What side is best to sleep on when pregnant? This is a question asked by many pregnant women. For over 70% of pregnant woman sleepless nights begin during the pregnancy and last a long time after that. When trying to get a good nights sleep many woman feel like sending out an SOS and declaring a state of emergency.
A good nights sleep is a vital part of any pregnancy. Sleep is essential, not only for your health. But for the health of your baby. A lot of research has been conducted to determine the best position to sleep in when pregnant.
During the early stages of a pregnancy. The position you sleep in is not overly important. But as you get further into your pregnancy. Much more emphasis needs to be placed on your sleeping position. Not just for your own comfort while sleeping. But also for the health of your developing baby..
SOS is the answer. SOS (Sleep On Side)
During the early stages of pregnancy it is possible to sleep in any position you like. Without the worry of causing damage to your baby. Or waking up at four o’clock in the morning. Suffering from cramps and heart burn.
As your pregnancy continues and you start to get bigger. It is advised that you. Sleep On Your Side (SOS). To be more precise, sleep on your left side. Midwives and Doctors all over the world recommend sleeping on your left side. This is seen as the optimal sleeping position. Leaving less pressure on the baby.
What side is best to sleep on when pregnant? The left hand side.
Doctors, midwives and scientists recommend sleeping on your left hand side. One scientific study conducted at the university of Auckland New Zealand. Produced results stating that. Woman who sleep on their left hand side during the latter stages of their pregnancy. Are almost 50% less likely to experience stillbirth.
Sleeping on the left side position helps to prevent the “heavy” uterus putting pressure on the liver. Sleeping in this position helps the baby receive the right amounts of nutrients and oxygen as you sleep.
As you sleep your body is still working. Your placenta is an organ that connects to your developing fetus (baby). The placenta delivers nutrients and oxygen to the growing baby in the womb. Sleeping on the left side. Allows the body to produce the right amount of nutrients and oxygen,. Needed by your growing baby.
If you wake up on your right hand side, don’t worry
If you turn in the night as you sleep. Don’t worry this is natural and there is nothing you can do about it. One thing you will find as you get further into your pregnancy is that you will turn in your sleep less often. This is due to the huge lump (also known as baby). That was once known as your belly.
As you get further into your pregnancy you will find you will wake up in the position you went to sleep in much more often. There are some medical draw backs to constantly sleeping on your right hand side. But if you just wake up there after turning in the night there should be no problems. Remember if you turned in your sleep once. You could have turned a few more times. Turning in your sleep is natural and nothing to worry about.
Sleeping on your back whilst pregnant
When you have a big baby belly. Sleeping on your back appears to be the most comfortable and best solution. Unfortunately, Doctors do not advise sleeping on your back.
When you sleep on you back, you belly is raised. This means your uterus can compress on your “vena cava”. The “vena cava” is a major blood vessel close to your uterus. Sleeping on your back will result in excess stress being placed on this blood vessel.
The stress placed will result in restricted blood flow. The symptoms you can experience from a reduction in blood flow. Are Nausea, dizziness and feeling short of breath. Other effects sleeping on you back can have include. Backaches and haemorrhoids.
In the most serious cases. The restriction in blood flow can lead to high blood pressure. It is important to maintain normal blood pressure when pregnant as a sustained period of high blood pressure can lead to hypotension. This condition can cause complications later in the pregnancy.
But don’t worry if you do wake up on your back. The most serious complaints are rare and will come as a result of months of sleeping on your back. If you are ever worried. It is important to contact a medical professional.
Sleeping on your stomach when pregnant.
During the later stages of pregnancy it is not possible to sleep on your stomach. You only have to imagine a picture of your self balancing on your giant belly. Some woman do sleep on their front through the use of a large doughnut pillow. But even then the mental image looks a little funny.
Doctors say you should stop sleeping on your tummy as early in the pregnancy as possible. The results of sleeping on your front are again a reduction of blood flow in the body. Resulting in the same effects as sleeping on your back. Some less serious but more frustrating symptoms of reduced blood flow are, cramps and heart burn.
When you experience a reduction of blood flow through sleeping in a bad position. Your body is also not working as well as it could for your baby. One of the advantages of sleeping on your left side when pregnant is the increased production of nutrients and blood flow to the baby. This is why. Sleeping on your left side is best.
Why is sleeping on my right side bad?
If you fall asleep on your left side and wake up on your right side there is nothing you can do. You could have been sleeping on your right side for a very short period of time. Unless you get your partner to watch you sleep. You will never know.
Sleeping on the left side is the best position. Not only for your comfort. But for the health of your baby. If you wake on your right side don’t worry. Turning in the night is natural. Although increasingly less possible the bigger your “bump” becomes.
Medical science has shown that sleeping on your right hand side for sustained periods of time. Sustained being weeks and months rather than hours. Can have harmful effects on your body.
If you sleep on your right side while pregnant. Your uterus will lie heavily on your liver. Although this is not going to harm you baby or creates life threatening situation for you. Most doctors will advice against this.
If you follow the golden rule of SOS (sleep on side). Sticking to your left side when you go to sleep. Waking up on your right hand side is not considered to be a problem. So don’t worry.
How can I make sleeping on my left side more comfortable?
Pillows, pillows and more pillows. Forget your partner, what you want in bed with you whilst pregnant are pillows. You can support your back and bump with the use of strategically placed pillows.
High quality pregnancy pillows are a wise investment. They are designed for everything you want to do. As they are made from a memory foam. They will mould to your body and provide the support you need. Helping you sleep on your left side with support and comfort.
If you are still having trouble sleeping in any position, Try propping your self up. In to a semi upright position. If you have a recliner try sleeping in that.
You can read all the advice in the world. But every woman and every pregnancy is different. All you can do is know the facts and try different sleeping techniques and positions until you find the one that is right for you.
Remember if you are ever unsure or worried about any thing connected with sleep or your pregnancy. Contact a medical professional.