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Which Side Is It Better To Sleep On When Pregnant

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Tips For Sleeping On Your Side In Pregnancy

Best Sleeping Position When Pregnant – Is Back, Left, or Right Side Better?
  • Put pillows behind you to prevent falling on your back. It wont prevent you being on your back for certain but is likely to make it more uncomfortable.
  • If you have long hair, try tying it in a low bun, which may make it uncomfortable to sleep on your back for any length of time.
  • If you wake up for any reason during the night, check your position and go back to sleep on your side.
  • If you are likely to nap during the day pay the same attention to sleep position during the day as you would during the night.

What Happens To The Sperm When A Woman Is Already Pregnant

When a woman is pregnant however, a mucus plug is formed in the cervix, blocking the passage of sperm. This mechanism prevents semen from passing through the pregnant uterus, let alone allowing it to reach the oviduct. And for superfetation to occur, the conceptus needs to implant in a pregnant uterus.

Sleep Hygiene For Pregnant Women

Sleep hygiene is more important than ever during pregnancy. In addition to pregnancy sleep aids such as specialized pillows or eye masks, the following habits may help reduce insomnia and improve overall sleep quality:

  • Keep a cool, dark, quiet bedroom and limit the bed to sleeping and sex
  • Prioritize sleep and stick to a consistent bedtime, scheduling naps earlier in the day so they dont interfere with nighttime sleep
  • Read a book, take a bath, or indulge in another calming activity in preparation for bedtime
  • Use a nightlight to make it easier to get back to sleep after bathroom breaks
  • Avoid caffeine, spicy foods, and heavy meals too close to bedtime to reduce the risk of GERD
  • Avoid taking technology into the bedroom, and turn off screens at least an hour before bed
  • Get regular exercise earlier in the day
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but reduce liquid intake before bed to reduce nighttime bathroom breaks
  • If you cant sleep, get out of bed and do something else until you feel sleepy
  • Write down thoughts in your journal, or seek help from your partner, friends, doctor, or childbirth classes if youre feeling stressed
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The Benefits Of Side Sleeping

When it comes to the heart, side sleeping wins out because it decreases the risk of acid reflux, snoring, and its best for the heart. Side sleeping is the most common sleep position among humans and animals. This one position has three basic variations:

  • Fetal Position: As the name suggests, this position mimics the position of a fetus the knees tucked towards the chest with the hands pulled in. The slight curve of the spine in this position relieves pressure and stress on the back.
  • Yearner Position: The yearner sleepers on one side with the legs straight and arms extended straight forward as though reaching for someone.
  • Log Position: The log sleeper lies on their side with legs relatively straight and arms straight at the sides.

While these are the most common side positions, many people are combo sleepers who switch to a different side or even back or stomach position during the night. The best mattress for side sleepers cushions and supports the curves of the body evenly. They need pressure relief at the shoulders and hips with plenty of support for the head and feet.

Should You Change Your Sleeping Position In Each Trimester

5 Tips to Help You Sleep Better During Pregnancy

As your baby gets bigger, youll find sleeping on your back becomes less and less comfortable, but youll probably find that your body adapts to the discomfort automatically.

Theres no need to worry if you find yourself rolling on to your side from time to time, according to Kellie. “This will happen to all of us. At some point in your pregnancy, you aren’t going to feel well being on your back.”

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Cold Or Upper Respiratory Infection

Symptoms of a cold or upper respiratory infection tend to worsen at night. This is because mucus accumulates in the sinuses and throat when a person lies down. Sleeping with the head elevated can help alleviate associated symptoms, such as a stuffy nose.

Sleeping with the head elevated

Raising the level of the head can help drain the sinuses, preventing nasal blockages and associated headaches. Propping two or more pillows under the head before going to sleep should be effective.

People who have sleep apnea or a tendency to snore should avoid sleeping on their backs, especially when they have a cold. This is because the position may cause the tongue to partially block the flow of air, making breathing difficulties worse. Experiment with various positions to find one that feels comfortable.

Can I Sleep On My Back During Pregnancy

Research has shown that in the third trimester going to sleep on your back increases your risk of stillbirth. As the link has now been shown in four separate research trials, our advice is to go to sleep on your side in the third trimester because it is safer for your baby. The advice relates to any episode of sleep, including:

  • going to sleep at night
  • returning to sleep after any night wakenings
  • day time naps.

We dont want you to become anxious about this. If your pregnancy is uncomplicated your risk of stillbirth is low . Going to sleep on your side will make it even lower.

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Common Pregnancy Sleeping Problems

As early as the first trimester, women can start to experience sleep problems. These issues can be both physiological and psychological, caused by the stress pregnancy puts on your body and mind. As you progress in your pregnancy, you may notice that your experience changes and that some months are more difficult than others. Everyone is different, but here are some of the more common sleeping problems and what you can do to solve them.

Sleep Positions To Avoid If You Have A Heart Condition

How to Sleep Better During Pregnancy

Its still not clear what the best and worst sleeping positions are for people with heart conditions. Theres some evidence that sleeping on your left side may shift your heart and disrupt your hearts electrical current. Also, many people with heart failure report having trouble breathing in this position.

Sleeping on your back can worsen sleep apnea and snoring. You should speak with your doctor before sleeping on your back if youre dealing with any breathing issues.

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When To See A Doctor

If insomnia, sleep apnea, or any other condition is interfering with your sleep, tell your doctor. Lack of sleep during pregnancy has been liked to high blood pressure , preeclampsia, pre-term birth, and other pregnancy-related complications.

Many times, there are no symptoms that alert you when your blood pressure is elevated. Your doctor will check your blood pressure at your prenatal visits, but if you have a severe headache or swelling of your hands, ankles, and feet, contact your doctor.

Symptoms of preeclampsia include:

  • Changes in vision, including blurred vision.
  • Nausea or vomiting.

Sleeping On Your Belly

Until the second trimester, your belly doesnt take up much space and shouldnt bother you. As a matter of fact, it isnt rare for your pregnancy to not be noticeable before your 4th month if its your first child.

Perhaps youre stopping yourself from sleeping on your belly in case you hurt the baby, but dont worry: your fetus is comfortably settled in, weightless in the amniotic liquid, and the pressures he receives are very weak. You can sleep on your belly without worry as long as its not uncomfortable for you. However, you could quickly feel uncomfortable on your own- some women realize they are pregnant because sleeping on their belly suddenly feels uncomfortable.

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What’s Wrong With Right

So, what if anything is wrong with sleeping on the right? That’s hard to say, as there haven’t been many studies specifically comparing left- and right-side sleeping during pregnancy. One study of 155 women, published in the journal The BMJ in 2011, did find a slightly increased risk of stillbirth in women who went to bed on their right rather than their left the night before they miscarried, but these results have not yet been repeated.

“I don’t think there’s clear evidence that sleeping on your right is worse than sleeping on your left,” Pien said. “If there’s a reason somebody is sleeping on their right because they’re more uncomfortable sleeping on their left, I don’t think there’s a reason not to do it.”

If you have an otherwise healthy pregnancy and absolutely can’t sleep on your left, rolling over to the right is probably nothing to worry about, Pien said. In fact, it might be better for you not getting enough sleep may be much worse for pregnancy outcomes than the slight risk of IVC compression when lying on your right flank.

“Research suggests that pregnant women who are not getting enough sleep less than 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night probably are at increased risk for things like gestational diabetes, and potentially for things like preeclampsia,” Pien said. “Getting enough sleep is very important to pregnancy.”

Enjoy it while you can.

Treatment For Sleep Problems During Pregnancy

Good Sleep Tips For Pregnant Moms

There are a number of ways to reduce sleep problems while pregnant. Principal strategies include adjustments to sleeping position and sleep hygiene habits. In conjunction with good sleep hygiene, managing pregnancy-related sleep disorders is key to getting better sleep while pregnant.

Certain therapies have proven effective for treating sleep disorders, such as a continuous positive airway pressure device for OSA, antacids for GERD, or vitamin and mineral supplements for RLS and other conditions. Although there are many theories, the reason for leg cramps and RLS during pregnancy remains unclear. Suggested therapies include vitamin supplementation, heat therapy, and massage but there is no consensus about what is the best treatment.

As certain substances may pose a risk to the developing fetus, pregnant women should always consult with their doctor before taking any medication or herbal remedies to help with sleep.

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How To Get Better Sleep While Pregnant

During pregnancy, a mothers body goes through many changes and she may often feel exhausted. Yet, in this time, it is more important than ever to get the rest that her body and her baby need.

Pregnancy can disrupt your natural sleep patterns, or just make it more difficult to relax and rest. Many expectant moms struggle with discomfort and tiredness at different times during the nine months. A survey done by the National Sleep Foundation found that nearly 80% of pregnant women have difficulty sleeping. When you are already dealing with nausea, fatigue, swelling, frequent urination, heartburn and other aches and pains, it may seem like sleep disorders are just another frustrating side effect.

Let us take a look at the common sleep problems that pregnant women face and some tips for getting more rest before the baby arrives.

Sleeping Comfortably: A Pregnancy Pillow Might Help

Pregnancy pillows, or just an extra regular pillow, are often the favourite sleep aid of expectant mums. They can help support your bump or legs in bed and make you more comfy as your tummy gets bigger. You can also use them to relax on the sofa while youre reading or watching TV.

You may fall in love with your big maternity pillows so much that you want to carry on using them after your baby is born. And coincidentally, they make great breastfeeding support cushions too!

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Can I Sleep On My Right Side During Third Trimester

Generally, women in their third trimester are encouraged not to sleep on their backs. Most experts recommend sleeping on your side. The left side is considered the best choice because the uterus naturally rotates to the right during pregnancy and left-sided lying will bring it more to the center and improve blood flow.

Sleeping On Your Left Side

What is the right way to sleep during pregnancy? – Sanghamitra

Women are told to sleep on the left side during pregnancy is to avoid blood vessel compression. This is because there is a large vein which carries blood back to the heart from the lower body, including the uterus. This vein can be compressed by the uterus when a woman lies on her back. The result of venous compression is slowed blood return to the heart, and less blood circulation to the body, including the uterus. Because of the change in blood flow you may start to feel nauseous and light headed, like someone is choking you or like you are about to pass out.

To prevent vein compression women are told to sleep on their left side. The vein is on the right, so leaning left gets the uterus away from the vein. Thus, sleeping on the left side is effective in preventing that choking feeling, BUT sleeping on the left side can be really uncomfortable.

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How Does Your Sleeping Position Affect Your Own Health

To be on the safe side, youll probably want to avoid sleeping on your back, particularly as you head into that third trimester, but as Kellie says, this will probably happen naturally. She says that the main reason to sleep on your back as your pregnancy progresses is for your own health and comfort.

“As you progress through pregnancy,” she says, “the fetus is going to grow and the baby and uterus are becoming heavier. By about 20 weeks, in the second trimester, the weight of the uterus can cause you to have symptoms if laying on your back. The reason for this is the weight is pushing down on the vena cava, the big blood vessel returning blood to your heart. You will have symptoms when this is affecting you. Some women will feel nauseated, sweaty, hot and dizzy.

“Some women will also have increased acid reflux, making being on your back sub-optimal as well. Due to body composition changes, others will even have sleep apnea in pregnancy, especially third trimester. This is exacerbated by being on your back. It’s important for you to find positions that are comfortable for you.”

Sleeping On Your Side During Pregnancy

Spending the night on your sidespecifically the left sideis the best sleep position during pregnancy. Thats to get all the weight of the uterus off the right side to optimize blood flow, Twogood says. Its also for the comfort of the mom. Sleeping on your right side can still compress the IVC and isnt as safe as being on your left, but using pillows to prop up the uterus so its not sliding to the right side can sometimes be an option, she adds.

Of course, if youve been a back or tummy snoozer all your life, changing to your left side can be hard. I fully recommend getting a pregnancy body pillow and getting it early, Twogood says. You want to optimize its use during pregnancy, playing with its positions and how it can support you best. You can also use it under your legs to decrease any hip or leg pain during sleep. If you still cant comfortably make the switch to your side, use pillows to prop yourself into an incline. Sleeping on your back at a 45-degree tilt can prevent a lot of the compression.

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Why Do Sleeping Positions Matter During Pregnancy

The liver is on the right side of our body. So, if you sleep by pressing down on your right side, the posture mounts pressure on the organ. This can choke the liver and curb its natural functioning. Letting the body function at its highest potential is all we want, and it becomes a priority when you are pregnant. You would want nothing to come between your child and his nutrition. Hence, you should make more space for your organs to function normally. Sleeping on the left would obviously then become the option where the liver would get ample space to function optimally.

The prenatal stage has several steps where the foetus grows in size with each passing day. With each passing day, the growing baby starts putting pressure on the organs and blood vessels. Then, when the child starts moving, he needs more space. The cramped up belly would not offer much space for the baby to relax, and he starts kicking the bladder and headbutting into the moms intestines. Many find this amusing, especially those who are not experiencing it. But it is really painful. It becomes even more painful when its time to snooze.

The Inferior Vena Cava or IVC is one of the many body parts that get affected by these daily changes. In a womans body, the IVC runs along the right side of the spine and goes down to bring back blood from the lower part of the body. Sleeping on the right can constrict these blood vessels.

Avoiding The Morning Sickness

Experts Explain Why Women Should Be Sleeping On Their Left ...

Morning sickness affects nearly 70% of women and is not limited only to the morning . In fact, morning sickness or nausea and vomiting in pregnancy as its known too can happen at any time of day or night .

It can help to eat small quantities of plain food, like toast or rice crackers, before you go to bed, as having an empty stomach can make you feel more sick. Keeping hydrated can help as well. Avoid very greasy or sugary food, as this can be harder to digest and make you feel more sick .

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