Sleeping is a huge challenge during pregnancy and with a few changes you could be more comfortable.
After 16 weeks of pregnancy lying on your back for long periods can make you feel faint as your baby is pressing on the major blood vessels so this will no longer be an option later into pregnancy. Lying on your back for long periods can also increase the risk of you developing backache and even low blood pressure.
Getting into the habit of sleeping on side during your first trimester can be helpful in preparation for later on.
Sleeping in this position is good for your baby, as it helps the flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta. It also helps your kidneys to get rid of waste products and fluids from your body which will reduces any swelling in your ankles, feet and hands (oedema).
Lie on your left side, with your knees bent up and two or more pillows placed between your knees. This keeps the pressure off the muscles around your hips and pelvis. Placing a towel or small pillow under your bump in bed can help ease the ‘bump drag’
If you wake up in the night and find yourself lying on your back, just turn over to your side again to go back to sleep. You could try using pillows to help prop you onto your left side and to stop you rolling onto your back at night.
If lying on your side puts pressure on your hips, you could buy a piece of soft foam to go on top of your mattress. It’ll help you get comfortable and increase air circulation. You should be able to find a foam mattress topper in a range of sizes from a department store or online.
Finally, in late pregnancy, if you really can’t get comfortable in bed, try sleeping on a comfy armchair or propped up on your side on the sofa. There’s no evidence to prove this solution works, but doctors and midwives often recommend it.
Try our Specially designed Bolster Pillow which will help set you up in the right position for sleep as well as relieve tired achy swollen legs and support your back during the day.
Look at our pregnancy page for more details about products that can help you during pregnancy.
You can read more about pregnancy and sleeping in this research article in Huffington post.