Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe and unrelenting condition which is characterized by extreme pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. Pregnant women who are diagnosed with this condition are often so ill that they are unable to perform simple daily activities. Since many women suffering with this condition are either hospitalized or put on bed rest, they often look into sleeping positions to help with hyperemesis gravidarum.
Less than two percent of pregnant women in developed countries are affected by hyperemesis gravidarum, however the number could be greater as it is often not diagnosed. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, and singer Kelly Clarkson suffered through the condition during their recent pregnancies. Janet Gezari with the Oxford University Press wrote that is has been speculated that novelist Charlotte Brontë died from complications due to hyperemesis gravidarum in 1855.
According to The Her Foundation, hyperemesis gravidarum gets better sometime between 14 and 21 weeks, but for half of the women who are diagnosed, the symptoms last the entire pregnancy. The constant vomiting comes with the risk of losing five percent or more of your body weight, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and the potential for kidney problems.
The biggest relief from hyperemesis gravidarum comes with getting sleep. Here are some sleeping positions that may help help you if you are suffering with hyperemesis gravidarum.
1. Sleep On Your Left Side
According to the American Pregnancy Association, side sleeping is recommended for all pregnant women, particularly their left side as it keeps the weight of your uterus off of the liver so that it can function normally. Mama Natural explains that it also puts less pressure on our vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower part of our bodies back to our heart.
But, side sleeping is especially important for women with hyperemesis, as it makes it easier to vomit into a bucket next to your bed if you are getting sick overnight. This way you won't have to worry about getting hurt while rushing to the bathroom or dealing with a hallway cleanup emergency in the middle of the night.
2. Bend Your Knees And Put A Pillow Beneath Your Top Leg
Pregnancy.org gives this trick to alleviate back pain, but it can also help you get much needed sleep if you suffer from hyperemesis. Why? Well, it's a comfortable positions and sleeping comfortably can reduce the number of times you wake up to vomit.
3. Prop Your Upper Body With Pillows
According to WebMd, hormonal changes relax the muscle between the esophagus and the stomach, which can allow stomach acids to rise creating heartburn, which exacerbates hyperemesis. Keeping your upper body elevated can keep the acid from rising up the esophagus reducing the instances of nighttime heartburn.
4. Sleep On Your Side Propped Up By Pillows
Mama Natural recommends sleeping on your side propped by pillows toward in the last trimester as it allows for better blood circulation, which can reduce swelling, particularly in your ankles. The pillows can help support the weight of your belly and reduce back pain by keeping your hips more aligned. Being in a more comfortable position allows you to get much needed rest if you have been suffering with hyperemesis.
5. Sleep In A Reclining Chair
According The Her Foundation, many women with long-term hyperemesis recommend sleeping in a recliner. This sleep aid alleviates back pain, keeps you in a semi-upright position to help prevent heartburn and reflux, and makes it much easier to stand for the frequent trips to the bathroom.