Sooner or later, every future mother faces such problems – “How can a pregnant woman have a comfortable sleep?” or “Is it safe to sleep on my stomach during pregnancy?” Regular sleeping positions in everyday life become inappropriate at a certain stage of pregnancy for the woman. On top of that, there are also the changes that occur due to hormonal changes taking place in the body as well as the essential changes in the figure of your future mom.
Drowsiness during pregnancy is quite an often encountered phenomenon. The only problems with sleep may occur at the end of pregnancy. The big tummy no longer allows the future mummy to find her comfortable position, and different worries about birth are starting to appear in her mind. Insomnia appears at night, and the pregnant woman wants to sleep during the day. And if drowsiness is not involved, insomnia may very well be.
For example, many pregnant women can have a full and quiet sleep with the help of: a walk in the open air before sleep, the window opened at night even during winter and the balcony door on the summer nights, soothing baths before sleep, tea with mint or hot milk with honey before sleep, proper daily diet and lifestyle.
Table of Contents
- 1 Is It Safe to Sleep on My Stomach during Pregnancy?
- 2 Can You Hurt the Baby by Pushing on your Stomach?
- 3 When Should You Stop Sleeping on your Back when Pregnant?
- 4 How Can a Pregnant Woman Have a Comfortable Sleep?
- 5 Can You Hurt your Baby by Bending Over?
- 6 How Should You Sit during Pregnancy?
Is It Safe to Sleep on My Stomach during Pregnancy?
If sleeping on your stomach feels comfortable enough, it`s completely fine to sleep this way. However, it`s improbable for you to feel comfortable on your stomach as your tummy gets bigger, but you can sleep with your face down if it suits you.
The single position that your doctor might warn you against, starting with the middle of your pregnancy, is lying on your back. That is mostly because lying on the back will allow the increasing uterus to push on the large veins which run up the side of the spine and return your blood from the leg to the heart. This might result in reduced flow of the blood and might lead to shortness of breath, fast heartbeat and dizziness.
This is also the reason for which starting with mid-pregnancy, lots of pregnant women start sleeping on their side.
If you are used to sleeping on the stomach and cannot sleep any other way, you could try to use a donut-shaped pillow to support your increasing tummy. Most women find this type of sleeping comfortable enough well into their 3rd trimester of pregnancy.
You could also try and make experiments with different sleeping positions or pillows. You could try and put a pillow under the tummy, behind the back or between the legs while lying on one side. This will help you move toward the back or the stomach, or change between these 2 options.
Can You Hurt the Baby by Pushing on your Stomach?
The baby is well cushioned in your belly, so it`s fine if you want to push your belly a bit. Keep in mind that your baby is floating in a sac of amniotic liquid, which in turn is surrounded by a muscular organ (the uterus). Your uterus is also surrounded by your belly fat and skin, which means more cushioning.
Your baby may feel you poking him, but it won`t be hurt by your gesture. Actually, your baby might very well feel you move or poke him well before you start feel him, which generally is around 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. And then, when he`ll get bigger, he may even poke back. – Read more!
In your first trimester, your thick uterus and pelvic bone will shield the baby, so it`s almost impossible to inure him from a simple poke or if you push your stomach. However, by the 5th month of pregnancy the uterus will grow beyond your pelvic bone`s protective shield. Although the chances of injury from pushing your belly or a simple fall are quite unlikely still, lots of worries during pregnancy are caused by these body changes.
In conclusion, there`s no need to worry about minor pushes of your belly or simple falls. The baby is quite protected by your abdominal muscles, which act as natural shock absorbers, but also by your fetal membranes, uterine muscles as well as the amniotic liquid, all of which soften the effect of any outside actions.
When Should You Stop Sleeping on your Back when Pregnant?
A pregnant woman can sleep on her back for a long time, but starting with the second trimester of pregnancy, this position is no longer recommended, and in the third trimester it`s definitely harmful. The uterus, which is constantly growing in size, and the fetus which grows more faster than ever, presses the intestine, the lumbar spine, and the pregnant women`s cava vein. And this can cause problems, such as blood circulation disorders and fetal hypoxia. Respectively, the following issues may occur:
- Dizziness and frequent loss of acquaintance.
- Narrow breathing.
- Palpitations, tachycardia and arrhythmia.
- The fall of tension.
- Acute hemorrhoids.
- Blood circulation disorders in the kidneys and placenta.
- Narrow breathing.
Often, in such cases, the child signals the mother about being inconvenient and suffering from oxygen deficiency – he starts to push himself actively. If the pregnant woman changes the position, the baby will immediately calm down. – Click here!
If you`ll wake up on your back at night, you shouldn`t freak out. Most of the time, your body will signal you if the life of your baby is put in any danger from not getting enough oxygen; you would feel breathless and nauseous well in advance before your baby will experience and medical issue. You just need to roll to your left side and get back to sleep.
How Can a Pregnant Woman Have a Comfortable Sleep?
The best position to sleep while pregnant is the “sleep on side” position (or the “SOS” position). An even better option would be to sleep on your left body side. By doing this, you`ll increase the blood amount and nutrients which reach your placenta and, therefore the baby.
Position the legs with your knees bent, and place a pillow between the legs:
- The “SOS” position is great for women who are experience back pain. They should try and place a pillow beneath their belly as well.
- If you have heartburn at night, you might want to try supporting the upper body with pillows.
- In your third trimester of pregnancy, you might be faced with shortness of breath. You should try lying on one side or support yourself with the help of a few pillows.
These particular recommendations might sound totally comfortable, especially if before pregnancy you were used to sleeping on your stomach or back; however, you should still try them as you might find them pretty comfortable in the end. Remember that you probably won`t be staying in the same position all night, and rotating positions is even recommended during pregnancy.
There are no restrictions in the first trimester of pregnancy regarding the sleeping positions. The future mom can sleep on her stomach and back, or in other positions – as she feels more comfortable.
In the second trimester, the pregnant woman is already advised to sleep on her left side, but she may still sleep on her back. However, it is unlikely that she can still sleep on her stomach at this stage – this position will be inconvenient to the mother and also harmful to the future baby.
In the third trimester of pregnancy, doctors strongly recommend pregnant women not to sleep on either their stomach or back. This can even be dangerous for the fetus and can lead to negative consequences.
Can You Hurt your Baby by Bending Over?
While this may surprise you, bending while pregnant cannot hurt your baby. Nature has provided us with an amazing cushioning system for a developing fetus. The mother`s amniotic fluid will allow a growing baby to move his arms and legs, and also flip around inside the uterus as he pleases. It also helps your baby to accommodate as you change your positions as you desire. Bending during pregnancy won`t affect the health of your baby in any way.
How Should You Sit during Pregnancy?
- Sleep on your left side and put a pillow between the legs.
- Always try and be aware of your gravity center.
- Bend the knees to when you need to grab things from your floor or other low places.
- Sit/stand having your back and shoulders relaxed.
- Using a step stool when trying to reach high shelves can be helpful.
- Use a desk chair to support your lower back.
- If you`re standing to long periods of time, place one of your feet on a low step stool.
- Sitting for longer periods than half an hour.
- Having your knees crossed together.
- Arching over your desk.