Is Sleeping on Your Right Side During Pregnancy Safe?
Sleep is essential for a mommy-to-be because any kind of sleep-related issue can affect her prenatal health. Most mothers sleep comfortably in the first trimester and experience difficulty sleeping on right side during pregnancy second trimester or when their baby bumps start to show. They might then struggle to find a comfortable position to sleep in and worry which one is safe for the baby. Experienced mothers would step in and usually advise them to sleep on one side, particularly the left side. But, what if she is sleeping on right side when pregnant? Is it safe for the expectant mother and the baby inside her womb? Let’s find out!
Video: Is Sleeping on Your Right Side During Pregnancy Safe?
Why Does an Appropriate Sleeping Position Matter During Pregnancy?
Sleeping in one position may come as a shocker to mothers who are already struggling to sleep with their big bellies. You can sleep on your back or side till the baby bump starts to show, and then, on either side once you have that baby bump to flaunt! It is important to note that sleeping on your back for a short duration may not be harmful; however, sleeping that way for a long time can restrict blood circulation to the foetus and might also cause backaches, haemorrhoids, and digestive issues.
It is best to follow the SOS or the ‘Sleeping On Side’ position during pregnancy. Sleeping on your left may be considered a better position in comparison to sleeping on your back or the right side because it ensures good blood circulation to your uterus and the foetus. Also, your kidneys function well in this position – meaning lesser swelling and discomfort, and great sleep. But, it is not dangerous to sleep on the right side. We will talk a little bit more about that below.
Can Pregnant Women Sleep on Their Right Side?
As you progress and reach the 20th week mark of your pregnancy, you may find it difficult to get good sleep because of all the extra weight that you’re carrying. If you are wondering if sleeping on your right side during pregnancy could be dangerous, you may want to know that there is a slight risk of the inferior vena cava (IVC) being compressed during sleeping, but it is not completely dangerous. You must remember that sleeping straight may cause more compression of the IVC.
One of the reasons why expectant mothers are recommended sleeping on the left side is because it lifts off any pressure on the IVC and allows proper blood circulation. Several studies conducted have also testified that sleeping on the left side may be better than sleeping on the right side. It was observed that women who slept more on their left side were at a lesser risk of reduced blood supply to the growing foetus, and had a lesser risk of giving birth to stillborn babies in comparison to women who slept more on their right side or straight on their back.
But, when one is fast asleep, they may not know which position they are sleeping in until it is uncomfortable. Thus, pregnant women also could change positions and sleep on the right side. What could happen then? Read below to know more.
What If a Pregnant Woman Changes Position When Asleep?
It is quite possible that you would change your position while sleeping, especially in the third trimester, if you feel some discomfort due to the big belly. If you change positions and end up sleeping on the right instead of the left side, there is no need to worry. Just get back to the left side, and you are good to go. Also, sleeping on your back could compress the IVC. If you avoid sleeping straight, you can still prevent the compression. Sleeping on the right won’t harm the baby, but sleeping straight would.
Another way you can sleep in one position is by using a pregnancy sleeping pillow that restricts your movement and gives you a comfortable position to lie down in.
1. What Other Sleeping Position Should You Avoid When Pregnant?
During pregnancy, it’s essential to avoid sleeping on your back for extended periods, especially in the later stages. This position can compress a major blood vessel (the vena cava), reducing blood flow to the uterus and potentially causing complications. It’s generally recommended to sleep on your left side, as it promotes better circulation and oxygen supply to the baby. Avoid lying flat on your back to ensure a safer and more comfortable sleep during pregnancy.
2. Which Is the Best Sleeping Position During Pregnancy?
The best position is sleeping on right side during pregnancy This position enhances blood flow and nutrient delivery to the placenta, providing optimal oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. It also helps alleviate pressure on the vena cava, the large vein that returns blood from your lower body to your heart, reducing the risk of complications.
During pregnancy, it is important to avoid any kind of stress. Researchers and scientists are of the opinion that sleeping on your left will prevent any damage to the foetus, so try sleeping on your left side. However, if sleeping on your back for some time makes you comfortable, go for it by all means. Remember, if you are a high-risk pregnancy, consult your doctor about the best sleeping position for you.
1. Sleeping on your side during pregnancy; midwife.org.nz; https://www.midwife.org.nz/women/pregnancy/sleeping-on-your-side-during-pregnancy/
2. Best Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy; americanpregnancy.org; https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/sleeping-positions-while-pregnant/
3. Sleeping During Pregnancy; kidshealth.org; https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sleep-during-pregnancy.html
4. Pregnancy Sleep Positions; sleepfoundation.org; https://www.sleepfoundation.org/pregnancy/pregnancy-sleep-positions
5. Sleep position in pregnancy Q&A; tommys.org; https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/sleep-side/sleep-position-pregnancy-qa
6. Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy; stanfordchildrens.org; https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=sleeping-positions-during-pregnancy-85-P01238
7. Sleep during pregnancy; pregnancybirthbaby.org.au; https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/sleep-during-pregnancy
8. How to sleep better in pregnancy: 10 tips; nct.org.uk; https://www.nct.org.uk/pregnancy/how-you-might-be-feeling/how-sleep-better-pregnancy-10-tips