By: Venchi Balendez
One of the struggles every woman face during pregnancy is finding a comfortable sleeping position and getting a good night’s rest. You may find your regular sleeping position uncomfortable and the levels of sleeping discomfort may vary as your tummy gets bigger.
Here are some tips that you can consider on finding the best sleeping position during your first, second, and third trimester of pregnancy.
Sleeping changes during pregnancy
There are a number of reasons why pregnant women might find it challenging to sleep. This includes the increasing size of the abdomen, back pains, heartburn, shortness of breath, and even insomnia.
Most moms will agree that the first trimester can be considered as the toughest phase in a pregnancy, as adapting to physical and hormonal changes can be a rollercoaster experience. Other common issues include frequent toilet trips, nausea, heartburn, food cravings, indigestion, and even restless leg syndrome (RLS).
Aside from the changes in the mom’s body, the first trimester is crucial as well to the baby. So it is best to alleviate any of mom’s discomforts safely and properly, in such a way that will not have any effect on the baby’s development. Hence, it is necessary for mama to eat healthy despite possibly weird food cravings, and to get enough rest and sleep. The important thing is for moms to be physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared for the baby.
So to ensure that you get your much-needed sleep during the first trimester, here are a few things that you might find helpful:
Left side-lying position
Sleep on side or “SOS” position is the best sleep position during pregnancy, even better is to sleep on your left side. Blood circulation going to your baby is increased when you are in this position, helping your baby get the maximum supply of oxygen and nutrients from the placenta. In assuming this sleeping position, keep your legs and knees bent, and put a pillow in between your legs.
If you are not comfortable maintaining a left side-lying position, you can alternate your position to the right, but ensure that you don’t do so for a long time.
If you’re dealing with back pain, assume the “SOS” position and place a pillow under your abdomen in order to lessen the tension on your back.
Sleeping on your back
If you are used to sleeping on your back, you can still use this position during the early stage of pregnancy. However, as the pregnancy advances, you should avoid lying flat on your back as this can alter the blood flow in your body and to your baby. Aside from that, sleeping on the back can cause hemorrhoids, swelling, muscle pains, and dizziness. For some, it can cause elevated blood pressure, causing you to snore and experience sleep apnea.
If you have heartburn especially when you sleep, you can try propping your upper body with pillows while in an “SOS” position. It is also fine to sleep on your back, in a half-sitting position with the support of a few pillows. These positions prevent the backflow of stomach acid into your esophagus that can cause the painful burning feeling in your chest or throat.
These suggestions may not sound completely comfortable especially if you are used to sleeping on your back or stomach, but you can still try them out. Keep in mind that you may not stay in one position all night, and rotating positions is fine.
The second trimester is referred to as the honeymoon phase of pregnancy. However, you are still bound to have minor sleep issues. The left side-lying position is still the best position during this time. But during this phase, sleeping on your back or prone is not recommended.
In order to promote sleep during the second trimester of pregnancy, consider these tips:
- Maintain a regular sleep time.
- Avoid watching TV before going to bed.
- Take time to relax before you sleep.
- Avoid spicy foods.
- Eat light dinner.
Finally, you are in the final phase of your pregnancy journey! The most exciting part is that you will soon meet your baby!
During this time, most of the changes are happening inside your womb. This is the most awkward phase in getting the best sleeping position as your tummy is getting bigger.
Aside from assuming the left side-lying position with pillows between your bent legs and knees, consider these tips to help you get a better sleep during your third trimester:
- Use pillows and cushions to find your most comfortable position during sleep.
- Wedge pillows between your legs and behind your back for some extra support.
- Wear loose and comfortable nightwear and never use tight clothing as this can impede circulation. Choose cotton-made nightwear as much as possible.
- If you find yourself more comfortable sleeping on a chair or a sofa, go ahead help yourself.
- Eat a light dinner and avoid spicy foods.
- Perform light exercises under the supervision of your trainer.
- Take time to relax and think of positive thoughts.
Hope you find these tips helpful in finding the best sleeping position throughout your pregnancy!
References: Best Health Mag, American Pregnancy, Mom Junction, Mom Junction, Mom Junction
Venchi Balendez is a registered nurse and mother of three, working as a part-time article writer.