Congratulations! When you or someone you know find out they are expecting a little one it is a truly an amazing time. Whilst we share this joy with you we also know, in reality, how pregnancy can change daily life in both great and not so great ways. As your bump starts to show towards the second trimster and bigger still in the third trimester finding comfort that was once taken for granted might become a priority for you. Also, it's not only the comfort factor that you need to keep in mind, keeping your baby safe and healthy whilst you are taking time out is paramount. So, how do you actually get sleep safe and sound with your baby bump, you ask...

 

Sleep and pregnancy - Which position is best?

The Baby Centre advises: Try to get into the habit of sleeping on your side during your first trimester. By the time you're into your second trimester, sleeping on your side is good for your growing baby. It helps the flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta, and reduces the risk of stillbirth (Gordon et al. 2015, McGowan et al. 2017, Stacey et al. 2011). Lie on your 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 wedge-shaped pillow under your bump in bed can help ease the strain on your back. If you wake up and find yourself lying on your back, try not to worry. It's normal to move around in your sleep and going to sleep on your side means you will have kept that position for most of the night. Just turn over to your side again to go back to sleep. You could try using pillows to help keep you on your side and to stop you rolling on to your back.

Tommy's advises: Generally from 24 weeks onwards you’ll need to lie on your side (earlier if you’re carrying twins or more). It doesn’t matter which side you lie on (changing sides helps your blood flow and allows baby to move around to get comfortable).From 34 weeks onwards it’s ideal for your baby to have his/her spine lying on the left side of your belly as this is a much easier position to start a good, healthy labour. When baby is awake and you’re lying on your side, make sure you lie on your left.

Recent Research by Tommy’s has revealed that ‘in the third trimester (after 28 weeks of pregnancy) going to sleep on your back increases your risk of stillbirth. When sleeping/lying on your back the baby and womb put pressure on the main blood vessels that supply the uterus and this can restrict blood flow/oxygen to the baby’.

Sleepsmooth's Sleep During Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide also adds that 'Research has shown that oxygen levels are optimum when the mother sleeps on the left side. And in that same research, the risk of stillbirth for women who were left side sleepers was only 1.96/1000. Whereas for those who did not sleep on the left, the risk of stillbirth is almost two times higher at 3.93/1000'.

 

 

 #SleepOnSide Campaign

 

Tommy’s #SleepOnSide campaign was launched due to the belief that ‘If all pregnant women in the UK went to sleep on their side in the third trimester, MiNESS estimates a 3.7% decrease in stillbirth, saving around 130 babies’ lives a year.

Tommy's Tips for sleeping on your side in pregnancy:

  • Put pillows behind you to prevent falling on your back. It won’t prevent you being on your back for certain but is likely to make it more uncomfortable.
  • If you wake up for any reason during the night, check your position and go back to sleep on your side.
  • If you are likely to nap during the day pay the same attention to sleep position during the day as you would during the night.

 

Stay safe and comfy

During pregnancy your body goes through changes that can begin to affect your comfort levels, your quality of sleep and the ever crutial safety of your unborn baby. These factors inspired us in the design of our bestselling range of pregnancy pillows. We believe that everyone should have a great night’s sleep! Not only do pregnancy pillows offer support and relief from aches and pains, but they also help in getting used to laying on your side, especially if you are usually a back sleeper. Having a pillow on either side of you when positioned on your side encourages you to stay in that position throughout the night therefore helping to keep your baby in the best position.

Pregnancy pillows come in a variety of shapes and sizes that offer you extra support for your back, bump and legs whilst you are lying down or even sitting. Being relaxed and comfortable is so important for mother and baby in the development of pregnancy and you need to get good quality sleep regularly. Easier said than done, we know. pregnancy pillow

 

How can a pregnancy pillow help?

 

  • Back support reduces pressure on the spine. If you suffer from back pain as a result of sleep then a pregnancy pillow can offer relief with added support to your spine.
  • Comfort for sensitive breasts. During pregnancy breasts can become sensitive and can benefit from extra support when lying down.
  • Encourage you to stay laying on your side. Having support to both your front and back will encourage you to stay in a side sleeping position for longer through the night which can help to increase the safety of your baby.

 

See our range of Love2Sleep pregnancy pillows here for a great nights' sleep

 

 Tips for a better sleep

Ultimate guide to sleep when pregnant

 

 

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