Is it Safe to Sleep Propped Up While Pregnant?

Is it Safe to Sleep Propped Up While Pregnant?

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Women who have just recently become pregnant have a lot to think about when considering their and their child’s best interests during the prenatal phases of life. So many things are suddenly on the mother’s mind, as they try their best to do everything to ensure the success of the child’s health and life.

One issue that expecting mothers run into is how to sleep while pregnant. The way you slept before getting pregnant may not be viable anymore, especially if you used to sleep on your stomach. Plus, sleeping on your side can put a lot of pressure on your back and hips without proper support.

There are some more beneficial and some more injurious positions to sleep in during pregnancy, and this article will address those positions while also answering the question, “is it safe to sleep propped up while pregnant?” Read on to find out.

Good Positions

During pregnancy, it is best for you to sleep on your side. Side sleeping has many huge benefits for pregnant people, as well as non-pregnant people. Sleeping on your side decreases the amount of stress on the spine, encouraging correct alignment and potentially solving stiffness or back pain issues in some adults. Side sleeping, especially on the left side, encourages circulation and blood flow during the night.

Sleeping on the left side also aids digestion, as the majority of the large intestine is on the left side of the body, so sleeping on the left helps realign the colon and makes the digestion process smoother during the night. For pregnant women, sleeping on the left is said to be better for the baby, as this position helps more blood and nutrients circulate to and through the placenta.

While sleeping on the left side is preferable, either side is a good choice for sleeping. There are only a few positions in which a pregnant woman should not sleep in, and they are discussed below.

Bad Positions

Pregnant women should avoid sleeping on their backs or their stomachs. Some side effects caused by pregnancy can include back pain, shortness of breath, heartburn and low blood pressure. Sleeping on your back exacerbates existing back problems, because it does not allow the spine to return to its neutral position without any external force upon it.

Sleeping on your back will also likely increase shortness of breath, as the extra weight of the baby can press down on the chest and lungs, making breathing at a normal rate difficult. Pregnant people should also not sleep on their stomachs.

Sleeping on the stomach puts much more pressure than preferable on the baby and can be damaging for both the mother and the child. Also, sleeping in this position while pregnant can be notoriously uncomfortable.

Is it Safe to Sleep Propped Up While Pregnant?

Sleeping While Propped Up

Sleeping while propped up is not injurious for pregnant women. In fact, sleeping while propped up can actually solve some of the issues that pregnant people might experience when sleeping in other positions.

If you experience heartburn while sleeping on your side, you can prop your head and upper body up with some pillows or prop your entire mattress up from underneath with some books or other sturdy objects, to ease your symptoms. Propping the head and chest up when sleeping helps the digestive system realign and prevents stomach acid from entering the esophagus in the same way that it does during flat sleeping positions.

Another option for pregnant people who are still uncomfortable sleeping on their sides is to put a pillow in between their legs for extra added support to the hips and thighs, and as an extension, the lower back because this puts the lower spine into proper alignment. This pillow will also prevent them from turning over in their sleep to their back or stomach.

Another option is a full-length pregnancy pillow, which resembles a full body pillow, and is used to prop both the belly up and to be wedged in between the knees for added comfort. This might be an option for pregnant people who are further along in their pregnancy or are finding sleeping while pregnant especially difficult.

Final Thoughts

For pregnant women, sleeping on your side sounds like the best option. Side sleeping will help both the baby and the mother by easing some of the side effects of pregnancy and helping the body provide a maximum amount of nutrients to the developing child.

It is not at all dangerous to sleep in a propped-up position while pregnant. In fact, it is recommended for people who are having issues sleeping in other types of positions due to its effects on calming heartburn and back pain.

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