If you are asking yourself how to sleep after umbilical hernia surgery, you have come to the right place. Get ready to learn more about how you can rest comfortably while your recover.
How to sleep after umbilical hernia surgery
After undergoing an umbilical hernia surgery, it is best to start off sleeping on your back. However, do not sleep flat on your back. Sleeping flat on your back makes getting into and out of bed more difficult, increases pressure on your abdomen, and can cause low back pain and stiffness.
To sleep more comfortably, elevate your upper body on a memory foam topped wedge pillow. Your wedge pillow should be between 10 and 12 inches tall. This height elevates your torso enough to decrease pressure on your abdomen. It will also help you get into and out of bed. Be sure to place your regular neck pillow on top of the wedge pillow for additional comfort.
You should also sleep with your legs elevated on a knee wedge pillow. Elevating your legs on a knee wedge pillow does several things: It helps maintain your position on the upper body wedge, it takes pressure off your spine so you don’t wake up with a stiff back, and it improves circulation.
Transitioning to side sleeping
After several weeks or months of recovery, you may be asking if it is okay to side sleep after umbilical hernia surgery. If you can side sleep with minimal or no pain, this is generally okay. However, when you sleep on your side, it is very important to make sure that your body is properly supported. This includes supporting your spine, abdomen, and hips.
If you are still experiencing pain, having difficulty getting into and out of bed, or like sleeping with a little bit of incline, you will need to transition to a contoured incline wedge pillow. The contours in a contoured incline wedge are made to support the curves of your body. This ensures your low back, hips, and shoulders are supported. It also keeps your upper body inclined which helps with acid reflux and bed transfers.
In addition to a contoured incline wedge, consider using a leg separator pillow. A leg separator pillow can be wedged under your abdomen for additional support. It can then run between your legs all the way to your feet. This makes sure your low back and hips are fully supported.
If you are ready to sleep flat and on your side, you will need a side sleeper wedge and a leg separator pillow. A side sleeper wedge is a small wedge that fits in the curve of your waist. It supports your abdomen and your low back. Combining this with a leg separator pillow supports your whole body while you sleep.
Learning how to sleep after umbilical hernia surgery is key to your recovery. Set yourself up for success so that you can get back to doing the things you love, faster!
-Hillary Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy