During your surrogate pregnancy, it’s normal to find yourself wrestling in bed, uncomfortably trying to get to sleep. Unfortunately, regular sleep positions may no longer be comfortable – they won’t necessarily work for you during pregnancy.
Several factors are behind this new discomfort in pregnancy. Your body goes through several changes – an increase in the size of your abdomen, muscle pains, back pains, heartburn and shortness of breath. But there are some recommended positions that may help you sleep more comfortable.
It’s best, during your surrogate pregnancy, to sleep on your side. In particular, sleeping on your left side may benefit the baby, by improving blood flow and circulation. As the baby grows, the abdomen has to harbor an ever-increasing uterus; this rests flat on the inferior vena cava, the main vein located on the right side of your spine – it drains the entire lower half of the body.
Sleeping on your left side will avoid compressing this vein, thus increasing your blood flow and circulation, and resulting in more nutrients to your placenta and baby.
The same sleeping position also helps your kidneys to efficiently eliminate waste products and fluids from your body, which in turn may reduce swelling in your ankles, feet and hands. So it’s a good idea to start training yourself early in pregnancy to sleep on your left whenever possible.
Of course, staying in one position all night is not likely to be comfortable, so changing between sides – while favoring your left – may be the best sleep strategy.
It can also be a good idea to keep your legs and knees bent, and a pillow between your legs, while you sleep on your left side.
As for sleeping on your back – that’s a position you need to avoid during your surrogate pregnancy, especially in its later months. This is because when you’re sleeping on your back, the weight of your uterus presses down on your spine, back muscles, intestines, and a number of major blood vessels.
This results in muscle aches and pains, hemorrhoids, digestive problems and impaired circulation – things that are uncomfortable for you, and can reduce circulation to your baby.
Back-sleeping can also lower your blood pressure, causing some expectant mothers to experience dizziness. (Although on the other hand, it can actually raise the blood pressure of other pregnant surrogates.)
It can also cause snoring and, as the baby grows and gains weight, could lead to sleep apnea or problems in breathing while asleep.
Remember, lying on your left is better than lying on your back, but lying on your left side is by far the best of all, because this position will put the least amount of weight on critical veins and organs.