Here’s something that I didn’t know before Elle recently told me – Women are not supposed to sleep on their backs during the third trimester of pregnancy! Who knew? I guess that’s the reason for the maternity pillow haha
Why is the Back so Bad?
Research has shown that sleeping on their backs in late stages of pregnancy can increase the risk of stillbirth. It is strongly advised that mothers go to sleep on their side, whether they are going to sleep at night, going back to sleep after getting up in the night or even for a siesta.
When mothers sleep on their backs the combined weight of baby and womb puts excessive pressure on other organs in their bodies.
This excessive pressure includes the main blood vessels that supply the uterus, and this can restrict blood flow/oxygen to the baby.
When mothers lie on their backs, research has also shown that your baby is less active and their heart-rate patterns become more erratic. This is thought to be a result of lower oxygen levels for the baby as the mother lies on her back.
So, What’s Best?
The best sleep position for your partner during pregnancy is “SOS” (sleep on side). Even better is for your partner to sleep on their left side. Sleeping on their left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby. You can help by keeping their legs and knees bent, and putting a pillow between their legs.
Elle uses a maternity pillow which helps a lot! Here’s a link to the pillow that we have. Below is a photo (not of Elle) of how Elle uses the pillow. This allows Elle to separate her knees to relieve pressure, support the bump, but also prevent her rolling onto her back.
New for your Partner?
Here are a few tips to help get your partner comfy sleeping in the side position:
Tip 1: Use lots of pillows. Try crossing one leg over the other and putting one pillow between them and another pillow behind their back — or any other combination that helps them sleep.
Tip 2: Get a maternity pillow as mentioned above. For extra support, try using a wedge-shaped pillow.
Tip 3: Prop your partner up. If pillows don’t help, get them to try sleeping in a semi-upright position in a recliner (if you have one) instead of the bed.