Sleep? What Sleep?
I'm sure whilst you are pregnant, you may have a list as long as your arm of things to do before your new bundle of joy arrives. One of them I can imagine is getting plenty of sleep.
Sleep plays a vital role in your health and well-being throughout life, which is why it is crucial to get enough while you are pregnant. Once your little one arrives into this world, say goodbye to those undisturbed nights for a while.
I have put together a guide of the positions you should avoid, and those you could consider during pregnancy, as well as the best sleeping position and some tips to help you get comfy.
Many people think sleeping on your stomach whilst you are pregnant can cause harm to your baby. This is not the case.
You can continue to do so during your first trimester. As your bump begins to show, then it will become too uncomfortable for you to sleep in that position.Back:
Experts recommend avoiding sleeping on your back during the 2nd and 3rd trimester.
Why is this exactly?
Studies show that sleeping on your back whilst you are pregnant, can compress your major blood vessels and can alter the baby's heart rate.
This can increase the risk of having a stillbirth. It is important to note that the risk of having a stillbirth is generally low.
After your 28 weeks, the chances of having a stillbirth is 3 in 1000 pregnancies, regardless of your sleeping position.
Sleeping on your back may cause you to experience these sorts of health problems listed below. While you are pregnant, you should try to decrease the chance of experiencing any of these not just for your health but also your baby's.
- breathing issues
- digestive problems
- low blood pressure
What If I Wake Up On My Back?
Do not be alarmed if you wake up on your back. Accidently sleeping on your back while pregnant, shouldn't cause serious harm to your baby.
You are more than likely to wake as soon as you roll onto your back, because the discomfort you will experience, won't allow you to stay in that position for a long length of time.
When you do wake up, simply just change your position.
What Is The Perfect Position Then?
Wondering what the safest and most comfortable position is to sleep in during pregnancy?
Sleeping on your side is said to be the best position for sleeping in during pregnancy, it helps you to breathe better and decreases pressure on the uterus.
It is suggested that the earlier you change your sleeping position, the easier it will be to adapt.
Studies show that the recommended side for lying on is the left side, with your knees slightly bent as your pregnancy progresses further along.
Doctors will also suggest, sleeping on the left because it takes the pressure off your liver and kidneys.
It keeps a normal function and helps to reduce swelling issues in your hands, ankles and feet. Sleeping on your right side is however considered safe as well.
The Many Benefits Of A Pregnancy Pillow.
Pregnancy pillows are women's lifesavers. It provides so much support during and after pregnancy, from helping you to find a comfortable position to sleep in, to breastfeeding your baby when they arrive.
There is no set time to when you have to start using your pillow by. It is suggested however around the 20-week mark, as your belly starts to stretch, causing pain in ligaments due to more weight than it's used to.
With introducing the pillow earlier on, you may find it easier as you get bigger to adjust to the changes. Remember to make it easy for yourself during these times, getting enough sleep will keep you happy and energised.
Top Tips To Help You Combat Sleep Disturbances
Do you struggle to get to sleep once it is time for bed? These tips could stop all that tossing and turning.
- Changing from your favourite sleeping position may be harder than it seems. Try placing pillows between your legs and back (this is when a pregnancy pillow would come in handy) or try sitting in a semi-upright position.
- Overstimulated mind, worrying about what's to come of being a new mum and everything else in between? This could be making it harder for you to fall asleep. Try talking to a loved one or a close friend a few hours before you turn the lights out. Another good idea is having a bedtime routine, that includes keeping a journal at the side of your bed. Having this allows you to get your thoughts and feelings onto paper, hopefully making it easier for you to fall asleep and put your mind at ease.
- Feeling restless at night? Try exercising during the day. It is sure to make you ready for bed as soon as your head hits the pillow. Just remember to avoid doing physical activity, at least 2 hours before you are ready to go to bed.
- Sleep or meditation apps are always a good option. There are plenty out there like headspace, it's free to download with sleep casts, music and much more to stimulate the mind that its time for sleep.
- If needing to go to the toilet frequently keeps you up during the night, it is advisable to not have much liquid intake after 6 pm.
- Even though there are lots of changes happening already, that you may not be able to control. Keeping a regular bed and wake up time can help you stay in a routine and helps you feel in control.
With all this information, I hope it has put your mind at ease about sleeping whilst you are pregnant, and that you can take some of these tips and put them into practice before your due date.
If you have any other concerns about sleeping please consult with your doctor or midwife.😴Happy sleeping!