Sleeping when pregnant is something that every first time mom wonders about as soon as her belly begins to grow. It can be so hard to know what is safe for both you and your baby. You may have general aches and pains common with pregnancy, or just the discomfort of trying to position your growing baby bump in bed. Consequently, finding the best sleeping position while pregnant can be quite a challenge. However, just put these few simple guidelines in place. Then you can settle in and enjoy a refreshing night of sleep, no matter which trimester you are in.
First Trimester Sleep
In the beginning of your pregnancy, you may not have to change your sleep posture at all. Many women find it comfortable to continue to rest in whatever way they had been previously. Back sleeping, side sleeping, and stomach sleeping are all safe, as long as your body is comfortable.
If you wake up in pain, you may need to re-consider continuing to sleep in the same position. Heartburn is a common first trimester complaint that can be made worse by belly sleeping. Instead, start to explore the more ergonomic postures required for second trimester sleep and beyond.
The best sleeping position while pregnant might change if your bump is growing quickly. Some women feel that their abdomen is feeling bigger just a month or two into the pregnancy. If you happen to be a stomach sleeper, you might notice your belly feels to be growing rapidly early on. In this case, you can use a pregnancy pillow to continue stomach sleeping until the second trimester beings. Check out our pregnancy pillow comparison guide.
Second Trimester Sleep
By the second trimester, nearly all women are no longer comfortable sleeping on their stomach. But, if you have always slept this way before, it can be really hard to fall asleep in any other position. This is where a pregnancy pillow comes in. You can use a specially contoured maternity pillow to hug your body, which will lift and align your limbs and allow your belly to rest on the pillow. This way, your stomach is still supported, and you may even feel like you are still floating into sleep the same way you always have.
If you have always been a side sleeper, you are in luck! By this trimester, sleeping on your side is the best sleeping position while pregnant. Side sleeping encourages consistent blood flow to the placenta and fetus. It also helps to keep your spine in alignment which aids in avoiding some of the more obvious pregnancy pains and strains.
Back sleepers will start to get uncomfortable in the second trimester, and need to turn to start getting a safe and comfortable night of sleep. Think of it this way. When you are flat on your back, all of the weight of your abdomen is pressing on your spine and organs. Blood flow can easily restrict, which isn’t the safest for you or your unborn baby! Instead, slide to your side, and use a pregnancy pillow to help keep you propped up if you need the extra support. The best sleeping position while pregnant is generally the one you feel most comfortable in. However, you don’t want to risk having any issues by sleeping on your back during this trimester.
Third Trimester Sleep
Sleep in the last three months of pregnancy can be very elusive. Your body is feeling heavy and achey. Your legs seem restless. The heartburn never ends! It can be terribly hard to find a position that is comfortable during the day, let alone for eight hours of much needed sleep. First, make sure your bed is well equipped for a good night of third trimester sleep. Invest in a quality pregnancy pillow. Get rid of heavy blankets that may cause you to sweat during hormone fueled body temperature changes. Try to keep your room 5-10 degrees cooler than usual. Get a white noise machine to reduce outside disturbances. And, most importantly, stay on your left side.
By the six month, the number one best sleeping position while pregnant is sleeping on your left side. When you stay on your left side, there is no constriction on blood flow, and your placenta will receive all of the oxygen and nutrients that it needs. Sleeping on your left side helps to keep your baby safe and growing.
This side posture is also the best sleeping position while pregnant because it helps reduce pain and inflammation in your body. When you lay flat on your back or belly, the spine is not supported or properly aligned. As you practice sleeping on your left side, consider a quality maternity pillow for support. It will assist you in aligning your knees, hips, shoulders, back and neck for optimum sleep success. You will likely wake up feeling more refreshed.
Side sleeping also helps reduce heartburn, headaches, muscle strain, and joint pain. Overall, you can’t go wrong when sleeping on your left side during the third trimester.
The Best Sleeping Position While Pregnant
Overall, left side sleeping is the clear winner for keeping pregnant women and their babies healthy, safe, and comfortable. Many doctors and midwives will tell you that left side sleeping the the best sleeping position while pregnant. That expert advice is something you should not ignore. By figuring out ways to keep your changing body comfortable, you will likely notice that side sleeping becomes an easy position to adapt.
If you have problems with side sleeping, don’t worry too much. Maybe women fall asleep on their sides, and then wake up in the middle of the night flat on their backs. If this happens, don’t panic. Just reposition yourself onto your side and drift back to sleep. Use your pregnancy pillow as a solid support system, and curl it around your back to hug both sides of your body. By supporting your body you are enforcing healthy sleep habits that will keep you safe throughout the duration of your pregnancy.
Pregnant women need as much sleep as possible during each trimester, and achieving safe and comfortable sleep doesn’t have to be a problem. Just remember the best sleeping position while pregnant, and do everything that you can to make it work for you! So, if you do not already own a pregnancy pillow please check out our pregnancy pillow reviews!