We know that for the expectant mother, sleeping well is not an easy matter. According to research carried out, about 78% of pregnant women have problems falling asleep in the last trimester of pregnancy. Here we give you some recommendations so that your nights and your rest are the best possible.
It is normal that during the first trimester of pregnancy, the future mother has longer rest periods than usual and sleeps more hours than usual, since great changes are happening in her body that make her feel tired. On the other hand, it is at this stage when the levels of melatonin (sleep hormone) increase, so the pregnant woman tends to spend more time in bed.
As the fetus develops in the womb and the pregnancy progresses, it brings discomfort that affects sleep and rest, such as lower back pain or difficulty breathing properly. Likewise, you will have to deal with emotional disorders that affect this stage. In addition, if we add to this that nausea, the need to go to the bathroom continuously and heartburn are also present, it is practically impossible to achieve rest and the nights could be eternal.
For this reason, the future mother must find a position that is as comfortable as possible and, at the same time, is the safest for the baby. Fortunately, today there is a great ally, the pregnancy pillow, which is an excellent alternative to help achieve a better rest and fall asleep more easily. However, it is important to follow some guidelines and recommendations from experts on this subject.
Positions to avoid
1. Avoid sleeping on your back
Sleeping on your back is one of the riskiest positions during pregnancy, both for the mother and the fetus, especially during the last three months of pregnancy. This is fundamentally due to the pressure exerted by the weight of the uterus on the inferior vena cava, which is located very close to the spine and is the artery responsible for returning blood to the heart from the lower extremities. For this reason, sleeping in this position reduces blood circulation in the legs, which could cause supine hypotension syndrome.
Likewise, the pressure exerted by the uterus on the back and intestines intensifies lumbar ailments and can cause both hemorrhoids and constipation. On the other hand, a team of researchers from New Zealand conducted studies on pregnant women and revealed that the face-up position also affects the health and life of the fetus, since it decreases the supply of oxygen, increases its heart rate and produces fetal stress and as Consequently, the risk of death increases.
2. It is also not recommended to sleep on your stomach
Many mothers instinctively avoid sleeping on their stomachs, as they think they will crush and harm the fetus. But the truth is that this position is not exactly the most comfortable for a pregnant woman to sleep. During the first weeks it will not be a problem, since the uterus is still small and the fetus is very well protected inside, so it does not represent any risk and no discomfort.
But once the pregnancy progresses and the fetal development is larger, the mother will find it impossible to sleep in this position. This is mainly because the curvature of the spine increases and does not allow the body to be adequately supported. For this reason, it is best to avoid this position when sleeping, as it could affect the health of the mother and child.
Sleeping on your side, the best position for pregnant women
There is no doubt that this turns out to be the best position to sleep during pregnancy, since it is the most comfortable and safe for both the mother and the fetus. For this reason, from approximately week 24, experts recommend sleeping on your side and on the left side preferably.
Among the benefits offered by this position we have that supine hypotension syndrome is avoided. Likewise, it favors the optimal circulation of the blood, since all the nutrients flow better towards the uterus, as well as the transport of the oxygen essential for the child. Also, the kidneys work better and easily remove waste from the blood.
The reasons for the mother to choose the left side have a scientific basis. In this sense, when the mother lies on her left side, she prevents the weight of the pregnancy from falling completely on the liver; which favors that the important functions carried out by this vital organ are not interrupted. In the same way, it is a position that avoids the inflammation of the feet and the edemas, effects that appear in the last stage of pregnancy; since in this way pressure is not exerted on the large blood vessels located on the right side of the body.
It is clear that the position on the side benefits the mother and the baby, but if there is also a cushion, the comfort will be much greater. In this sense, to fall asleep and achieve a better rest, it is advisable for the future mother to get one of the best pregnancy pillows available on the market. She will be able to put it between her legs and at the same time provide support for her back; so the pelvic and lumbar pains, typical of this last stage, decrease considerably.
Try other recommended positions
Just as the side position is the most comfortable, it may also be convenient for the mother to choose to assume the fetal position. This posture not only encourages the abdomen to rest on the bed, but since the legs are bent in the fetal position, it also helps to eliminate the accumulated tension in the vertebrae, as a result of the excessive weight of pregnancy.
On the other hand, in cases where the future mother suffers from reflux, the best position to be able to sleep and rest would be semi-reclined in bed; so she will need the support of pillows or cushions. It is an ideal position when the pregnant woman suffers from heartburn, gastritis or poor digestion.