Pregnancy involves a lot of dos and don’ts from sacrificing your favorite food to playing your favorite sport. As your belly starts growing you start to sacrifice your favorite sleeping position.
We have put together this article to help you distinguish between the facts and myths about the sleeping position and how it affects the baby in your womb.
The ideal position is sleeping on the left side. When you sleep on the left side, there is optimal blood flow through the vena cava veins that are parallel to your spine. It carries the blood to your heart and the baby. This position also helps in lifting the pressure from your kidneys and liver so your body can deal with the swelling problems that you face in the ankles, hands, and feet.
Just because the left side is the perfect position, it does not mean that you should avoid sleeping on the right side. It is equally safe to sleep on the right side. You will have slight issues with the IVC but it matters more about which position makes you feel comfortable.
A myth about baby’s sex
You might have heard that the side on which you sleep indicates the sex of the baby but this is a myth. There are no studies that support this.
Ways to adopt sleeping sideways
If you are not a person who likes to sleep sideways then here are some suggestions that will help you to get comfortable with it. You can ask your partner to check up on you and to remind you to change your position.
In the early stage, you can sleep in any position. But if you want to make a habit of sleeping sideways then you should use a pillow between your legs. This will help to relieve the discomfort in your hips and the lower body. You can go for an orthopaedic knee pillow that is made from memory foam if you are looking for some extra comfort.
As your belly starts growing, you would want to make sure that your mattress is firm so that it can hold your back from sagging. If it is too soft then you should either buy a firm one or slip a board between the mattress and the box spring.
You can get a pregnancy pillow that comes in U and C shapes. These pillows wrap your entire body and help you to sleep comfortably. Position it in such a way that it supports your back, hips you in the front and at the same time slips between your knees.
You should continue to use the pregnancy pillow for your comfort. If they are unmanageable then try to go for wedge pillows. You can stick them under your belly and put them behind your back that prevents you from rolling.
If you cannot adopt the habit of sleeping sideways then use the pillows to give support your upper body at a 45-degree angle. So, you are not sleeping flat on your back and takes off the compression of your IVC. You can also try to elevate your head by a couple of inches with books or some sort of support.
Sleeping on your stomach
If you are thinking whether you can sleep on your stomach or not then you definitely can, at least for some time during your initial pregnancy period. It is okay until 16 to 18 weeks of your pregnancy. As your bump grows bigger, it is not advisable to sleep on your stomach. Besides comfort there is no other problem you need to be worried about in case, you end up sleeping on your stomach. The uterine wall and the amniotic fluid protects your baby so do not panic if you wake up in the morning or middle of the night and find yourself on your stomach.
You can for a stomach sleeping pillow to make your position feel more comfortable. They are either inflatable or firm and has a large cut-out for your belly. No matter which pillow you choose, it helps you to support your body and the baby and gives some extra room to breathe.