Baby bumps come in all shapes and sizes at different times of gestation. Still, some pregnant women wonder why their baby bump all of a sudden vanishes as they lie down. According to maternal health specialists, this happens mostly at week 17 to 24 weeks of pregnancy, and shouldn’t raise eyebrows or concern. Why? Because the uterus takes advantage of gravity and sinks in the readily available abdominal cavity. The bump settles backward, and that is why an untrained eye cannot tell if you are pregnant until you assume a different lying down position or you are back on your feet.
It is a common occurrence for most women during the first and early part of the second trimester. A time comes, though, especially weeks into the final trimester, that no matter what you do, irrespective of the lying down position, that baby bump will be popping and quite visible.
Why Experts Advice Against Lying on Your Back While Pregnant
As already stated, you are not seeing your baby bump because of your lying down position. And that is on your back. As comfortable as some women feel when assuming this position, a gynecologist will advise you that it may not be the best position for you and your baby, especially during the second and third trimester. You will be placing the entire bump on some vital organs and vessels. These include the intestines, and vena cava, a critical blood vessel essential in transporting blood to your heart.
A University of Auckland study states that pregnant women who sleep on their back, especially in the third trimester, risk placing undue pressure and stress on the growing fetus. It is a compression that can also interfere with blood circulation, including that which goes to the fetus. The back sleep position could also be the reason for a wide range of stillbirths. Other health complications include backaches and hemorrhoids and problems with your digestive system.
Should You Panic if You Wake up on Your Back?
The body has a way of communicating, which could be why you woke up in the first place. If there is any danger, you will wake up feeling unwell and maybe nauseous because of a lack of oxygen, especially for your baby. You should never panic if you are not feeling any of these; instead, change to a side position immediately. Generally, avoid sleeping on your back as much as possible as the pregnancy progresses.
Lying/ Sleeping on Your Left or Right Side
Most maternal health experts recommend sleeping on your side as the ideal sleeping position during pregnancy. If you are a devoted back sleeper, you may have to start practicing sleeping on your side once you confirm you are pregnant. Although you can sleep either on your right or left side, most gynecologists prefer your left side sleep. The key reason is that the vena cava is on the right side of your spine. The fear is that any slight pressure can interfere with blood circulation both to your heart and the fetus.
Still, as long as you are sleeping on your side, the worry should be minimal. Besides allowing maximum blood circulation throughout the body, these positions allow for better oxygen and nutrients into the placenta. The side position is also excellent for your kidney function, including the elimination of all waste products. As a result, you notice less edema and inflammation in your feet and ankles.
Other Ideal Sleeping Positions for Your Baby Bump
If sleeping on your side is not entirely comfortable, there are other options to use. For example, you can use several comfy pillows. One can be behind your back and the other between your legs. Arrange them in a way that allows total comfort. Other women find comfort using a recliner, which enables them to sleep in a semi-upright position. The best thing is that whichever position you choose, the body adjusts to it after a short while.
Generally, your disappearing baby bump goes hand in hand with your lying down position. And the way you lie down while you are pregnant has a significant effect on your health and that of your baby.