How to sleep while pregnant (complete with graph!)

Suddenly I find myself in my 3rd trimester...ok not really...I'm still only 23 weeks but it FEELS like my 3rd trimester. I have constant heartburn, near nightly braxton hicks contractions, keep ramming my stomach into things, and can no longer roll over in bed without a really intricate 5 step program and a lot of heavy breathing (I also sometimes require a break halfway thru).

Uhg. Bed. No longer a haven of warm pillows and blankets my bed is now a battle ground, for yes, the battle of the comfortable pregnant sleeping position has begun. If you've been pregnant you know what I mean, if you havent ever had the joy (or if you are still in a blissful state of non-whale size) then this will be informative for you.

For I found after months of battle in my experience with Zeke the perfect pregnant sleeping postion.

Clue: It involves a lot of pillows.

Here, here is a graph.

As you can see, you are laying on your side (the only medically advised position to sleep in) and involves the following intricately placed pillows:

Two pillows underneath your head. Some people can get away with 1, but few while pregnant I've noticed.

One body length pillow to cushion your stomach (this helps keep the baby from constantly kicking the bed, and your tummy weight from pulling you forward) and also it serves as a bonus to lay your top arm over. Every pregnant woman needs a body pillow. Josh refers to mine as my boyfriend.

One really firm pillow to go between your legs. Some people have said to use your body pillow. Dont listen to them, it's not nearly firm enough to actually support your leg. In fact, I've heard of people sucessfully using a rolled-up beach towel instead of a pillow at all for the firmness. You DO NOT want your legs unsuportted, this is extremely painful and pulls your hips all out of whack. If you get trapped on a desert island and only have 1 pillow this is where you place it.

A final bonus pillow (and this is a trick I learned so late in the game with Z that I'm really only enjoying its full potential in this pregnancy) behind the small of your back. While laying forward on your body pillow you wont use this. Buut if you start to go numb and need to move in the middle of the night you can roll over onto it, thus achieving a 45 degree angle that's ALMOST sleeping on your back.

This bonus pillow is sooo awesome because as we all know, sleeping in one position all night long is really annoying. But like I mentioned, rolling over while you're pregnant? It's near impossible. Not to mention then you have to wake up your husband and force him to build your tower of pillows back around you once you have achieved this amazing roll over. Oh yeah and honey while you are at it could you also pull the blankets back over me? Yeah, the ones that I kicked off in a heat flash about 10 seconds ago.

One thing I learned with Zeke is that if you absolutely HAVE to roll over just wait until you have to go to the bathroom again and then come back and start fresh on your other side. My average time between bathroom breaks for both pregnancys was about 90 minutes so it wasnt a long time to wait. Funnily, getting all the way out of bed is somehow easier than rolling over for me.

Anyways, hope that helps...or at least makes you remember why you pop that birth control pill every morning.


Jess to the Lo said...

Oh so true!!!

I struggle every night too...I hit '24 weeks' Sunday and feel so large already.

Rachel said...

I think I lucked out with Kalli. Honestly I had a fantastic pregnancy.

I slept as close to on my stomach as I could get. This meant I would lay on my side and then roll toward my stomach until the side of that bulge was pressed against the mattress. At the same time, I would leave my lowermost leg straight and curve the top one, pulling it up toward my body as far as my belly would allow. Then my knee would rest on the mattress, as I was already a little bit rolled over.
I would bend my lower arm and stick it under my pillow, just like I do when I'm not pregnant and sleeping on my side, and my upper arm I just left straight and let it rest on my hip (when not pregnant, this arm is bent and often also tucked under the pillow, but that didn't work here because my elbow would run into my belly).
As far as angles go, I was probably at a 20-30 degree angle or something.

It worked really well for me!
I thought I was going to need lots of pillows too, but apparently not.

Jen said...

Very informative. :)

Wishing you a wonderful nights sleep tonight.

Jennifer said...

I do not miss this at all. Bt I completely agree with you about the back pillow. I've found that I sleep better even now with a pillow in my back.

Trish the dish said...

I think I could have written that myself, except that it wouldn't have been as funny to It describes exactly what I find myself doing at night! My problem is that with all the pillows, it gets so hot! I wish I had a bigger bed and then my husband wouldn't have to be so close to the pile up, also serving as a heater. The nearby fan blowing on us doesn't always do its job well enough either. Sometimes I go with just a few pillows, it occasionally works out. But get this! Last night I didn't wake up until 5:30 am! WOW! Isn't it just amazing!? That has not happened in months!

Lianne said...

Yay diagram! That's exactly how I slept when I was pregnant.

Hang in there, Coco. :)