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Pregnancy can be both joyful and frightening. Along with the many physical and mental changes that come with pregnancy, sleeping peacefully during this time is probably the hardest to tackle.
The toughest part is to get used to the limited amount of positions that are available to you during pregnancy. One that won’t make you feel nauseous, give you heartburn, or make your tender breasts ever more sensitive – or – worst of all, harm the baby.
It’s tough, but it’s not impossible to achieve. Finding the best sleeping position for you and your baby to ensure a healthy pregnancy is what we’re here to help you with.
Here are the best sleeping positions you can use during pregnancy and what you can do to help yourself and your little munchkin be relaxed and comfortable during these next nine months.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Lack of Sleep During Pregnancy
- Best Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy
- Sleep Comfortably During Pregnancy
- Final Thoughts
Lack of Sleep During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, your body goes through a lot of changes. One of the toughest challenges you’ll likely face is the lack of sleep.
If you’re unsure as to why you’re having trouble sleeping, here are a few possible reasons why.
Drowsiness is very common during pregnancy. If you’re feeling sleepy during the day then it’s because of the sudden rise in your progesterone hormone. This particular hormone is in charge of regulating the reproductive cycle.
Even though you’ll likely be sleeping more in the first trimester, you may still find yourself waking up frequently. The progesterone hormone produces heat which can make you feel sleepy.
And if you feel drowsy earlier during the day, you’re likely to feel exhausted during the rest of the day too. Make sure to keep your doctor informed about these changes as they’ll be able to help you out a lot during these times.
2. Dealing With Body Changes
Your body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy. You may have tender breasts, backache and other pains that stop you from getting a comfortable night’s sleep.
If you’re used to sleeping on your stomach it can be equally uncomfortable to get to sleep as your bump starts to grow. Dealing with all of these sudden bodily changes can be tough, but not impossible.
The proper and right bra goes a long way. Wear a comfortable sports bra or maternity bra to help you support your tender and fuller breasts. Make use of a body pillow to get the right support while you sleep. If nothing works, consult your doctor and ask for their opinion.
3. Frequent Urination
The progesterone hormone is also responsible for your frequent urination. Other than the growing bump pushing against your bladder, this hormone also affects the smooth muscles around it.
This is the main reason why you wake up throughout the night and need to keep running to the nearest washroom during the dayt. So, persistent urination coupled with sleep deprivation is not a good combination for expectant mothers.
If you think cutting down on your water intake will solve the problem, it won’t. Instead, you should drink plenty of water during the day and reduce your intake before you head to bed. It also helps if you avoid soda, coffee, and caffeine-induced tea.
4. Nausea and Heartburn
During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, morning sickness is pretty common. Worst of all, it comes as a surprise. It can happen in the middle of the night or any time during the day. There are herbal remedies you can try to help with it. Ginger is known to be a great remedy for nausea, as well as acupuncture.
Along with nausea, you may also suffer from heartburn. The progesterone hormone is, once again, responsible for this.
It relaxes the muscles around the stomach and the esophagus which makes the contents and acid flow back to it. This causes indigestion and heartburn. Allow time for your food to digest properly before you head to bed. Break down your meals into smaller portions and eat slowly.
Remember to carry a dental kit in your bag if you’re a working mom!
5. Stress and Anxiety
The first trimester is usually filled with emotional ups and downs that can range from being excited to severaly drepressed. It’s hard enough you have to adapt and adjust to the many physical changes you’ll face during your pregnancy.
But for first time moms, it can be a rollercoaster of a ride. It’s easy to get stressed and suffer from anxiety while dealing with all of this.
But, have no fear, there are many ways you can stop yourself from feeling that way. You can sign up for birthing classes and bond and share with other pregnant women. Hearing their side of things and learning how they deal with similar problems can be helpful.
You can also try writing your troubled thoughts down before going to bed. Listen to soothing music, read a book, or do yoga and breathing exercises.
Best Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy
After discussing the reasons for your lack of sleep, it’s time to get to the important part of this article. We’ll discuss the best sleeping positions during pregnancy, what they are and how they can help you feel more comfortable during the night.
1. Sleeping on your Side
This is possibly the best sleeping position you can adopt during pregnancy. Sworn by many moms, it’s known to help you and your baby at the same time. Sleeping on your side, especially on the left side, allows the maximum flow of blood to your organs and your growing baby.
Keep your legs and knees bent and use a side pillow between them for maximum comfort.
Sleeping on your side doesn’t put any pressure on your liver or any other organs. Instead, it reduces any swelling in your ankles, feet, and hands by eliminating the waste from your body. This position also benefits your kidneys as well.
If you and your baby want a peaceful slumber then this is the best sleeping position you should use during pregnancy.
2. Sleeping on your Back
During the first trimester, sleeping on your back is totally safe and fine. However, after those first 12 weeks, you should avoid it altogether. This simply isn’t the best sleeping position during pregnancy.
Sleeping on your back can cause your abdomen and uterus to put pressure on some major veins. This can cut off blood supply to your heart. It also interferes with the delivery of proper blood and nutrients to the placenta and your baby.
It can also make you feel dizzy, cause back ache, hemorrhoids, and low blood pressure. Avoid sleeping on your back completely after the first trimester. Consult with your doctor if you’re unsure about the dangers of sleeping on your back.
3. Sleeping on your Stomach
After a few months of your pregnancy, sleeping on your stomach is not really uncomfortable. Sleeping on your expanding uterus won’t harm the baby if that’s what you’re wondering. The uterine walls give enough protection for your munchkin.
Even if you keep sleeping on your stomach at nine months, it won’t hurt them.
There is no medical threat to sleeping on your stomach. It’s pretty safe, however, it’s very difficult to manage it comfortably. It’s just not the most ideal sleeping position during pregnancy, unless you use special pregnancy pillows with a hole for your bump.
Sleep Comfortably During Pregnancy
There are various ways you can make your sleeping experience more comfortable during pregnancy. Here are a few sleeping aids that can help you with that.
Pillows can help you to get a better night’s sleep during your pregnancy. Here are a few ways they can help you.
For Back and Belly
To give your back and belly the ultimate support and comfort, tuck a pillow inbetween your knees. Make sure they are bent.
This also helps to relieve pain from the lower back and make sleeping on your side much more pleasant. There are full body pillows, U- or C- shaped pillows, or wedges you can use to support both your back and front.
Sleeping with the right pillow during pregnancy can change your life completely.
Relief from Heartburn:
If you want to relieve yourself of that heartburn you’ve been experiencing during bedtime, just use an extra pillow and elevate your head. It keeps the stomach acids from rising up to your chest.
2. Food and Drink
It may come as a surprise to you, but what you eat and drink has a great impact on the quality of your sleep. For example, having caffeine and sugar near bedtime will keep you up instead of putting you to sleep. If you really want to have a good sleep, a glass of warm milk is enough.
Here are a few ways you can help yourself sleep better by having the right food and drink during your pregnancy.
For Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar levels cause headaches, intense sweating, and bad dreams. Remembering to have enough protein is key during pregnancy.
Include eggs, butter, and peanut butter in your diet to keep your blood sugar levels high for a good night’s sleep. Many moms swear that a peanut butter sandwich has done wonders for their sleep during their pregnancy.
The main cause of nausea is an empty stomach. It’s important you include carbohydrates into your diet. A light snack containing both carbs and protein can go a long way.
Milk and a high protein cereal, a sandwich with milk, or dry snacks like crackers, and pretzels are a few good examples of a balanced meal. These work well if you wake up in the middle of the night feeling nauseous.
For Heartburn and Indigestion
To avoid heartburn and indigestion, try not to have large meals before bedtime. It’s much healthier to break down your meals into smaller portions throughout the day.
Sleeping with a full stomach will just make things worse and, not to mention, uneasy during the night.
3. Proper Amount of Sleep
We cannot stress how vital the proper amount of sleep is for you and your growing baby. Getting the right amount of sleep will take a few tries to get it right. Start by planning a sleeping schedule.
A two hour nap will only make things worse when you try to get to sleep at night. Instead, taking half an hour naps during the day works great for pregnant moms. The most important tip is to not have any liquid a few hours before bedtime.
You’ll get up less during the night and actually manage to get a good night’s sleep. Try one of our sleeping positions during pregnancy and see the results for yourself!
It’s going to be tough to get into the habit of sleeping in a position you’re not used to. However, the right sleeping position is vital for a good night’s sleep and you and your baby’s health. Have your partner help you out.
Ask them to push you back into the right position if they find you sleeping in an awkward sleeping position and use the right pillows to support your back, bump and joints. We hope our article will help you find the best sleeping position during pregnancy and also keep you healthy and stress-free.
Remember to have light meals and a sufficient amount of carbs and protein. Make time for yourself to keep yourself relaxed so you can power through these next nine months. Good luck!
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