The choice of a sleeping position during pregnancy for childbirth is becoming a real problem. In recent months, a woman has to “attach” her stomach for a long time so that it does not interfere with breathing, and in the morning, her lower back does not hurt. In addition, sleep during pregnancy is disturbed due to the hormonal background – the mood changes, and with the release on maternity leave, the usual daily routine is completely lost.
This is the situation every pregnant woman faces, so some basic points should be clarified.
The content of the article:
- How much sleep do you need?
- Sleep positions on the side, stomach, back
- Secrets of comfortable sleep
Sleep duration during pregnancy – how much sleep per day
It is believed that a healthy adult sleeps 7-10 hours a day. The exact value depends on the individual characteristics of the organism, the nature of the work (mental or physical), the daily routine and the intensity of the load.
Video: How to sleep for pregnant women?
During pregnancy, the need for sleep changes – how much expectant mothers sleep depends on the duration, size of the baby, and the degree of toxicosis.
The main hormone that determines the condition of a woman is progesterone. The need for sleep increases, drowsiness arises during the day, a woman wakes up hard in the morning, wants to sleep earlier than usual in the evening, gets more tired.
Can pregnant women sleep as much as they want? This is usually not harmful, but it is worth revising your daily routine.
The need for sleep is indeed on the rise and needs to be satisfied. On average, a woman in the first trimester of pregnancy should sleep 2 hours more than usual.
What you can do about your increased need for sleep:
- Increase the duration of night sleep by 2 hours.
- Introduce a daily sleep break of 1.5-2 hours into your daily routine.
- Introduce several short breaks of 15-30 minutes.
There is no need to struggle with sleep during the first trimester of pregnancy. There are many tips on how to “trick” your natural urge, such as drinking coffee and taking a nap right away for about 15 minutes, but they should only be used in an emergency. The harm of lack of sleep is much higher than the harm of constant sleepiness.
If, despite the change in the daily routine, you want to sleep constantly – you should see a doctor… Such changes can indicate serious hormonal pathologies.
This time is considered a golden period – the complications caused by hormonal changes in the early stages end, and the difficulties caused by a significant increase in the abdomen in the later stages have not yet begun.
Due to the production of hormones in the placenta, drowsiness caused by progesterone decreases, the need for sleep enters the usual rhythm that was before pregnancy.
There are no recommendations on how to sleep for pregnant women during this period.
However, you should sleep less often on your back – in this position, the enlarged uterus presses on the bladder and causes frequent urge to use the toilet.
At this time, the problem of sleep is most pressing.
The main difficulties faced by a pregnant woman:
- It is difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position during pregnancy because of the abdomen, you have to wake up to change the position.
- The baby actively moves precisely at night – his sleep and wakefulness regime is opposite to that of the mother.
- Problems with internal organs – frequent urination, swelling of the nasal mucosa, decreased motor activity of the lungs, causing frequent awakenings at night.
The need for sleep remains the same as before pregnancy, but it becomes more difficult to satisfy. Daytime sleep in late pregnancy encounters the same difficulties as nighttime sleep, therefore it does not solve the problem well.
The best solution to the problem is to take short, about 30 minutes, naps during the day. The number of breaks is individual.
In general, it cannot be said that excess sleep is harmful for expectant mothers, or that pregnant women should not sleep too much, why pathologies of carrying difficulties may arise. Sleepiness is usually a signal from the body that it is not getting enough rest.
However, if a woman changes her routine to get enough sleep, but it does not help – you should consult a doctor.
Sleeping positions during pregnancy – can a pregnant woman sleep on her back, stomach, side?
Choosing how to sleep during pregnancy, a woman is forced to maneuver between her own convenience (especially in the later stages) – and the risk of harming the baby.
On this score, there are many theories – both scientifically based and related to folk wisdom. In general, we can say that the harm from the “wrong” mother’s sleep is not the baby’s biggest problem.
On the belly
It is believed that sleeping on your stomach during pregnancy is categorically impossible, it will harm the child.
In fact, this is not always the case. In the first trimester of pregnancy, the uterus is still in the pelvic cavity – and if you lie on your stomach, the pressure will be on the pubic bones, for which such a load is habitual.
After 12 weeks, the uterus begins to rise, and from this time you should accustom yourself to other sleeping positions.
On the back
Sleeping on your back during pregnancy hinders blood flow to the internal organs. The larger the fetus, the higher the risk of waking up with a stiff lower back, swelling all over the body and a feeling of weakness.
You should start giving up this position from week 12 – or a little later. This position does not harm the baby, but it does not allow the mother to fully sleep and rest.
In the later stages, in this position, snoring and shortness of breath occur at night, up to apnea.
On the side
The best option for a pregnant woman would be to sleep on her side.
- In the position on the left side, the inferior vena cava, through which blood flows from the abdominal organs and legs, is located on top of the uterus, and the blood flow in it is not disturbed.
- In the position on the right side, the abdominal organs that have changed position do not press on the heart.
The ideal option during pregnancy is to alternate both sleeping positions.
It is necessary to accustom yourself to sleep properly from a period of 12 weeks, when the uterus begins to increase in size and go out from under the protection of the pelvic bones.
If a woman usually sleeps on her stomach, then you should get special pillows and mattresses even during pregnancy planning.
If a woman cannot find a position, and it is uncomfortable for her to sleep even on her side, you can sit in a rocking chair, or put special pillows under her back on the bed.
In this position, the uterus presses less on the chest organs, the blood flow in the vessels is not disturbed, and the baby does not receive any harm.
How to sleep comfortably for a pregnant woman even at a later date – comfortable pillows for sleeping
For women who are used to sleep on your stomach, during the first weeks of pregnancy you need to buy special pillows. The pillow is placed in the bed in such a way that it does not give the opportunity to roll over on the stomach.
Video: Pillows for pregnant women – what are there, how to use
You can also use two pillows so that you do not roll over and on your back.
Additionally, you can place other pillows near you:
- A high pillow under your head – especially if your blood pressure has increased.
- A pillow or roller under your feet to avoid blood stagnation and the formation of varicose veins. Ordinary pillows and blankets will cope with this task, but special ones have the most convenient shape for this.
It is not necessary to buy a special bed, but you should pay attention to the mattress. Since pregnant women cannot sleep on their backs, but only on their sides, the mattress will be pressed more strongly. The ideal option would be orthopedic mattress – Soft enough to be comfortable to sleep on, and firm enough to maintain the correct posture.
Getting ready for bed will make it easier to fall asleep.
These rules should be followed not only while waiting for the baby:
- The sequence of actions before bed should be the same every day – this is how the brain adjusts to falling asleep.
- This sequence should include activities that do not require physical, mental and emotional stress.
- The room needs to be ventilated before going to bed. If it’s cold outside, then 15 minutes is enough while the expectant mother takes a shower.
- It is best to fall asleep when the body temperature is slightly lowered. To do this, you can take a cool shower or walk around the house without clothes for a few minutes.
- The temperature in the room should be comfortable. Ideal for sleeping – 17-18˚.
There are no strict restrictions on which side to lie on in the first place – this is a matter of convenience only. In order not to sleep on your back, you can train yourself to press your back against the headboard – so there is no way to roll over onto your back. You can, on the contrary, press your stomach against the wall, and put a roller under your back.
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