As if getting a proper night’s rest wasn’t tough enough during pregnancy, health officials throw expectant moms another curve ball. Not only do you need to contend with that ever-present urge to pee in the middle of the night, but once you’ve hit the second trimester, snoozing on your back is strictly off limits. Here’s why:
The vena cava
There’s a major vein – the vena cava – that passes blood from your lower half to your heart. In the second trimester of pregnancy your uterus has grown too large for your pelvis and is increasingly heavy as the weeks go on. Laying on your back for an extended period of time causes your uterus to put pressure on the vena cava. The results? Dizziness and lightheadedness for you; potential restriction of blood flow, oxygen and nutrients for baby. While health officials suggest that sprawling flat on your back is OK every once in a while, doing so every night may cause serious harm to your little one – not to mention, leave you feeling seriously uncomfortable.
What to do
Once you’ve crossed the first trimester finish line, train yourself to do your snoozing on your side. Wedge a pillow behind your back so that it’s cumbersome to roll flat. Place a pillow between your knees, or try snuggling up backside to your partner, using him as a support. If you do wake up supine, don’t panic. Roll over to your side and rest easy. Some time spent on your back is likely OK and the feeling of dizziness will wake you and prompt a repositioning.
Are you having trouble getting comfortable at night time? What are some sleep-related tips you can share with other moms-to-be?