If you are an expectant mom, CONGRATULATIONS! You are going on a wonderful journey to prepare for a new stage of life!
Your life will absolutely have a huge change after delivering the baby.
But you should also care about your pregnant period, because the way you take care of yourself during pregnancy can directly affect the baby inside your belly.
During this sensitive period, most women have to confront discomfort or stress and anxiety, which later on result in sleepless nights.
Everyday, you may find yourself struggling on the bed to fall asleep, but every effort seems to be useless. Well, maybe you should change your position because your body has already got a big change, and your previous regular sleeping positions regular sleeping positions no longer works.
In fact, each pregnant woman has their own preferential sleeping position. But the most recommended one is the SOS, which means “Sleep On Side”.
The SOS position includes “sleep on the right side” and “sleep on the left side”.
“Sleep on the left side” is considered as the best position for young mothers because it can help to improve blood flow and breathing.
It will increase the amount of nutrients going to the placenta and your baby, as well as reduce heartburn, eliminate inside body waste, improve lymphatic drainage and relieve back pain.
On the other hand, sleeping on the right side is likely to exert pressure on your inferior vena cava (IVC). The IVC is a big vein slightly to the right of your body, in front of the spine. If it is obstructed, it can lead to malaise. However, pressing the IVC won’t have any effect to your baby’s blood flow.
So, the best choice is sleeping on your left side sleeping on your left side. Just bend your knees and your legs, and put a pillow between the two legs.
There are several tips that you may try for a better feeling:
- For those who have problems with back pain: try putting a pillow under the abdomen. You can buy a special extra-long pregnancy pillow (used to place between both knees and under your tummy) or just use a normal pillow in your closet. It can help you keep the “side position”, preventing from rolling to stomach or back during the night.
- For anybody experiencing heartburn: try propping your upper body with a pillow, or you can also lift up the head of the bed with books or blocks. This will keep acids down in your stomach, avoid it from going up to esophagus.
- For shortness of breath: this may happen in late pregnancy. You can try placing a pillow under your side to raise your chest while sleeping.
Of course, during the sleep, you can unintentionally change your positions. You may roll to your back or front side. Don’t worry! That’s fine. Just try to have a deep sleep. You can rotate yourself to any position that you feel comfortable.
Actually, the SOS position may not be comfortable, especially for women who are used to sleeping on their stomach or back. But try it out! You will get used to it soon!
In fact, there are 2 other types of sleeping positions beside the SOS: sleeping on stomach and sleeping on back. However, these two positions are not recommended for expectant moms. They can even have negative effects on your health and your baby:
Sleeping on the stomach:
Perhaps it is not surprising at all when this position is less chosen during pregnancy. Actually, at the first stage of the 9-month period, sleeping in this position is totally fine.
However, from the 5th months onwards, your abdomen will go on a huge change. Your tummy’s size will grow up like a watermelon. It’s obviously very hard to lay on your stomach, so you had better switch your position to feel more comfortable.
However, the main problem is only in the size. If you are worrying that sleeping on your stomach can hurt your baby, then it won’t! Even in the 9th month, the uterine walls will provide enough protection for the child. So it’s safe but not the most comfortable!
Sleeping on back:
Normally, if you are not pregnant, this position is the best choice for blood circulation. However, during pregnancy, experts suggest women to avoid it, especially in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
In fact, sleeping on your back may be safe in the first 3 months, but after that it will cause many bad effects. It can make your heavy abdomen as well as uterus to press down on the major vein (which helps to return blood from your lower body to your heart).
As a result, you may feel lightheaded or dizzy when sleeping in this position, and it even obstructs the delivery of blood and nutrients to your placenta and your growing baby.
It would be fine if you just accidentally switch to this position once in a while. However, if that situation happens in a longer period like weeks and months, you might be in trouble!
It can lead to backaches, difficult breathing, digestive system problems, hemorrhoids, low blood pressure, or decreased circulation inside your body.
That’s all about things you should know to have a good sleep during the 9-month period. Don’t panic! It might be a little uncomfortable at first, but then everything should be ok!