Pregnant or not, sleep is important for your health. This is your body's time to heal and recover. It's when you get to rest and reset. However, there are those who have difficulty getting some shut-eye. For some pregnant ladies, getting that precious slumber can be challenging for a number of reasons. Knowing and practicing the best sleeping position for pregnant women can help.
But before we get to that, let's first examine why you are having a hard time
Reasons why it's difficult to sleep
Think of it this way. You have a growing belly. If you used to lie on your back while you sleep or sleep on your tummy, obviously, you may not be able to do those anymore because it's not safe to do so. So finding a comfortable position in itself can take some getting used to. But aside from that, there may be some other reasons why.
First is the size of your baby bump. Your little one is growing. From the size of a tiny sesame seed, the baby in your tummy grows bigger and bigger as your pregnancy progresses. Even when you're awake, it can be difficult to move around. Now when you try to catch some Zzzs, it can be challenging too.
The second--and this is connected to the first one--is back pain. Many expectant moms will experience some aches and pains due to the changes happening in their bodies during pregnancy. Back pain is one of them. The size of your baby bump may have something to do about this as the center of your gravity changes and this can affect your posture, which may cause back pain.
Another possible reason that hinders you from having good sleep is heartburn. In case you don't know what heartburn is, it's that uncomfortable feeling in the chest and the throat. This is often accompanied by an acidic taste in the mouth. It often happens during pregnancy because of your hormones and increased digestive juices in your stomach. That said, it can also keep you tossing and turning at night. Check out the other reasons why you can't sleep here.
The safest and best sleeping position for pregnant women
One of the ways to lessen the risk for stillbirth is by practicing a safe sleeping position. Some studies have shown that women who sleep in the supine position (lying on the back) have a higher risk for stillbirth than those who sleep on their side. This is because sleeping on your back can compress the blood vessel and thus, lessen the circulation to your heart and your little one's oxygen.
If you shouldn't sleep on your back, how should you sleep then? Simply remember SOS, or sleep on your side. Aside from helping you become comfortable while you try to go to dreamland, this helps increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and uterus to your little one especially if you sleep on your left side. But should you wake up and find yourself lying on your back, don't panic. Just settle to go back to sleep on your side again.
Tips for sleeping on your side
As we've said earlier, it can be challenging to sleep a certain way while you're pregnant if you're not used to it. But there are ways to help you eventually get accustomed to sleeping on your left side. One of those is cultivating healthy habits such as:
- exercising regularly, provided this has been cleared by your doctor
- having a relaxing nighttime routine. Try taking a shower with pregnancy-safe shampoo.
- going to the bathroom before you settle in your bed to sleep
- having a restful environment (e.g. a cozy, quiet, and cool bedroom)
- stretching to prevent nighttime cramps
Your pillow is your friend
Yes, pillows are your new best friend. It may feel awkward to find a comfy position when you suddenly have a huge belly. Fortunately, pregnancy pillows are a big help for that. Even better is that there is now a myriad of choices for pregnancy pillows out in the market today. Here are some examples of the different kinds of pregnancy pillows:
- full-body pillow
- U-shaped pillow
- wedge pillow
- C-shaped pillow
- side-sleeper pillow
- classic bolster
- portable pregnancy pillow
Something else you can try to help you sleep is using massage oil. Of course, make sure that the oil you'll be using is pregnancy-safe such as lavender, ylang-ylang, and sandalwood. Don't forget to dilute it with a carrier oil as well.
Massage oils are good for aromatherapy, which can help you get into a relaxed state that's conducive for sleep. But aside from helping you slumber, did you know that these can also aid in addressing your morning sickness, back, pain, nasal congestion, headache, and more? It's certainly worth a try.
When you're pregnant, you need to get adequate sleep to help your body through the changes. It's important to know the best sleeping position while you're expecting. To do so, just remember SOS or sleep on your side. Using pillows, doing light stretching before your go to bed, and even trying pregnancy-safe massage oils can help you get to the best sleeping position and hopefully, help you achieve quality sleep.
Original Publisher: theAsianparent