I was talking to a mama today who came in for a massage and she asked for some pointers on preventing her arm from getting all tingly at night.
I hear about arms falling asleep a lot. But this time, mom was talking about lying on her side and her upper arm falling asleep.
It is quite common when sleeping on your side for the weight of your top arm to roll forward and lie against your torso at a sharper angle and compress your armpit-area, limiting circulation to your arm and causing some of those annoying pins-n-needles. This can be exacerbated if you start rolling forward a little bit onto your tummy as you rest (this can be particularly the case for women who are stomach sleepers when not pregnant).
The first thing you will want to try is tucking a pillow under that top arm. Teddy bear style. The pillow will help hold your arm away from your body and minimize compression in that area. Oh ya, and that pillow can be brilliant for some mamas to reduce strain on your upper shoulder and neck muscles (as the heavy arm is rolling forward, it’s pulling on your neck muscles).
(I took these photos awhile ago and can’t find where I had the mama sign a release form…so, I’m masking her identity. These pictures are so old, I bet her baby is in kindergarten already!!)
For some women this arm pillow alone will help tremendously. Others, will need a bit more help to prevent from rolling forward more toward the belly and exacerbating that “arm-t0-torso” angle.
Next, try tucking a pillow under your belly. We recommend a wedge pillow — not only will this minimize your tendency to roll onto your belly, it’ll support your ligaments and lowback. Also, be sure to check out how you are propping your legs. Make sure you have substantial leg support — the firmer your leg pillows, the less give, and the less you will roll.