Sleeping On Back When Pregnant

image001The topic of sleeping on back when pregnant is more than just an issue of comfort. In fact, the word “comfortable” could mean different things to different pregnant women. Even so, the old wives' tale “can't sleep on your back” during pregnancy further adds fire to this controversy. So, is there really an optimal position for pregnant women? Finding the best sleeping position can make one even more anxious and restless. But knowing what works for you and your baby can save you the unnecessary stress and more importantly, brings you comfort.

Sleeping on Back When Pregnant- Is It Safe?

If you are used to sleeping on your back, you can still continue with this practice until the first trimester. Though it's perfectly safe until the end of the first trimester, the weight of your growing uterus during mid pregnancy may not allow you to do so as you pregnancy progresses.

Risks of Sleeping on Back When Pregnant

Some doctors and experts recommend lying on your side as lying on your back may make you feel dizzy. This may occur due to the pressure of the growing uterus on a major vein that supplies blood from the lower body to the heart. The blood restriction could also interfere with the supply of blood and nutrients to the placenta and the developing baby. Sleeping on back when pregnant may pose a greater risk for those with high blood pressure and diabetes. 

In conclusion, experts recommend for the pregnant mother to practice sleeping on her left side in the early trimesters to be comfortable as the belly grows.

How to Find a Comfortable Sleeping Position When Pregnant

Side-lying Position

Some doctors strongly recommend that the expectant mother lie on her side even at the beginning of the first trimester especially for those who prefer to sleep on their back. To make this position more comfortable, you may opt to prop a pillow between your legs or in front the chest. This fetal-like position is most effective since this increases the distribution of blood between you and the baby. It lifts the pressure away from the inferior vena cava (a large vein), and makes it easier for the heart to pump blood back to the heart.

Lying on Your Left Side

Side-lying on your left also helps keep the pressure away from the liver, an organ located at the right side of the abdomen. This position not only eases the pressure from the liver, but also improves circulation to the heart, kidneys, and especially to the uterus directly to the fetus. Shifting on both sides or whichever is most comfortable naturally release the pressure off your back, as some doctors would recommend.

Changing Positions

Most doctors think that it is generally fine to sleep in however position you are comfortable. Fortunately, your body wakes up and automatically changes position when in distress while sleeping. This happens particularly when it is unconsciously doing something constricting. Besides, urination becomes increasingly frequent at this point, making you change position as well.

Experiment with Pillows

Experimenting with pillows can help you achieve the desired position. Choosing the right size of the pillow may also prove to be helpful. It could be a bunched-up pillow, a huge pillow or even a rolled-up blanket. “Pregnancy pillows” are even available in the market. You can discuss these options with your doctor as to whichever will work best for you. For more sleeping tips during pregnancy, please see this link:

What If I Cannot Sleep During Pregnancy?

The thought of having a small individual growing inside of you can cause some amount of anxiety if not fear. Just like any sleep deprived individual, tossing and turning, counting the hours or counting sheep may not get you your much-needed rest. Engaging in activities you enjoy could take your mind off your anxiety and preoccupy you until you get tired. Reading your favorite book is at the top of the list. Watching TV and listening to music is a great relaxation technique. Net surfing activities can be productive and entertaining. Eventually, the body becomes vulnerable to sleep.

As the body adjusts to the growing life baby inside you, it signals you to take as much rest as you need. Take this opportunity and take short naps thorough out the day, preferably 30 to 60 minutes in duration. This prepares you to entire sleepless process that awaits you once the baby is born. And that is what you definitely need to prepare for. Click here to learn more tricks if you can't sleep during pregnancy?