Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, it can sometimes be difficult to find a comfortable position for sleeping. Your regular sleeping positions may no longer be possible, or may be too uncomfortable. Read on for some ideas that may help you get that much needed rest.

Common Sleeping Issues During Pregnancy:

  • Belly gets in the way
  • Back pain after sleeping in certain positions
  • Heartburn during the night
  • Shortness of breath
  • Insomnia (you just can’t fall asleep)
  • Snoring and sleep apnea
  • Nausea

Recommended Sleep Position
The best sleep position during pregnancy is called “Sleep on Side”, or “SOS” for short. The left side is preferred. This position gives you the best circulation of blood and nutrients, through the placenta, to your baby. Keep your knees bent and place a pillow between your legs. You may want to place a pillow under your abdomen as well. This helps support the weight of the belly which can reduce back pain. A body pillow is a great option. Place it between your legs and under your abdomen at the same time.

If you are experiencing heartburn during the night, try elevating your upper body with your head about 6 to 10 inches higher than normal. Gravity will help keep stomach acids from flowing up your esophagus. The best way to do this is to buy a wedge shaped pillow. If you choose to use regular pillows, make sure you prop up your whole upper body, not just your head.

What Sleep Positions Should I Avoid?
Avoid sleeping on your back! Sleeping on your back during pregnancy causes the weight of your uterus to press on your spine, back muscles, and major blood vessels, decreasing blood flow around your body and to your baby. This can cause problems such as backaches, other muscle aches, swelling, difficulty breathing, digestive issues, hemorrhoids, and low blood pressure.

Avoid sleeping on your stomach! Tender breasts and a growing belly can make it difficult, or even impossible, to sleep on your stomach during pregnancy. It also puts extra weight and pressure on your uterus and baby.

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