As your body gets larger in pregnancy, you may find it more difficult to get comfortable sleeping at night. When your belly gets big, you'll find you can't lie on your stomach. In addition, experts recommend that pregnant women don't lie on their backs while sleeping. Lying on your back during pregnancy can cause hemorrhoids, low blood pressure and may decrease the oxygen supply to the baby. Most experts recommended sleeping on your left side to increase oxygen to your baby, though the right side is almost as good (the left side provides slightly more oxygen to the baby, but it's a fairly minimal difference). However, a pregnant woman will often find it difficult to sleep on her side without some support to her back. She often finds placing a pillow against her back to be helpful.
You may also find that your belly needs some support while sleeping during pregnancy and may find it helpful to sleep with a thin pillow beneath your belly. In addition, you should sleep with a pillow beneath your knees to alleviate hip pain and keep your pelvis open. It's important to keep your pelvis open to prevent your baby from turning into a posterior position before labor begins. Posterior babies can cause longer labors and the dreaded 'back labor.'
You have two options to help you sleep well at night. You can fill your bed with pillows or you can invest in a pregnancy pillow. The following notes several popular pregnancy pillow options (also see links).
- Boppy Products. Boppy, the manufacturer of the famous breastfeeding pillow, has also developed a line of pregnancy pillows. One of these is a wedge you put beneath your back to help you from laying on your back. Another Boppy product is a kidney-shaped pillow that you can place between your legs to keep your back aligned properly. Finally, they offer a great heating pad pillow to help with back pain during pregnancy and a pillow you can place beneath your bottom to help with posture while you sit.
- The Snoogle. The Snoogle is a giant body pillow that follows the contours of your body. The top is designed to support your head like a typical pillow. The middle supports your back, while the bottom is designed to tuck beneath your knees to give your hips support and keep your pelvis open. The Snoozer is a pregnancy pillow similar to the Snoogle and is another option for you during pregnancy.
- Bean Products Maternity Pillow. This is a great and very natural product that helps a woman to stay on her side while sleeping. It features two support cushions, one for the front to support your belly and one for the back to help support your back while sleeping. If you want a natural, organic product, this is a great option.