What is The Correct Way to Sleep during Pregnancy?

Parentune Support

Created by Parentune Support
Updated on Sep 18, 2019

What is The Correct Way to Sleep during Pregnancy
Reviewed by Expert panel

When you are pregnant you must be extra conscious about how you lead your normal life, since along with you, it is your baby that also gets the share. Most women feel tired when they conceive and feel like sleeping more often than usual. Check out a few facts which are related to your lying down during pregnancy.

Can I Sleep on My Back During Pregnancy?

Experts often don't agree to the fact sleeping position doesn't not have any effect on pregnant women. Many women prefer sleeping on the back because they feel that will keep their body in a straight position all throughout the night. Sleeping on your back is usually safe but only in the first trimester of pregnancy, however a few women have agreed that the position is quite uncomfortable at times and may creep up with additional health hazards. Actually when you are in your first trimester you hardly feel you are pregnant hence position of sleep doesn't matter to you much. But as your pregnancy progresses, not only will it get uncomfortable to sleep on your back, but it can also pose some dangers to the unborn baby as well.

What If Sleeping on Back after First Trimester Of Pregnancy

It is not recommended to sleep on your back as you step into your second and third trimester. The uterus is growing and resting on back would put the entire weight of the heavy organ on your spine, and your intestine. This often affects your blood circulation which is not good at this stage of pregnancy. Sleeping on your back is also believed to have adverse effect on the nerve, vena cava which is the main vein responsible for carrying blood from your lower part of body to the heart. This vein is also responsible to supply nutrients and oxygen to the growing fetus.

Sleeping on back often results in backaches, and has negative effect on digestion which might lead to heartburn and occasional vomiting. Sometimes women complain of suffering from dizziness since continuous sleeping on the back reduces the blood pressure and also reduces blood flow to the fetus. This means your baby will get less oxygen and nutrients which might affect its growth in forthcoming months. When the baby is in distress, and her blood supply is affected, the mother will get symptoms like nausea and shortness of breath. Some experts have noticed women complaining about hemorrhoids due to sleeping at the back. Some also reported having headaches in the morning after they wake up from that position. It is believed that women snore a lot when they have their night sleep lying at their back. So it is better to avoid sleeping in that position when you enter your last few months of pregnancy in order to avoid such health complications.

Sleeping on back when pregnant

Can I Lie On My Back While Pregnant?

You can lie on your back for a while when you are carrying a baby, but it is not recommended to spend nights sleeping on your back for a prolonged period. Occasional naps for less than an hour should cause no harm to your body or your baby, but lying on back for longer duration can have adverse effects on spinal cord, which might lead to severe backache during pregnancy or after delivery. If you love to sleep at back then you can put a pillow or two under your knees to maintain the natural curve of your body and thus reducing excess pressure on your lower back. Know Best Positions to Sleep When Pregnant?

Can Sleeping On Back Harm My Unborn Baby?

There is no proven fact that lying on your back would make significant harm to your baby. However, scientific research says that when a woman sleeps on her back, her growing uterus gets additional pressure and this might have adverse effect on the baby. The position reduces blood flow to the uterus thus inviting several additional problems that are not ideal. Researches have shown that sleeping on back for prolonged period of time during second trimester can increase the risk of having stillbirth, which is a major concern today. Sleeping on your back for long might make your feet swell and this is common in women who suffer from high blood pressure during pregnancy. This is more seen in the morning after she wakes up from night sleep at back, and often finds it difficult to stand up properly.

How Can I Sleep Comfortably in Pregnancy?

Yes, that is a tricky one, isn't it? Because pregnancy actually steals sleep, whether it is because of heartburns, body pains, baby kicks; getting a comfortable good night's sleep seems like a distant dream. How about I tell you that pregnancy is the time to sleep, as once the baby arrives sleep would become a luxury.

Experts feel that once you cross the first trimester of pregnancy, you should sleep on your side. They also recommend sleeping on the left side, since the vena cava is located on the right side. Sleeping on the left side of pregnancy is so recommended as it is believed to increase the supply of blood to the developing baby. If you are not used to sleep on your side, you can try to build this habit slowly, starting from early pregnancy. However, whichever side you sleep on should not matter, and you can pick the side that you feel more comfortable in. Also, if you do wake up in the middle of night on your back, don't freak out as yet. The baby is cushioned safe and sound, and if she was in distress, your body would have given you signals.

As mothers, we always take additional initiatives to ensure that everything we do, is for the betterment of our unborn child. Hence you must not deny what your medical practitioner advises. Doctors often recommend pregnant women to sleep on side positions, as that increases blood flow to the fetus and helps in its proper growth. You can put some pillows in between your legs for additional comfort. You might also relax and calm your worried mind with some soothing music before you go to sleep.

This would surely give health benefits to you and your baby which you always desire, as you are about to become a mother ! So be happy and stay blessed !


This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Sep 19, 2017

Thanks for the wonderful article! I just want to clear my query as does sleeping on one side puts pressure on the baby or any harm to him ? I usually sleep on my left side and in my last ultrasound I was told my babies head are on left side being in traverse position.

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| Sep 22, 2017

can pregnant ladies sleepb at right side

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| Apr 27, 2019


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| Nov 01, 2019

Thank you very much

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