If you're used to sleeping on your stomach, pregnancy may cause you to ask yourself a few questions about how long you can maintain your comfortable habit before sleeping on your stomach during pregnancy becomes dangerous for your baby and for you. .
The truth is, no matter what type of sleep position you favored before pregnancy, changes taking place in your body will mean you may need to make adjustments to the comfort and safety of the fetus during your sleeping hours.
Your increased stomach, back and stomach aches, heartburn, shortness of breath and insomnia are all things that could impact quality sleep during pregnancy, but what about it? your baby's safety?
Sleeping on your stomach when pregnant: What you need to know
Lying on your stomach, especially in early pregnancy, is unlikely to harm your baby.
Midwife and Philips Avent Ambassador, Liz Wilkes says: “In early pregnancy, until you have a significant bump, you willying on your stomach is both safe and generally comfortable.. "
While it might be safe, as your belly grows, it probably won't stay comfortable. Your body will give you an idea of how long you can hold this position while your stomach is growing. Most pregnant women find that before too long they are simply unable to physically lie on their stomach
"As long as you have a large belly, it's impractical but not dangerous," says Liz. "Some women will use various bolsters for lying on their stomachs, which is perfectly safe."
What is often surprising to pregnant women is that sleeping on your back is actually less safe for you and your unborn child than sleeping on your stomach while pregnant.
Sleeping on your back during pregnancy
Although it may seem the most convenient, sleeping in a back position has the potential to cause a lot of problems during your pregnancy.
"The most problematic and potentially dangerous position is lying on your back for about 20 weeks (on average), as the weight of the baby and uterus can at this stage compress your aorta and decrease your baby's blood supply“, explains Liz.
Sleeping on your back during pregnancy can also lead to problems respiratory and digestive problems, back pain and even hemorrhoids.
The best sleeping positions for pregnancy
The recommended sleeping position for pregnancy is side sleeping (SOS).
Most moms-to-be find the fetal position the most comfortable, but it's also the safest position.
Sleep on the left side in particular, increases the amount of blood and nutrients that reach your baby through the placenta.
The baby's position is also influenced by how you sleep and therefore it is recommended that you try to sleep on your left side to both reduce the baby's risk of reduced blood supply and to bring in the baby in a good position for birth.
Investing in extra pillows, including body length pillows, will also help you get a good night's rest.
Typically, sleeping in the fetal position is when you're lying on your side with your knees bent with a pillow between your legs, which is surprisingly more comfortable than it looks.
Extra pillows can also be used to relieve some common pregnancy ailments. For back pain, add one under your abdomen, and for heartburn, you can support your upper body with extra pillows until you're in a comfortable position.
Should you sleep on your stomach while pregnant?
During the first few days of your pregnancy, sleeping on your pregnant stomach while lying on your stomach is considered safe. While your uterus is still small, your pubis will act as a shield and your little baby will be safe in the ever-growing protective fluid.
As your pregnancy progresses and your abdomen expands, prone pose will likely become too uncomfortable to do long enough to cause harm to your baby in any way. Adapting the way you sleep is essential
Lying on your stomach is unlikely to hurt your baby, especially in the first trimester, but prevention is always better than cure. Always discuss this with your doctor or midwife.