Expectant moms are inundated with information about what and what not to do during pregnancy. Even something as natural as sleeping comes with pregnancy guidelines. Simply put, some sleeping positions are better than others for you and your baby.
As you sleep, you'll likely change positions, rolling from one side to another or onto your back. This is perfectly fine. Don't keep yourself awake for fear that you might accidentally
end up on your back. Focus more on getting proper rest than on whether you'll roll over.
If you're dealing with pregnancy complications such as preterm labor, preeclampsia or placenta problems, you may find yourself ordered to full or partial bed rest, making these sleeping position guidelines even more important.
The pillow will become one of your greatest allies in your quest for a good night's sleep. Massage therapist Hali Chambers says pillow support is key. "Place a pillow to support the belly," says Chambers, "and a pillow between the knees."
A body pillow like the Boppy Cuddle Pillow keeps the back properly aligned by supporting the belly and legs. Tuck the pillow between your bent knees to take pressure off your lower back and make side-sleeping more comfortable. Tuck one behind your back, and you'll find it easier to maintain a side-lying position throughout the night. Mom Sarah Caron put one Boppy Pillow under her stomach and one between her legs. "It was a total godsend," said Caron, whose pregnancy belly was huge from six months on.
If lying on your side hurts your hips or shoulders, try using a soft egg-crate mattress pad. This foam pad goes on top of the mattress under the sheet and provides cushioning and air circulation.
If back pain is keeping you up at night, consider wearing a maternity belt to bed. Maternity belts can decrease lower back pain, reduce pressure on the bladder, increase circulation, decrease
swelling and provide overall comfort.
Some maternity belts lift the belly, while others provide comfortable compression. Some consist of a simple pelvic wrap while others feature over-the-shoulder support. You can even find Lycra bodysuits with built-in support.
A sleeping bra -- soft, nonrestrictive and typically made of cotton -- is ideal for a little nighttime support and a less heavy feeling.
Don't lose sleep worrying about your baby's comfort. You may be tossing and turning and feeling completely miserable, but your baby is floating around in a weightless environment, feeling no discomfort whatsoever. So rest easy!
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