You may wonder if it is alright to sleep on your tummy during pregnancy. Unfortunately sleeping on your tummy or even on the back are not the best positions for you during your pregnancy months. As your belly expands, sleeping on your expanded belly not only becomes impossible; it is also uncomfortable (don't worry your baby won't get squashed inside should you sleep on your belly). The back position causes the entire weight of your pregnant uterus to rest on your back, intestines and the two major blood vessels. A fair share of complications may result in the mother because of this.
Many pregnant women become sleep deprived in the later months as they cannot find a comfortable sleeping position. One good tip is to get accustomed to sleeping on the sides long before your belly balloons up. Or begin now, whatever point you are at...
• Side-lying positions with lots of pillows for additional support and comfort are ideal
• It is best to lie on your left side instead of the right whenever possible so that baby receives its nutrients uninterrupted.
• Cross one leg over the other with a pillow in between is best for both mother and baby. This position not only optimizes blood flow to the placenta but also ensures smooth functioning of the kidneys.
• Efficient kidney function means better elimination of fluids and this in turn reduces the chances of edema (swelling of the ankles, feet, hands)
• Occasionally you may revert to sleeping on your back or tummy because you are just not used to your new position. No harm done here. Both positions bring no harm to the fetus; the fetus is well cushioned to suffer from any pressure on the maternal body.
• When resting on your back even for a short while, prop up your upper body with pillows to reduce the pressure on the vena cava. This is essential as any interference with blood supply to the placenta means nutrients and oxygen supply to the fetus will be affected.