By Dr. Kavita Mandal, Gynaecology
Pregnancy induces certain hormonal changes in the body and in order to maintain good health, one needs to abide by some conditions when it comes to sleep. During the gestation period, a lot of calories get burned in the process of gestation, resulting in drowsiness and lack of energy. As the baby absorbs essential nutrients from the mother, tiredness and lethargy are a common issue. In order to stay safe and healthy, the mother should go by a set of dos and don’ts about sleeping positions during pregnancy. The normal sleep positions need to be altered as pregnancy brings about a number of changes in the body.
Here are some must follow do’s and don’ts:
Do: Sleep on your side – The best sleep position when pregnant is the SOS (sleep on side) position. It would be even better if the mother sleeps on her left side as it facilitates the transmission of blood and nutrients to the placenta and the baby
Do: Use lots of pillows - Women who face heartburn at night are advised to prop up the upper part of their bodies with pillows. Placing a pillow or a blanket at the small of the back can help in relieving some pressure off the back.
Do: Sleep with your knees bent - Sleeping with the knees bent is recommended so as to ensure that the heart is in good condition
Don’t: Sleep on your back - Most people are used to sleeping on their backs but during pregnancy, sleeping on the back can increase the chances of getting backaches, breathing difficulties, low blood pressure and hemorrhoids. This occurs because in this position the abdomen rests its weight on the intestines and major blood vessels.
Don’t: Sleep on your stomach - It is virtually impossible to sleep on the stomach during pregnancy and even if it is possible, sleeping on the stomach can create serious problems and should be strictly avoided.