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July 14, 2015
It’s a wonderful, joyous, and overwhelming moment when a woman finds out that she is expecting a child. An array of emotions will flood your being along numerous questions and ideas bearing form. But then the unexpected and unwelcome side effects of pregnancy rear its head in fine fashion, much to the chagrin of the pregnant woman and their partner. Hormone changes, mood swings, skin changes, taste bud changes, and strange cravings along with interrupted sleeping patterns!
Sleep can feel like a long forgotten friend during pregnancy, particularly in your last trimester. Sleep is one of the main sources of fuel for not only the body but also the mind. Most professionals state that a normal sleep routine have unlimited health benefits from healing to even weight loss. When you’re experiencing a pregnancy, however, sleep can be hard to come by especially in the later trimesters.
The more your baby grows the more difficult it can be to find a comfortable sleeping position. Your sleep can be interrupted due to frequent urination, indigestion, heartburn, leg cramps and more. Just remember, you are not alone! Let’s take a look at what is causing those disruptions in your sleep patterns and how firm pillows will help you and your little peanut get the sleep your body needs to maintain a healthy happy pregnancy.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 78% of women reported they had trouble sleeping during their pregnancy. There are a few key factors that woman experiences during pregnancy that will interrupt your normal sleep patterns and they are:
Increased Size of the Abdomen
While your body goes through many changes during pregnancy, the weight gain experienced is the most obvious. Your stomach swells greater than its normal size to create a protective cocoon for your child and due to the increased calorie consumption during pregnancy. This causes some sleeping positions to become uncomfortable and potentially even harmful during the term of the pregnancy.
An increase in the heartburn experienced during pregnancy is perfectly normal due to the changes in your body and cravings experienced. This speed up stomach acid production, resulting in the burning, uncomfortable sensation of heartburn at the most inopportune times.
Shortness of Breath
Rapid weight changes due to your pregnancy will create a shortness of breath effect that could be triggered once your body is horizontal and blood flow constricted.
Doctors recommend that you do not sleep on your stomach or back, but sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side puts less pressure on the vena cava, a large vein that returns blood to the heart from the lower body. If this vein were to become compressed it could potentially cut off circulation. That being said, doctors agree it is okay to sleep on your right side if that is more comfortable for you.
Pillows can be a lifesaver throughout a pregnancy and help alleviate the more unpleasant side effects of sleeping while pregnant, especially if the pillow is a firm style constructed with a sturdy material. They can be used in a variety of ways, such as a tool to prop you up further in the bed to reduce the shortness of breath you may be feeling. Propping yourself up in the bed can also reduce heartburn that may be experienced in the nighttime hours. A combination of a firm pillow under your abdomen and behind your back while in the SOS position has been proven through clinical studies and real-life testimonials to reduce backaches and body pain experienced in the morning from staying in a similar position for an extended period.
If you’re unsure on what type of firm pillow would be suitable to your needs or you are interested in the different styles or sizes of firm pillows available then head over to the comprehensive website, the SleepJudge.com for a full range of reviews on the best firm pillows on the market today.
During your pregnancy, it is recommended that a woman sleeps in a “SOS” position which translates to “Sleep on Side”. By sleeping throughout your pregnancy on your side supported by firm pillows, you will help your body relax and also increase blood flow through your body during your deepest sleep. The increased blood flow also will assist essential nutrients in traveling through your body right to the baby and placenta. Most professionals will suggest sleeping on your left side to increase flow to the uterus and kidneys. Some women also find that placing a pillow under their abdomen and/or a pillow situated between their knees can further prevent negative symptoms of pregnancy.
The one position that most professionals highly recommend that a woman does not sleep on during her pregnancy is on her back for any period of time. Sleeping on your back during pregnancy can result in decreased blood pressure, causing a lack of circulation for yourself and your child. You will also find yourself waking up due to shortness of breath. Heartburns tends to be more rampant in back sleepers.
Pregnancy is a magical time for a family and the amount of joy should not be dampened by something such as sleep. You want your body and mind healthy for all the changes that will come to your household in 40 weeks. A consistent sleep schedule will assist your body in adjusting to all the changes experienced both physically and mentally throughout your pregnancy. Pick up some firm pillows and experiment with positioning them in your bed to find a position that is beneficial to you. Because remember, a healthy body equals a healthy baby!
Information provided in blogs should not be used as a substitute for medical care or consultation.