Sleeping positions during pregnancy

It is very common for women to experience fatigue and nausea during pregnancy.  The fluctuations in hormonal levels during pregnancy tamper with the sleep cycle. Some of the natural discomforts during pregnancy make it harder to get good sleep and have a comfortable sleeping position in general.

The rise in progesterone levels leads to a broken and irregular sleep cycle. According to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, it was found that about 78% of pregnant women reported having difficulty falling asleep. Research has shown that reduced sleep may increase the risk of high blood pressure in the third trimester which leads to birth-related complications, including pre-eclampsia.

Pregnant women must indulge in different relaxation techniques and stress-free activities such as medicine, yoga, and breathing exercises, which relieve anxiety, and stress and get quality sleep.


Why is it important to sleep well during pregnancy?

Sleep is an essential factor for all beings. Sleep helps build a healthy immune system, which is going to protect both the mother and the baby from any harmful infections or diseases. During sleep, the body works on memory consolidation as well as recovering from the day’s activities. The body requires more energy to not only sustain but also to create living conditions for your growing fetus. A night of good sleep leads to an overall healthy life and prepares you to welcome a new life. The health benefits of sleeping well during pregnancy are:

  1. Stay active
  2. Reduce the chance of premature birth
  3. Improved mental health
  4. Reduce the risk of high blood pressure
  5. Reduce labor pain and help in the delivery


Sleeping positions during pregnancy

As the pregnancy progresses, the body adjusts to childbirth, and tossing and turning take on a new significance. It might be tough to determine the ideal sleeping posture. By selecting the right sleeping positions during pregnancy one can overcome these sleep hurdles and improve the situation. Different sleeping positions will make it easy to have a good sleep. Some sleeping positions will improve blood flow and make it easier to provide nutrients to the placenta. This in turn helps kidneys to work more efficiently and prevent issues such as swelling in your feet and hands. It’s necessary to understand the benefits of maintaining certain sleeping positions during pregnancy and thereby train yourself in early pregnancy to make it easier to get a good night’s sleep. However, some experts suggest that moms-to-be can sleep in any position they are comfortable with rather than worry too much about it one way or another. Here are a few basic rules that may assist a pregnant woman in getting into the best sleeping position while pregnant.


Sleep on the left side

This is an ideal sleeping position for pregnant women to sleep on the side, especially the left side. It is the safest choice, for the mother and the baby. This position will make you feel comfortable and help to sleep better when the belly grows bigger. Sleeping in this position will improve blood circulation and nutrient flow to the uterus and the baby through the placenta to nourish the baby. It helps the body eliminate waste and fluids and reduces the amount of pressure on the uterus. Sleeping on the left side also keeps your expanding body weight from pushing down too hard on the liver.


Sleep in the fetal position

Sleeping in a fetal position has several health benefits such as promoting good spinal alignment, reducing snoring, and reducing back pain. This sleeping position allows the muscles to relax naturally, which relieves back tension. While sleeping in the fetal position, a pregnant woman must ensure to lie back with her feet up, create an anterior presentation, and avoid deep squatting, which opens up the pelvic area and allows the baby to move down. Birth balls can be used to encourage good positioning for the baby both before and during labor. The fetal position can give a sense of the baby’s well-being as well as allow the baby to have the best birth experience and avoid complications during delivery.


Tips for better sleeping positions during pregnancy:

  • Pregnancy pillows are specifically designed for expectant mothers to give them a comfortable sleep position with back, side, and tummy support. It helps the mothers keep well supported, in a side sleeping position, and well-cushioned.
  • Placing a soft foam over the mattress provides additional support that will increase air circulation and keep the mother comfortable throughout the night. 
  • You may try sleeping in a semi-upright position in a recliner instead of the bed.
  • Place a pillow between the bent knees to take the pressure off and provide extra comfort to the lower back.

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