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Don't forget to sleep on your side!
by Delbert Hodgins
Sleeping can be difficult in general, but catching some quality shut-eye during pregnancy may turn into a real challenge while a little one is going through fetal development. As the weeks go by, moms-to-be may find that they're uncomfortable whenever they lie down and that it gets harder to experience deep, uninterrupted sleep.
Listen to your doctor
One culprit for this lack of sleep may be that you're not used to sleeping on your side. As you most likely found out during a visit with your healthcare provider, when you're with child, you're not supposed to sleep on your back or your front, even though either may usually be the most comfortable sleeping position for you.
The reason why it's important for you to sleep on your side, especially in the second and third trimesters, is because as your belly gets bigger, the excess weight needs to go somewhere when you're lying down. If you sleep on your back, all the extra pounds in your uterus can press on your spine, intestines and major blood vessels, causing a variety of problems. Some complications may include digestive issues, hemorrhoids, shortness of breath and poor circulation on top of lower back pain and dizziness.
When you can, go left
Not to make it more difficult, but healthcare professionals also recommend sleeping on the left side, as it increases blood flow throughout your body and to your baby. While there are benefits to favoring your left side over your right, it's not mandatory and it won't harm your baby if you accidentally roll over onto your right.
Another thing that you can try in order to make sleeping on your side more comfortable is to place a pillow between your legs and keep your knees bent in a natural and relaxed position.
Some expectant moms find that they experience heartburn at night. This is nothing unusual, but it may be something you have to adjust your body to in order to alleviate symptoms. For instance, it may help to prop the upper body with pillows. Doing this is also beneficial if you experience shortness of breath.
What were your experiences sleeping comfortably during pregnancy? Do you have any suggestions for expecting moms who just can't fall asleep because they aren't used to sleeping on their sides? Leave your answers in the comments section!