Often women wonder if it is alright to sleep on their tummy during pregnancy. Sad to inform you pregnant ladies out there but sleeping on the belly and on the back are not the best positions for you during your pregnancy months. Finding a comfortable sleeping position is one of the reasons why women become sleep deprived in the later part of their pregnancies. It is a sacrifice indeed to have to give up your favorite sleeping positions. One good tip is to get accustomed to sleeping on the sides long before your belly balloons up.
Now that you are prepared to give up on your favorite sleeping position, be prepared to lose some sleep. Getting used to the new position(s) will take some getting used to. As mentioned earlier, better to make this change early on instead of waiting till the time when sleeping in your favorite position becomes just impossible. Imagine distressing yourself over the new position when you are heavily pregnant and tired!
Why Sleeping on the back and tummy is a NO..
- As your belly expands, sleeping on your expanded belly not only becomes impossible; it is also uncomfortable (don't worry your baby won't get squashed inside should you sleep on your belly)
- The back position causes the entire weight of your pregnant uterus to rest on your back, intestines and the two major blood vessels. A fair share of complications may result in the mother because of this.
- Backaches and hemorrhoids worsen, digestion becomes less efficient, breathing becomes difficult and low blood pressure may occur
- If you rest on your back the large vein or vena cava which transports blood from the lower body to the heart will be affected.
- When resting on your back even for a short while, prop up your upper body with pillows to reduce the pressure on the vena cava. This is essential as any interference with blood supply to the placenta means nutrients and oxygen supply to the fetus will be affected
The Best position..
- Side-lying positions with lots of pillows for additional support and comfort are ideal.
- It is best to lie on your left side instead of the right whenever possible so that baby receives its nutrients uninterrupted.
- Cross one leg over the other with a pillow in between is best for both mother and baby. This position not only optimizes blood flow to the placenta but also ensures smooth functioning of the kidneys.
- Efficient kidney function means better elimination of fluids and this in turn reduces the chances of odema (swelling of the ankles, feet, hands)
- Occasionally you may revert to sleeping on your back or tummy because you are just not used to your new position. No harm done here. Both positions bring no harm to the fetus; the fetus is well cushioned to suffer from any pressure on the maternal body