As your little baby grows and your uterus becomes larger finding a comfortable sleeping position generally becomes increasingly difficult, especially if your favourite sleeping position is tummy down. Tender breasts and a growing belly soon make sleeping on your stomach impossible. However, after your fifth month or so, sleeping on your back is definitely not the best. This puts extra pressure on your aorta and inferior vena cava, the blood vessels that run behind your abdomen and carry blood back to your heart from your lower body. Pressure on these vessels can slow blood circulation to your body and consequently your baby.
So, what’s the safest sleep position to adopt during pregnancy?
From the second trimester onwards side sleeping is safest for you and your baby. Plus, it’s more comfortable for you as your abdomen grows. Is one side of the body better than the other for sleeping? Health Care Professionals always recommend lying on your left side. It improves circulation, giving nutrient-packed blood an uninterrupted route from your heart to the placenta to nourish your baby. Lying on the left side also keeps your expanding body weight from applying extra pressure on your internal organs. While either side is okay, left is best.
So, how do I get comfortable? You can use pillows under your belly, between your legs, and behind your back if you like.
Here are a few other tips to consider;
Buy a special extra-long pregnancy pillow and position it under your body to help keep you on your side, preventing you from rolling onto your stomach or back
For shortness of breath: Put a pillow under your side to raise your chest
For heartburn: Lying on your back in a half-sitting position, propped up against some pillows can be helpful if you suffer from heartburn
Don’t panic if you roll from side to front or back while you sleep. You’re better off letting your body move where it’s most comfortable than trying to wake yourself up every few minutes to stay on your side
You may notice that you wake naturally if you roll onto your back at which point you can just re-position yourself then