From steering clear of your favourite contact sports to shunning certain foods, the do’s and don’ts list of pregnancy can be a bit overwhelming. And as your belly grows week after week, you may be adding sleep positions to your list of concerns.
Here are some facts related to sleep positions during pregnancy for you and how the way you rest affects the health of your baby and yours.
The big mystery - Left vs. right
Doctors recommend sleeping on your side during pregnancy, especially as the pregnancy progresses. Wondering why? It boils down to blood flow. But the good news is that either side is fine — really.
Sleeping on your left side is often described as the “ideal” sleep position during pregnancy. It allows for optimal blood flow from the inferior vena cava, which is a large vein that runs parallel to your spine on the right side. It carries blood to your heart and, in turn, to your baby as well. Simultaneously, it also takes the pressure off your liver and kidneys leaving more room to function properly. This helps with swelling issues in your hands, ankles, and feet.
While sleeping on the left side is said to be ideal, the right side need not be avoided. It is equally safe to sleep on the right side. However, there is a very slight risk of compression issues with the IVC when you sleep on the right.
What if I don't sleep on my sides?
If side sleeping isn’t something you are used to, here are some suggestions for how to make it feel more natural or at least comfortable.
You could be sleeping in any position you like this, early on. But if you want to get into the habit of favouring sleeping on the side, try simply slipping a pregnancy pillow between your legs. This would ease discomfort in your hips and lower body as you adjust.
And if you want to be a little, well, extra, you could consider getting The White Willow’s knee pillow that’s made of excellent quality memory foam.
As your belly grows, you’ll want to make sure you have the best pregnancy pillow in town. Wrapped around your body to provide you with adequate support and comfort, this investment is a must.
Continue using a pregnancy pillow for support. If you find the need for some additional support while your belly grows more, investigate wedge pillows. You can stick them under your belly and behind your back to keep yourself from rolling.
Wondering if you can sleep on your stomach during pregnancy?
You sure can - for a while, at least. You can sleep on your stomach till 16-18 weeks when the bigger bump slowly begins to make this position a little uncomfortable. The uterine walls and amniotic fluid are there to protect your baby from being squished. So, it's only about comfort.
What about sleeping on your back?
Yes, that’s considered safe through the first trimester as well. After that, sleeping on the back is often linked to stillbirth. Other factors like sleep apnea could also be at play here. This position could contribute to back pain, haemorrhoids, digestive issues, and even poor circulation. It could even leave you feeling lightheaded or dizzy.
Should you be worried if you find yourself on your back in the middle of the night? Nah, you could consider placing a wedge pillow behind you. That’ll provide you support when you try to roll onto your back, stopping you at an angle that’ll allow blood to flow and nourish your baby.
There’s a lot you may worry about during your pregnancy. Your sleep position doesn’t need to be one on the list.
Doctors recommend sleeping on your side — right or left — to give you and your baby the optimal blood flow. Beyond that, you could try using the right pillows to get into the most comfortable position for you.
Soak in all the sleep you can before your baby is born. And explore all the pillows from the White Willow collection to bring you sleep in every position at its best.