Sleeping on Stomach While Pregnant: Is It Harmful for the Baby?

Sleeping on stomach while pregnant. Young woman sleeping

Pregnancy affects not only the organism of the future mother, but also her habits, her character and her way of life. It is quite difficult for women to tolerate sleep disorders caused by a rounded tummy. Whether you sleep or watch TV – all the time you need to choose a comfortable pose, which should also be safe for the baby. Future mothers should be aware of the poses that are allowed for sleeping in each trimester. That’s why they often wonder whether sleeping on stomach while pregnant is dangerous, and what devices should be used to make the situation easier.

The Role of Sleep in the Life of a Pregnant Woman

Medical research states that approximately 90% of pregnant women suffer from sleep problems. Some cannot get enough sleep. Others are suffering from nightmares. The first trimester is characterized by a constant state of drowsiness, and the third – by problems with sleep. Gynecologists advise future mothers to sleep at least ten hours a day. Only such a long sleep, according to experts, will give an opportunity to feel good and ensure a normal course of pregnancy.

In early terms, the future mother is allowed to follow her desires and sleep longer. This period is characterized by drowsiness due to hormonal changes in the body. Also, if you can have an hour or two of sleep in the afternoon, do not miss this opportunity. Do not forget about the importance of airing the room before going to bed and the comfort of your bed.

Can a Mother’s Lack of Sleep Harm the Baby?

Surely, we all understand that if the future mother sleeps well, her baby is also sleeping well. And if you do not get enough sleep, then your ability to function normally is disturbed.  You feel tired, sleepy and irritable throughout the day.

Sleeping on stomach while pregnant. pregnant woman having trouble sleeping

In such cases, your child’s health is in danger. If you still drive, your sleep deprivation can turn for you into inattention on the road, and lead to an accident. But everything can be much more banal – you can stumble, lose balance and fall. In such situations, you can get off with just a broken knee. But at the same time, the baby may also suffer.

In addition, studies have shown that women who sleep less than six hours during the last month of pregnancy are more likely to give birth by caesarean section or have more prolonged labor than women who have slept seven hours or more.

So, try to sleep as long as possible and do it right.

Sleeping on Stomach while Pregnant

Certainly, for a good state of health and mood, a good rest at night is very important. Especially it concerns the woman waiting for the child. After all, it is her sleep that often causes problems. Sleeping poses also play here an important role. Including, sleeping on the stomach while pregnant. However, in the early stages of pregnancy, you can keep on sleeping on the stomach. The uterus is still small. Moreover, it is reliably protected by the bones of the pubis. Thus, sleeping on the stomach while pregnant during the first trimester will not cause any harm to the developing baby.

Sleeping on stomach while pregnant. sleep on the stomach

But if the usual pose causes you discomfort, then most likely it is due to the so-called retroversion of the uterus. It arises because the tissues of this organ are softened, especially in the isthmus zone. Another cause of discomfort may be the breast, which begins to gradually increase in size and become painful. If you also encounter similar difficulties, it’s time to find more comfortable sleeping poses. For example, try to fall asleep lying on your back. And it is even better to accustom yourself to sleeping on your side in the early stages. You will definitely appreciate the benefits of a newly acquired habit later, when your stomach reaches a size that even the very thought of trying to sleep on it will seem ridiculous.

Sleeping on Stomach while Pregnant during the 2nd Trimester

In the second trimester of pregnancy, the stomach is getting bigger, which means that the baby inside is growing up. At this time the child is reliably protected by fetal membranes, amniotic fluid, uterus and press muscles. Still, by sleeping on the stomach while pregnant at this time, you put pressure on the baby. And if you just imagine that you are lying on your child, you can hardly fall asleep peacefully. At this time of pregnancy, you can still sleep on your back. But it’s best to lie on your side, so you’ll make the stomach as comfortable as possible.

Sleeping on Stomach while Pregnant during the 3rd Trimester

In the third trimester of pregnancy, sleeping on the stomach is impossible. What’s more, sleeping on the back is also no longer recommended. The growing uterus exerts additional pressure on the blood vessels located behind the abdominal cavity. When you lie on your back, this pressure prevents normal circulation of blood, which must come to the baby from the bottom of your body. You yourself can feel how uncomfortable this posture is by noticing that it becomes difficult for you to breathe when you are lying on your back.

Sleeping on stomach while pregnant. pregnant woman sleeping in bed

The only acceptable position of the body during sleep at this time of pregnancy is the pose on the side. To improve the circulation of the feet, it is better to raise them slightly. When you lie on your side, place a pillow under your upper leg. To facilitate the work of the kidneys and improve the outflow of bile, it is better to sleep on the left side. But if you are concerned about the discomfort in the heart, it’s better to turn over to the right side. Many women say that great relief is provided by special pillows for pregnant women. They ensure the whole body with a comfortable position during sleep.

Sleeping on Stomach while Pregnant: Is It Acceptable?

There are two answers to this question:

  • Yes, sleeping on stomach while pregnant is possible. But only in the early stages of pregnancy. During this period, there will be no harm. The uterus is still small. It is hidden behind the pubic bone, so the baby is securely protected. Thus, in the first trimester, you can sleep in any convenient position.
  • No, sleeping on stomach while pregnant is unacceptable. Already from the first days of pregnancy it is recommended to change the habit of sleeping on the stomach. After twelve weeks it will be dangerous to lie down on your stomach. You need to sleep in another pose.

Sleeping on stomach while pregnant. pregnnat woman sleeping on the left side

In the second and the third trimester, lying on your stomach is not only uncomfortable, but also dangerous. Although the inner protection of the baby is great, but the weight of the mother’s body is still felt. In addition, during sleep we do not control our movements. Therefore, there is a risk of injuring an unborn baby.

In What Position Can a Pregnant Woman Sleep?

Let’s consider the options from the opposite. We have already mentioned that sleeping on stomach while pregnant can be harmful. After the twenty-eighth week, the fetus is big enough. That’s why, sleeping on the back is also not recommended. The abdomen is impressive. It presses on the lower back, intestines, thus, causing various kinds of disturbances. The lumen of the vena cava can narrow. Because of this the blood flow is damaged. Cells and tissues feel lack of oxygen. Signs of compression of the vena cava are the following:

  • frequent dizziness;
  • tachycardia;
  • trouble breathing;
  • low pressure;
  • restless behavior of the baby;
  • periodic numbness of the limbs.

The main danger of this condition is a violation of blood flow in the placenta. As a result, fetal hypoxia may develop.

Perfect position for sleeping during pregnancy is lying on the left side. Thus, there is no pressure. The blood flow isn’t disturbed. All nutrients and oxygen freely flow to the fetus. Also, there is no pressure on the liver, spine, and pelvic area of ​​the mother.

Sleeping on stomach while pregnant. pregnancy pillow

It is quite difficult to lie in one posture the whole night. In the first and the second trimesters, night movements are almost safe. But, as you approach the birth, you need to be careful during sleep. How to control this process?

To protect the baby, you can use pillows. Large, small, soft, etc. Put them wherever you want: under the belly, between the knees, under the waist, etc. Just make it comfortable for yourself.

There are special pillows for pregnant women. They are made in the form of a horseshoe, which corresponds to the physiological characteristics of the future mother.

Finding a comfortable position can take a few days. But do not despair. Try different options. It is very important to find the comfortable one.

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One comment

  1. 1

    Hi,
    I am newly pregnant with my first baby. I have not enough ideas about pregnancy. Currently, I am not comfortable with my sleeping position. It is too much boring for me. But after reading this article, I feel a little bit relax. Because I think your body pillow ideas are also useful. I will try it. can you tell me where I can found this pillow. Thanks in advance for your answer.

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