Sleeping safely and comfortably while pregnant
One of the common complaints during pregnancy is being uncomfortable. This is especially so when a pregnant woman is trying to get and stay comfortable while taking a nap and/or going to bed at night. Many women are used to either sleeping on their backs or on their stomachs to have a comfortable sleep. However both of these positions are not recommended during pregnancy, especially after the first trimester of pregnancy.
If a woman sleeps on her back during pregnancy, the extra weight due to the growing fetus and other changes in the body will press on a major vein. This major vein that the extra weight presses on when lying on the back runs the blood from the lower body to the heart. This can cause blood flow to the placenta to slow down thereby causing the developing child to be deprived of vital oxygen and nutrients. Sleeping on the stomach during pregnancy is usually more uncomfortable than dangerous after the first twelve weeks. A burgeoning belly along with growing breasts are not necessarily the most comfortable things to lay on. This is especially true if a pregnant woman is experiencing breast tenderness and bloated feeling along with the two.
The best way for a pregnant woman to sleep is by laying on her left side. The left side is preferred by medical care professionals so that the pregnant woman avoids laying on her liver. Laying on the left side also allows for more blood flow to the uterus. This sleep position can be made more comfortable with use of a custom made pregnancy support pillow. Use of extra pillows between the knees, and behind the hips also helps the weight of the growing abdomen to be more evenly distributed. Sometimes during sleep the pregnant woman may accidentally shift to a different position. If this happens and she awakens, shifting back to the proper sleep position should be done.
- Alex Pieles