From wondering if I am pregnant, I can’t feel a thing inside me to suddenly not able to sleep due to your growing belly - each stage of pregnancy affects your sleep. In the first trimester, due to the increase in hormones, you end up making numerous trips to the bathroom because of the extra fluid in your body. In the second trimester, heart burns, leg cramps and disturbing dreams may keep you awake. By the third trimester, most pregnant mothers find it very difficult to sleep again due to the numerous trips to the bathroom and the growing belly. No position seems to help. You don’t remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep. You end up tossing and turning in bed trying to adjust and get in to the perfect position, which might help you to sleep.
It is not advisable to lie on your back for more than a couple of minutes. As in this position, the weight of your growing uterus is pressing on your spine, back muscles and major blood vessels. This can reduce blood flow in your body and to your baby. Besides this sleeping on your back can make you feel dizzy, your blood pressure may drop, it can cause muscle pains and swelling.
The best position to sleep during pregnancy is on your sides. It is a good idea to get used to sleeping on your sides right from the first trimester. You can choose to sleep either on your left or your right side, whichever is most comfortable. Using pillows to support your belly, back and in between your legs can help you feel more comfortable.
Here are a few tips to help you sleep better in one of the most interesting phases of life:
1. Support your belly and your back: Prop a wedge pillow or a small pillow or a folded towel under your tummy and one or two pillows near your back. This will help you sleep on your side, preventing you from rolling to your back or stomach. It will also give you a feeling of sleeping on your back.
2. Prevent breathlessness, heartburn: Propping up your head with a few pillows or a rolled towel or blanket can help prevent acid reflux.
3. Special Pregnancy long pillow: You can use such a pillow to support your head, tummy and between your knees. These are available in maternity shops as well as online.
4. Sleeping half sitting: Towards the end of your third trimester, you may find it very uncomfortable to lie down. At such times, prop yourself in half sitting and half lying down position with several pillows behind your head and back, below your knees so that your heels touch the bed and pillows to support your arms.
5. Hot water bottle: If you have aches and pains causing sleeplessness, you can use it on painful areas away from your belly.
Sleep is very crucial during pregnancy. Do not worry about which side to lie on. Sleeping on either side is ok. It is ok, if you roll over to your back, you will realize it and come back to your side.
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