During the first trimester of your pregnancy, it’s normal to feel tired as there is a lot going on as your body works to grow a small human.

During those first weeks the placenta is forming, your body has an increased blood supply and your heart is pumping faster.

It is most common to feel more tired in the first few months of pregnancy and then again during the third trimester.

During your pregnancy, sleep is less refreshing as you have less deep sleep and wake up more frequently. No wonder afternoon naps sound so appealing!

 

Laying on your stomach while sleeping

Laying on your stomach, particularly in the early days of pregnancy is unlikely to do your unborn baby any harm.

Midwife and Philips Avent Ambassador, Liz Wilkes says, “In early pregnancy, until you have a sizeable bump, lying on your stomach is both safe and generally comfortable.”

While it might be safe, as your bump grows it probably won’t remain comfortable. Your body will have ideas about just how long you can maintain that position as your stomach grows. Most pregnant women find that before too long they are simply unable to physically lay on their stomach before the discomfort renders them unable.

“Once you have a bump it is impractical but not dangerous,” says Liz. “Some women will use various bolsters to lie on their stomach and this is perfectly safe.”

What is often surprising for pregnant women to learn is that sleeping on your back is actually less safe for you and your unborn child.

During your pregnancy it is advised to avoid sleeping on your stomach or back.

Sleeping on your side is best

From 28 weeks it is advised to sleep on your side. Lying on your back put pressure on pressure on major blood vessels. This can reduce the flow of blood to your womb, and restrict your baby’s oxygen supply. Research has shown that sleeping on your side can reduce the risk of stillbirth by half.

“Lying directly flat on your back whilst not something that will cause a stillbirth is linked with a decrease in blood supply,” explains Liz.

“Using pillows around you to assist you to remain on your sides and to be as comfortable as possible is the best practice.”

Back sleeping during pregnancy can also lead to problems with your respiratory and digestive systems, backaches and even haemorrhoids.

From 28 weeks it is advised to sleep on your side.

Tips to improve your sleep during pregnancy

Sleep may be hard to come by during your third trimester as you struggle to get comfortable and you wake frequently for trips to the loo.

If you can, get to bed earlier than usual and have a daytime nap. More tips to help you catch some more Zzzz’s include:

  • Resting as much as you can during the day, perhaps even sneaking in an afternoon nap if you can.
  • Go for a walk in the late afternoon or early evening.
  • Avoid drinking a lot before you go to bed
  • Avoid tea and coffee before bedtime
  • Relax before bed by taking a bath, reading, listening to music, meditating, stretching or watching TV.
  • To manage indigestion, raising the head of the bed or sleeping on more pillows is helpful.
  • A pregnancy pillow may also help you get comfortable .