Pregnant Sleeping On Back

Pregnant Sleeping On Back

Pregnancy is a time when women need a good night’s sleep more than ever.  However, that can become harder than ever. Finding the correct sleeping position is not easy.  Because, the most common favorite positions (back and stomach) aren’t the best choices during pregnancy. If you are pregnant sleeping on back, it is harmless to continue doing so throughout your first trimester. However, as your uterus starts to get heftier during mid-pregnancy, it is best to avoid pregnant sleeping on back.

When you lie on your back, the weight of your uterus pressures the main vein that carries blood from the lower body all the way to your heart. This means lying on your back for long periods of time might make you feel dizzy. Furthermore, it could also mess up the flow of nutrients and blood to the placenta and your developing fetus. This may prove to be a problem if you are experiencing diabetes or high blood pressure that impacts the level of nutrients and oxygen the baby is getting.

Stop Pregnant Sleeping on Back

Experts recommend switching to one side rather than pregnant sleeping on back at the beginning of your second trimester. One reason behind this recommendation involves the increased back pain that might result from sleeping on your back. In addition to that, back sleeping during pregnancy might contribute to digestive system and breathing problems.  In addition, it can also lead to hemorrhoids, as per the American Pregnancy Association website.

Besides, sleeping on your side is far better for the help of your unborn child. When you sleep on your back, blood flow to the placenta declines due to the uterus’ weight compressing against the vena cava.  This is the key vein responsible for moving blood from your lower body back to the heart.

During the second and third trimesters, sleeping on side – preferably the left – is ideal for you and the baby. Again, this position promotes blood circulation and improves kidney function, which means improved removal of waste elements and less swelling in your ankles, hands, and feet.

Tips For A Comfortable Pregnancy Sleep

If you are not used sleeping on your side, or cannot seem to get any proper rest now that you are pregnant, here are some tips that will help you get comfy while sleeping on your side.

  1. Use Lots Of Pillows – Try to cross one leg over the other and put one pillow between them and another one behind your back – or whatever combination that helps you sleep better.
  2. Invest In A Good Pregnancy Pillow – For additional support, go for a pregnancy pillow.  See these pregnancy pillow comparison chart.
  3. Lift Yourself Up – If you don’t find the pillows to be helpful try sleeping in a semi-erect position in a recliner instead of the bed.
  4. Stop Tossing And Turning – If you can’t seem to sleep, get up and do something instead of just lying around in your bed. Try walking around in your room or folding laundry. It might feel weird, but utilize that time to your advantage. Once you have calmed down a bit, return to your bed and see if you can fall asleep.
  5. Keep Your Naps Sweet And Short – If you have time for napping, go for it, but don’t spend more than 30 minutes. If you go for a longer nap, your body will enter the deep sleep stage.  Thus, making it harder for you to wake up and will leave you feeling tired. If you have the time, then you can take more than one 30-minute nap in a day.
  6. Turn The Temperature Down – The heat level of your body increase during pregnancy. You might feel hot at most times, and if your room is too stuffy, you will have a hard time sleeping. So play around with the thermostat to arrive at a temperature that is most comfortable for you.  Perhaps a few degrees lower than your regular temperature. For most people, setting the thermostat to the low 60s helps a lot.
  7. Make Your Bed As Comfortable A Spot As You Can – A comfortable bed is a key to sleeping well.  Not only during pregnancy but also in general. However, since your spine feels more pressure than normal, getting a more comfortable mattress (if you can afford) will help alleviate the back pain. If you find yourself not getting enough support from the mattress, you might have to invest in a good mattress pad that will soothe down the sore muscles or an aching back.
  8. Avoid Stimulation Right Before Bedtime – A few minutes before hitting the bed, turn away from all kinds of external stimulation – TV, laptop, books, newspapers, caffeine, light or noise. Also, avoid late-night workouts or vigorous workouts just before going to bed as those will keep you wired for a long time.

Changing Pregnant Sleeping Positions

Don’t be surprised if you go to sleep on your side and wake up flat on your back. It is quite normal and doesn’t have any severe impact on your fetus’s health. When you find yourself in such a position, simply roll yourself back to the original position and go back to sleep. The fact that you woke up pregnant sleeping on back is your body’s way of reminding you to shift positions.

Even though pregnant sleeping on the back is not a recommended position, experts believe that it is too early to make suggestions based on the findings and that expectant women need not change the way they lie down.

Research suggests that there is no firm link between maternal position and the risk of stillbirth.  So, to arrive at a final word, more research is needed. Some experts encourage women to sleep in whichever position that makes them the most comfortable. Even though there is plenty of evidence that suggests how sleeping on the back can be stressful for the unborn child.  Most of all, there are no known occurrences of stillbirth in women who slept on their backs when pregnant.