. You can prop your head or back of your shoulder using a pillow. According to the author of The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep is Broken and How to Fix It named W. Christopher Winter, M.D., this position uses gravity, which will help you to sleep better when you are struggling with heartburn.
Tips for dealing with insomnia during pregnancy
In addition to sleeping positions, you can also try several ways to get a good sleep during pregnancy. Below are 7 ways to deal with sleeplessness during pregnancy:
- Get used to going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.
- Keep the bedroom dark and cool.
- Sleep on the bed and not somewhere else like a couch or a chair.
- Make the room as comfortable as possible.
- It is better for you to avoid consuming caffeine before going to bed or even during pregnancy.
- Limit fluid intake about two hours before bedtime.
- Avoid carbonated drinks, oranges, peppermint, tomatoes, spicy and fatty foods because they can trigger stomach acid reflux.