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Pregnancy is a beautiful, natural experience but let’s be honest; it can be frustrating. This is especially true when it comes to sleeping. Getting enough sleep is essential to healthy baby development and prevents delivery complications. However, most pregnant women report sleeping troubles at some point, caused by symptoms such as nausea, back pain, sleep apnea, and more.
Don’t let this conundrum make you restless. There are several ways to improve pregnant sleeping, starting with your slumber style. Pouneh Alizadeh, DO, Physician Lead and Ob-Gyn at SCL Health Medical Group - Superior, provided insight into the best body positions while sleeping for two.
Sleeping On Your Stomach
If you’re a face-down sleeper, there’s no need to change until your baby bump grows. At that point, well, it gets uncomfortable. There’s little evidence of women maintaining a stomach sleeping position late into pregnancy. If you’re determined, you can prop yourself up with pillows, but you’ll likely want to switch to a side sleeping position by your second or third trimester.
Sleeping On Your Back
Back sleeping may seem harmless and even intuitive when you’re pregnant. While it may be safe during the first trimester, studies suggest that supine sleeping in late trimesters can dangerously affect fetuses. The growing uterus can compress the human body’s largest vein and reduce fetus blood flow when lying face-down. Try tilting over the next time you’re in bed to avoid these complications.
Sleeping On Your Side
“SOS,” otherwise known as sleep on the side, is universally considered the best pregnant sleeping position. This position provides the strongest circulation and the slightest pressure on your body. Conflicting studies suggest that right-side sleeping may compress your liver, so sleeping on your left may be a safer bet for healthy moms and babies if you choose between the two sides.
If you’re struggling with making the side-sleeping switch, you can rest assured that your Ob-Gyn will provide the most updated information. “Finding a comfortable position to sleep can be challenging. Use pillows as you need to help support your belly and back. Try a pelvic tilt rather than sleeping all the way on your side,” said Dr. Alizadeh. “Restful sleep is undoubtedly important as you grow a tiny human.”