Being pregnant is one of the most memorable times in a woman’s life. Not only does each day present the mother with a new challenge, but it also fills the mother with immense joy for what is to come. However, there are a few challenges that arise, given that the woman’s body makes way to provide a nurturing space for the developing baby. One of the most common challenges during pregnancy is sleep. Women are constantly asking for the best sleeping position during pregnancy. So we have compiled all the details you need to know into this post.
First, let’s go through the trimesters and understand what problems arise at each stage.
The first trimester starts on the last day of your last period and goes on till the end of week 12. This means that by the time you may realize you are pregnant, you may have already passed a month. Since the body is going into overdrive at this phase, you will experience discomfort in various ways. Breast tenderness, nausea, constipation, fatigue and an increased frequency of urination.
The second trimester is week 13 to week 28. Often dubbed the honeymoon period of pregnancy, the challenges are relatively easier to deal with. The biggest celebration here is the morning sickness and fatigue will start to disappear. Of course, your body is continuing to change which means there are other difficulties to deal with. Back pain because of weight gain, hair growth, and frequent urination. You may want to incorporate the best sleeping position during pregnancy at this stage itself.
Week 29 to week 40 is the third and final trimester in your pregnancy journey. This also marks the end of the honeymoon period. This final stretch contains challenges like Braxton Hicks contractions, Spider Veins, heartburn, sleep difficulties, frequent urination, back pain and shortness of breath. These are only the physical challenges you will face. As you inch closer to the end of pregnancy, you will also face anxieties and fear of what is to come.
Now that we have gone through the trimesters on what to expect, let us look at the best sleeping position during pregnancy. There is no doubt your nights will be plagued by some of the above-mentioned symptoms like frequent urination and heartburn but also the confusion on how to sleep arises.
Best Sleeping Position During Pregnancy
Sleeping on Side (SOS)
As your body grows bigger, there is only one healthy sleeping position during this period – Sleeping on the left side. Most often referred to SOS (sleeping on side), this position triumphs over all the other positions. This is the best sleeping position during pregnancy as it delivers all the nutrients and blood to the developing fetus and the placenta.
As your body develops, you may need to try sleeping with your legs bent and propping yourself with pillows. While you are lying on your side, you can use a pillow under your back to ensure you don’t, unknowingly, sleep on your back. You can use a pillow between your thighs and a few pillows under your upper body to reduce symptoms of heartburn. Pregnancy pillows are your best friend so don’t ever think your needs are excessive.
Here Are Some Top Sleeping Tips to Follow to Make Your Pregnancy a Little Bit Easier
There is no reason to completely stop exercising during this period. Of course, you might have to change up your routine and only partake in those exercises that are approved for pregnant women. In fact, exercising regularly during pregnancy is important for the health of both – the baby and the mother. A 30 minute of exercising every day will not only improve your mood but also help you sleep on time. However, consult a trainer who can provide you trustworthy health information and exercise regimen.
Avoid Consuming Spicy Food at Night
One of the reasons pregnant women tend to wake up at night is due to heartburn. While this is a normal symptom during pregnancy, you can certainly reduce its extent. By consuming less spicy food at night, you drastically reduce being woken up at night with heartburn. With your body working overtime to digest this food, your brain also tends to stay awake. If you are awakened by hunger pangs, you might want to chomp down on some banana or a salad to avoid overworking your digestive system.
Have a Hydration System in Place
Any pregnant woman can tell you the number of times she would wake in the middle of the night to urinate. This is another common symptom of having a baby growing in your uterus. To combat this, don’t reduce your intake of water but schedule it such that you drink up during the day and reduce it towards the night. Having a system like this can reduce the number of times you get the urge to urinate. However, we can’t stress enough, the importance of staying hydrated during this time.
Get Just Enough Sun
A few minutes spent soaking up the early morning sun is, in fact, good for you. In India though, you might not want to prolong your stay in the harsh sun. Due to pregnancy hormones, your skin is a little more sensitive and long exposure to it can cause your skin to break out into hives and rashes. Ensure you carry with you a bottle of water while you are getting your daily dose of Vitamin D to stay hydrated.
Power Naps Are Your Friend
You might not be getting an uninterrupted eight hours of sleep but you certainly should not let your body suffer the consequences of sleep deprivation at such a precarious time. To avoid feeling fatigued and mood changes, take short naps during the day. The best time to take a power nap is between 2 PM to 3 PM so it is not late enough to disrupt your nightly sleep schedule. Avoid sleeping for too long during the day too.
This is a big time for any woman. There are challenges but that is only the beginning. It is quite normal to experience stress and anxiety, wondering what lays ahead. Of course, the hormones don’t help. Try to clear your mind. Spend a few minutes every day in meditation. Bring into perspective the joys of motherhood that lays ahead. Use a few breathing exercises to relax and feel free so you are mentally prepared to accept the gift of motherhood in all its totality.