Are you worried about continuous discomfort and constant back pain during pregnancy? Well, the good news is that you are not alone. Almost 60-70% of pregnant ladies suffer from back pain at different times of pregnancy. Though one may expect the pain at any time of the pregnancy, it mostly occurs at the later stage of the pregnancy, as baby grows. You may also notice that your regular sleeping positions also no longer work for you during pregnancy. There are various reasons for back pain during pregnancy but then there are different sleeping positions that you can try which will provide relief and help you get some much-needed rest.
What Causes Back Pain During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, a woman gains around 20-30 pounds. And this excess weight is supported by the spine that can give rise to lower back pain. Apart from that, the weight of the growing baby also puts pressure on pelvis and back. Nevertheless, women who are already overweight or have had back pain before pregnancy are at much higher risk of severe back pain.
Apart from these, there are many more causes of this back pain during pregnancy. Some of them include:
- The release of pregnancy hormones may soften the joints and loosen the ligaments, which in turn leads to back pain
- Excessive standing, over bending or wrong sleeping and sitting posture may aggravate the back pain
- Accumulation of stress in weak areas of the body and changes in pelvic area are the other causes of back pain
One of the biggest disadvantages of this constant back pain is that it might disturb your comfortable and sound sleep. You might want to retain your regular sleeping posture, but unfortunately, that might not give you as much comfort as before. So let’s now focus on correct sleeping positions during pregnancy.
What Is The Best Sleeping Position For A Pregnant Woman?
Your exhaustion and irritation due to pain and bodily discomfort are understandable. That is why we have researched some of the sleeping positions that you may try to get back your much-needed rest and provide you some relief from that aching back.
- Sleeping on the Side (SOS) : Sleeping on the side is considered the best position to sleep. And even better is to sleep on your left. This position is considered best as it puts much less pressure on the uterus and aggravates smooth breathing.
Apart from giving you comfort, sleeping on the left side also improves blood circulation. This smooth circulation works best in transferring nutrients from one part of the body to other. Moreover, it also plays a great role in saving your growing body weight to push down hard on the liver
- Use a prop for more comfort: According to American Pregnancy Association, use a firm pillow to support your upper body while sleeping helps in smooth breathing. Plus this position doesn’t allow gravity to put much pressure on your diaphragm.
You can also strategically place small pillows under your belly to support the weight. This may help in providing a good amount of support to the growing baby and will prevent the back pain.
Apart from that, you can also prop a pillow under your knees. You could always invest in extra long pregnancy pillow or just use the ones lying in the closet. But they work best in saving you from turning over on your stomach and back. Plus they relieve back pain by providing extra support to your spine
- Sleep when sleepy, don’t just toss and turn: In case you cannot sleep, get up, do something that would make you bored and sleepy. If you cannot sleep immediately, try to get yourself involved in some mundane tasks to pass the time. Because simply lying on the bed might make you groggy and also aggravate the back pain.
Also, do not involve yourself in strenuous activities like reading or late-night workouts as they might keep you wired leading to lesser sleep
Apart from adopting the correct techniques of sleeping, you might also have to discontinue the wrong postures that you have used before pregnancy. And the news is not good for stomach sleepers. As there are a lot of disadvantages of sleeping on stomach during pregnancy, which is all discussed below.
Sleeping On Stomach While Pregnant – Is It Safe?
Tossing and turning to find a comfortable position to sleep during pregnancy is not unusual. And even after you are comfortable, you might worry about the safety of your child depending upon your sleeping position.
- During the first few months, the uterus is well preserved behind the pubic bone and sleeping on stomach might not harm it
- But during the second trimester of pregnancy, as the baby starts to grow, you might feel leg cramps, knee pain, back pain, etc. and only correct position of sleeping can provide you ultimate comfort. And sleeping on stomach at that time might not only aggravate the pain but may also lead to chest pain, shortness of breath and discomfort
- Now, during the last stage of your pregnancy, just entirely quit sleeping on stomach. As it may lead to baby pressing against vena cava, the main vein to transfer nutrients thus is hampering the smooth supply of required nutrients to the baby. Plus it might severely affect the blood circulation too
Other disadvantages are:
- Sleeping on stomach might put pressure on the stomach, resulting in curved back leading to back and pelvic pain
- Similarly, you might also have to tilt your neck on any one side for a longer duration, and this posture might end up giving you a neck pain and discomfort
- Likewise, sleeping on stomach would press your breast, which is already delicate and tender at this time, and this might again disturb your sleep
Did you suffer from back pain during pregnancy? How did you deal with it? Which sleeping position provided you the much-needed relief? Do share your experiences in the comments section below.