5 Sleeping Positions for Pregnant Women
Being pregnant is one of the best experiences a woman can have. But for first-time mothers, it is usually a time full of worry. One of the most common concerns is linked to which sleeping positions are best.
As the baby grows inside the womb, the hours of sleep are reduced. There is the uncertainty of what position is appropriate for resting without hurting the child.
In addition to this, nausea, anxiety and heartburn make resting during pregnancy almost impossible. That’s why it’s necessary to ask for recommendations on the best sleeping positions during pregnancy.
Sleeping positions for pregnant women
1. On the left side
Medical experts recommend sleeping on the left side. This helps the circulation of blood and nutrients to the uterus and baby. It also encourages the kidneys to easily eliminate waste.
2. On the side with a pillow
The side position with a pillow between the legs keeps the spine straight and avoids putting weight on one leg versus another. If you have long pillows, even better. This way you can support your belly and have more security.
3. Half seated
This position is appropriate if you have stomach discomfort or poor digestion. A good pillow offers support for this position so that a much more comfortable posture is achieved.
4. Elevated torso
Another one of the most comfortable sleeping positions is having a raised torso. It is the most recommended way of sleeping if you have nasal congestion, a feeling of suffocation or heartburn.
Several pillows or cushions are used to support and elevate the back. This reduces dizziness and relaxes the body after maintaining a horizontal position for a long time.
As the baby grows in the womb, the hours of sleep are reduced, adding nausea and discomfort to the uncertainty of what position is best for the baby.
5. Feet raised
In the case of constantly suffering from cramping, poor circulation or swelling in the legs or ankles, the recommended position is to keep your feet elevated with pillows or cushions.
This prevents the appearance of varicose veins, numbness and cramps.
With this position, it is possible to relax both the body and the mind. It is always necessary to have a few hours of sleep to rest the weight of the body. In addition, the baby will be able to develop properly.
Sleeping positions not recommended for pregnancy
Just as there are sleeping positions that are ideal for the baby and the mother during pregnancy, there are also those that should be avoided during this period. These are some of them:
1. On the back
It is the least recommended, since it produces bad digestion and circulation. This is because the weight of the uterus and intestines fall on the back.
This position can also bring breathing problems, back pain, and hemorrhoids. And, most dangerous, it can cause the circulation in the baby’s heart to decrease.
2. Face down
Sleeping on your stomach has no risk if the pregnancy is just beginning. However, when it is advanced, it is advisable to not adopt this position.
Many pregnant women try to use this as the favorite sleeping position during pregnancy. However, it may not be recommended depending on the gestation stage.
If it’s very difficult to go without this position, it’s recommended to use a pillow in the shape of a donut or to stack cushions to form a kind of hollow area so as to not crush the belly.
Recommendations for falling asleep
Sleeping well is very important in pregnancy, just as it is in any stage of life. However, being able to do it pleasantly can sometimes be a problem. Here are some recommendations to achieve this goal:
- Eat a light meal rich in amino acids at night. These are found in cereals, fish, milk, eggs and lettuce.
- Sleep at least 8 hours a day. With regard to naps, ideally they shouldn’t exceed 25 minutes, as longer naps can prevent you from falling asleep at night.
- Avoid coffee or chocolate after noon. Don’t drink too much water after dinner so that you don’t get up too often to go to the bathroom.
- Adjust the room so that it is conducive to rest. It should be ventilated, cool and free of noise or intense lights. The bedding should be made of cotton or silk fabric, just like pajamas.
- Alcohol and cigarettes are harmful to pregnancy, not only because they hurt the baby, but also because they prevent the mother from sleeping well.
Other tips to consider
On the other hand, it is not recommended to exercise at the end of the day. The reason is that the body remains very energetic and agitated after exercise. This makes it difficult to relax and interferes with the sleep cycle.
In contrast to this, the practice of relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga are very favorable when trying to relax the body to sleep. Also, a good pillow will always be the best ally during pregnancy.
Good sleep will help you have a healthy pregnancy, both for the mother and the baby. Only the most comfortable and relaxing posture that helps the mother rest in a calm and welcoming manner should be achieved.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Bazalakova, M. (2017). Sleep Disorders in Pregnancy. Seminars in Neurology. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0037-1608843
- Mindell, J. A., Cook, R. A., & Nikolovski, J. (2015). Sleep patterns and sleep disturbances across pregnancy. Sleep Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2014.12.006
- Pien, G. W., & Schwab, R. J. (2004). Sleep disorders during pregnancy. Sleep. https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/27.7.1405