Pregnancy Sleep Posture Issues And Ways To Alleviate Pains

Many women in the US often wonder how to sleep soundly during pregnancy. Here’s a stat to prove the claim:

According to the “National Sleep Foundation” survey,  more than 75% of pregnant women have trouble sleeping at night. 

Sleeping issues are common, particularly in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, when finding comfortable postures can be tricky. 

Some even worry that certain sleeping postures may affect their fetus’s health.

Want to know which pregnancy sleeping posture is best for you and your fetus and which to avoid? Then read on Sleep is a time when the body restores itself. It helps in memory formation and combating “baby brain” – absent-mindedness and poor centration during pregnancy. 

Why Is Sleeping Vital During Pregnancy?

With proper sleeping postures and a good night’s sleep, your blood circulation increases dramatically, providing you with added blow flow needed to support the baby.

In addition, sleep provides much-needed support to the immune system. Also, it helps control how the body responds to insulin. 

Believe it or not, getting good sleep is essential for both the baby and the mother during pregnancy.

 

The Best Sleeping Postures During Pregnancy

Here’s the thing: a pregnant woman can sleep as she likes during her first trimester, no matter the position. Whether you sleep on the side, stomach, or back, it won’t create any issues. 

This is because the uterus hasn’t expanded enough to meddle with sleep. But, nausea, nighttime hunger, hormonal changes, and various other pregnancy symptoms can make sleep difficult. 

When women reach their 2nd and 3rd trimesters, they should sleep on their sides — arguably the best sleeping posture during pregnancy. Sleeping in this position increases blood circulation to the womb (uterus) without putting pressure on the liver.    

Women experiencing back or hip pain can find solace by putting pillows between their knees or bending their knees while sleeping. 

Here are a few other sleeping postures that might help solve common issues:

  • Elevate your legs using pillows to prevent leg pain and swelling
  • Raise your upper body using some pillows to minimize heartburn
  • Use the pregnancy pillow or body pillow to cradle your body and offer added back support

Can Pregnant Women Lie On Their Stomachs?

There’s little to no research showing the grave impact of sleeping or lying on the stomach during pregnancy. However, this posture won’t be comfortable once you grow a baby bump. 

Various studies prove that it’s relatively uncommon for pregnant women to sleep on their stomach (or face down), especially in their late months. 

Using a round, supportive pillow to bolster a growing belly might make it comfortable sleeping on the stomach in the 1st and 2nd trimesters. 

Sleeping Postures You Need To Avoid During Pregnancy

Gynecologists and other medical experts advise pregnant women to avoid sleeping on their back, especially after the 27th week. 

According to one report, sleeping on the back during pregnancy might cause late stillbirth and low birthweight. That’s because this posture compresses the “Vena Cava” and minimizes oxygen and blood circulation to the fetus.  

In addition, this position can contribute to various sleep-related breathing issues for pregnant women, increasing the risk of common pregnancy complications like preeclampsia. 

Many health professionals believe stillbirth from sleeping on the back becomes more pertinent when the fetus is vulnerable, and the mother has two or more associated risk factors. 

However, the risk decreases dramatically with frequent bathroom trips at night, possibly because it provides a temporary respite from sleeping on your back for an extended period. 

How Can Pillows Help?

Good orthopedic and therapeutic pillows can work wonders when used correctly. Some are available with sides that support the head and neck to make side sleeping easier. You can also easily avoid back pain by placing one or two regular pillows between your legs while sleeping. It’s more relaxing and comfortable. 

Pregnant women can also place pillows behind their backs so they don’t roll over. Even if you turn at night, you’ll stop doing it, no matter how fast asleep you’re. 

Although any pillow can work, make sure to use special pillows designed for pregnant side sleepers. They come in various sizes and shapes, so choose according to your requirements. 

Nonetheless, always select a pillow that best suits your sleeping style and preferences. The additional support behind the back can assist your hips, spinal cord, and back.  

Other Tips For Good Sleep During Pregnancy

Sleeping during pregnancy can be tough. Women should avoid taking herbal remedies and sleeping medications while they’re pregnant. 

Here are some common habits that might help you sleep better:

  • Prop Up Baby Bump: rolled-up blankets or pillows placed under the belly, on the back, or between the legs can offer support while sleeping or lying down. Various pillow manufacturers provide unique designs tailored for pregnant women
  • Relax Pressure Points: Though it’s best to sleep on the left side, sometimes you can relax your hip’s pressure points by sleeping on your right side, temporarily 
  • Practice Sleep Hygiene: Want to improve sleep? Practice sleep hygiene! Keep a sleep schedule, avoid caffeine, and choose a relaxing exercise to help wind down at night before sleeping  
  • Avoid Taking Large Meals In The Evening: Drinking or eating large meals can cause heartburn. Make sure to avoid it; however, if you even eat big meals, remember to take some crackers to reduce nausea at night 
  • Change The Side: if the left side sleeping posture doesn’t come naturally, adopt this posture by changing the side of your bed 

Sleep deprivation (or lack of quality sleep) comes with various risks during pregnancy, such as preterm labor, gestational diabetes, and severe depression. 

Potential Risks

Pregnant women who don’t get enough sleep may experience emotional and physical fatigue, making it increasingly hard to work or do daily chores. 

Many studies prove that poor sleep quality leads to irritability, stress, and depression. This results in adverse pregnancy outcomes like preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction. Moreover, it can cause several secondary problems like fatigue-related accidents. 

If you experience difficulty sleeping during pregnancy, consult a doctor immediately and sleep with the correct posture and pillow.  

Conclusion

Proper sleep could prove increasingly challenging at all stages of pregnancy. Though there aren’t any perfect solutions, different strategies such as proper sleeping posture and pillows can help. 

Kanuda’s range of therapeutic pillows and other supportive products can make the journey of pregnancy a happy and comfortable one.

These pillows keep your neck, spine, and shoulders aligned in a rested position while you sleep on your side. So they are the best option to relieve neck pain and induce proper sleep positions.

 

Written by Sungman Chang

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