Safe Sleep While Pregnant
As you get further along in your pregnancy, you may find yourself tossing and turning to try to get comfortable as you fall asleep. As your uterus and baby grow in size, it can become difficult to find a comfortable position in bed. Other pregnancy discomforts that may arise, such as back pain, heartburn, or shortness of breath, will also contribute to the struggle of trying to find a comfortable position to fall asleep in.
When you are pregnant, it is ideal to sleep on your side. While either side is safe to sleep on, the best side is your left one, as this position helps to increase the amount of blood and nutrients that travel to the placenta and your baby. It’s not ideal for a mother to sleep on her back during pregnancy (especially in the second and third trimester) because this position can lower blood pressure, which can cause a decrease in circulation to the heart and to the baby. The reason this may happen is that the abdomen ends up resting on the intestines and major blood vessels called the aorta and vena cava. Earlier in pregnancy, mothers may be able to get comfortable on their stomach, however, as your pregnancy progresses, it becomes very difficult to lay on your stomach because of the physical growth and changes in your abdomen.
It is especially difficult to get comfortable for sleep entering the third trimester. You should start your sleep on your side, and if you naturally end up on your back, don’t panic, just reposition to the side again. This can be best done by using several pillows or purchasing a large body pillow or pregnancy pillow to get comfortable. Be sure to keep your back well supported with pillows and to elevate your head to help with heartburn and allow you to breathe easier. Try to avoid caffeine late at night and excess fluids before bed to help limit nighttime trips to the bathroom. Always talk to your healthcare provider if something is bothering you, if you have questions about sleep, or if you are not getting enough sleep. It is an important and valid topic to raise at a prenatal visit, and they will be happy to offer assistance and support.
Boston NAPS, LLC is a Boston-based, private nursing company and team of qualified Registered Nurses that specializes in providing nursing care to expecting, new, and experienced parents and families. Boston NAPS services include prenatal, postpartum, lactation, and newborn support and education to families throughout Massachusetts. All services are offered in the privacy and comfort of your home, with some services also offered in a group setting. For more information about Boston NAPS, please visit their website at http://www.BostonNAPS.com.