The Importance of Side Sleeping from 28 Weeks

Getting a restful night's sleep is critical for a healthy pregnancy as it aids your baby’s growth and supports the amazing work your body is doing to grow your baby.

But as your baby continues to grow, getting a restful night's sleep can be a challenge. This is usually because your body is going through significant changes that help to support your baby’s growth. This may include your tummy growing, pelvic or hip pain, night cramps in your legs, baby’s active movements or the notorious frequent visits to the toilet.

 Once you have hit the third trimester in pregnancy, you have reached the home stretch. It’s the countdown to the final 12 weeks until your baby will be in your arms. During this time, try to get as much sleep as possible as the sleep deprivation will kick in once baby is born.

In the last trimester (from 28 weeks) recent research encourages mothers to sleep on their side as this reduces the risk of stillbirth by half. Any episode of sleep includes:

  •         Sleeping at night
  •         Any naps
  •         Going back to sleep after awakening 

Obstetrician Professor Jonathan Morris, further explains, “Side sleeping – which means when you settle to sleep you lie on your side, is a simple measure that can help keep your baby healthy. If you wake up and find yourself on your back, don’t be alarmed but do roll back on to your side.”

“Side sleeping – which means when you settle to sleep you lie on your side, is a simple measure that can help keep your baby healthy"

The Safer Baby bundle initiative highlights the importance of sleeping on your side, “After 28 weeks of pregnancy, lying on your back presses on major blood vessels which can reduce blood flow to your womb and oxygen supply to your baby.”

At Zoe Hope® our aim is to create stillbirth awareness, in the hope of prevention. Lying on your side from 28 weeks has been identified as one of the modifiable risk factors that all expectant mothers can action.

For a good night's sleep, try using pillows for support and to relieve any discomfort. For example, a pillow wedge can support your baby and tummy, a pillow between your legs can help you stay asleep on your side longer, and a pillow behind your back can offer further support. 

 If you have any trouble with sleeping ensure you consult your midwife, GP or obstetrician.
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