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  • Dr. Liz Homan

Sleep While Pregnant

I often times get asked by patients what is the best sleeping position, but this question dramatically increases when patients reach the end of their first trimester of pregnancy. So, what is the best way to sleep when you are pregnant? And why shouldn’t you lay on your back?

The best sleep position during pregnancy is laying on your side- and specifically your left side. While in this left side lying position, the most amount of blood is able to get to your placenta and baby. It is also advised to keep your knees bent and to place a pillow between your knees and under your belly if possible. A regular body pillow can add a lot of great support but if that is not working for you, there are a lot of pillows created just for this purpose. I personally liked the Boppy Pregnancy Support Pillow- as it was very supportive of both my legs and belly, and it is not so large that it forces Kyle out of bed…

You can also lay on your right side, and that will most likely happen as we shift positions multiple times throughout the night. The reason your left side is considered better is because of the position of your aorta and your vena cava- the big blood vessels in your body that move blood to and from your lower extremities and heart. When you lay on your left side, it reduces the pressure on these blood vessels.

And this is why laying on your back is not recommended! When you lay on your back, baby may compress these blood vessels leading to hypotension or light headedness/dizziness. This position also puts a lot of pressure on your intestines which may result in slow digestive movement and may make hemorrhoids flair up.

You also want to avoid laying on your belly- which to most of you I think is pretty obvious, it simply will not be possible. 😉

So, try sleeping on your left side and see how you feel. If you find that you are super uncomfortable while trying to sleep and you are not able to find positional relief, maybe introducing chiropractic care to your prenatal care will be beneficial for you!

Many women report that with chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy they are able to still get a good night’s sleep, even at 35+ weeks pregnant! Their bodies are more comfortable in general, and they do not get the low back aches and pains that many other women experience! And this makes sleep that much more restful!

So, if you are tired and uncomfortable during your pregnancy and you do not feel like you can get comfortable in any position that you try while sleeping, please reach out and set up a time for you to have your spine evaluated. It will take around and hour and we will know so much more as to what may be causing your discomforts! And when you feel better, you can get back to being the mom you want to be!

And just so you know, it is possible to feel great throughout your entire pregnancy!

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