The Best Sleep Positions

Try these sleep positions if your belly is making it difficult to get comfortable.

Finding a comfortable sleep position can be a challenge when you have a belly the size of a beach ball. Sleeping on your stomach is out because it's simply not comfortable. Lying on your back for too long might make you feel nauseated because your uterus presses on a large blood vessel called the inferior vena cava. Your best option? Side-sleeping.

Lie on your side -- preferably your left side -- because major blood vessels lie to the right of your spine, and sleeping on your left side allows blood to flow freely through these vessels. Insert a pillow between your legs and, if it helps, a pillow under your belly. Some women find that specially designed pregnancy body pillows help them slumber soundly, although with you and the body pillow in the bed, there may not be much room left for your partner.

If you wake up and realize you're lying on your back, it's all right; flip over to your left side and go back to sleep. Being on your back may be why you awoke -- if your circulation is being compromised by your sleep position, you will start to feel uncomfortable, and your body will automatically switch positions, whether you awaken or not.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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