Best Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy

Best Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy

Many women are concerned about how to sleep when pregnant. Sleep problems are typical during pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester, when finding a comfortable sleeping position might be difficult. Some pregnant women may be concerned that particular body positions will harm their health or the wellbeing of the fetus.

According to a National Sleep Foundation survey, 78% of pregnant women have more difficulty sleeping, with 15% experiencing restless leg syndrome during the third trimester.

Many pregnant women experience exhaustion, especially in the first and third trimesters. Rising progesterone levels and the exertion of carrying around extra weight can exacerbate this weariness, which can be exacerbated by sleep deprivation.

Throughout the first trimester, a woman can sleep on her back, side, or stomach in whichever position she prefers. 

Sleep disruption is not caused by the uterus's size. However, hormonal changes, midnight hunger, nausea, and other pregnancy symptoms may make sleep more challenging.

It is recommended for women to sleep on their left side when they enter their second and third trimesters. This position increases blood flow to the uterus while sparing the liver from pressure. Pregnant women who experience hip or back pain may find relief by bending their knees as they sleep or by putting one or two pillows between their knees.

If a woman wishes to sleep on her right side, she can change into this position. The claim that something is risky has no basis in fact.

Other sleeping positions that could help with common problems include:

  • To lessen heartburn, raise the upper body with a couple of pillows
  • Utilizing a body pillow or pregnancy pillow to cradle the body and offer additional back support 
  • Elevating the legs using cushions to relieve leg discomfort

Sleeping Positions To Avoid:

Experts believe that some sleeping positions are less healthful than side sleeping. These include: 

Sleeping On Your Stomach

Pregnant women frequently wonder whether resting on one's stomach will be harmful to the developing fetus. But throughout the first trimester, sleeping on one's stomach is safe because the uterus provides enough protection for the growing baby.

Most women discover that sleeping on their stomachs is either impossible or difficult as their pregnancies develop. There is no reason to panic if a woman still prefers to sleep on her stomach or occasionally wakes up on her front. The baby won't be harmed if you sleep on your stomach.

The use of many pillows may enable some pregnant women to sleep on their stomachs. Utilizing these tools is acceptable, and sleeping on one's stomach to awaken is quite secure.

Sleeping On The Back

Sleeping on the back during the third trimester, which begins around the 28th week of pregnancy, puts strain on the major blood veins that carry blood to the uterus. The oxygen supply to the fetus could be reduced by this pressure. Additionally, it could exacerbate unpleasant symptoms like heartburn and dizziness in a woman.

A persistent back sleep pattern during pregnancy has been linked in a 2019 study to a higher risk of stillbirth. Similar conclusions have been reached by other investigations.

But rather than focusing on the positions that women assumed while they slept, this study examined the posture in which they slept off. There is little evidence that accidentally rolling onto one's back when pregnant will have long-term effects. Because of this, not all specialists concur with the recommendation to avoid sleeping on one's back.

Three high risk pregnant experts emphasized that one study associating back sleeping to stillbirth did not account for other factors. The risk of stillbirth is also noted by the experts to be low, especially for women who sleep on their backs.

If a woman is worried that she wakes up regularly on her back, she should consider using pillows to support her body and keep her on her side.

Sleep Aids

  • Various methods can improve a pregnant woman's quality of sleep. Women who have trouble falling asleep might try:
  • Requesting a vitamin deficiency test from a doctor: Restless leg syndrome can sometimes be treated with folic acid or iron (RLS). Before taking supplements to address any condition, it is critical to contact a healthcare expert.
  • Heartburn can be relieved by elevating the torso and head: Some women find that sleeping in a semi-sitting position, such as lying on the edge of a reclining chair, provides relief.
  • Eating a light dinner before going to bed: Some women wake up hungry, especially during the first trimester. Protein-rich foods can suppress hunger, thus eating nuts, fish, peanut butter, and meat before bedtime may help a woman feel satisfied.
  • Eating smaller, lower-fat meals to minimize heartburn. 
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) antacids are safe to use during pregnancy, but it is always best to see a doctor before taking any medication, even OTC medications.
  • Seeking medical advice regarding snoring: During pregnancy, severe snoring can make breathing difficult.


Women who are expecting may experience physical and mental exhaustion if they don't get enough sleep. When you're tired, it can be difficult to go to work, class, or finish everyday tasks.

According to certain studies, sleep deprivation can also cause psychological disorders, such as depression and preeclampsia, as well as adverse pregnancy outcomes like fetal growth limitation. Additionally, it may result in incidental issues like accidents connected to weariness.

If a woman routinely has trouble falling asleep while pregnant, she should talk to a doctor about good sleep habits.


It might be challenging to obtain adequate sleep during every stage of pregnancy. While there aren't any surefire fixes, there are a few strategies that can help with pregnancy-related sleep problems.

Women can employ a variety of techniques to improve the quality of their sleep and ensure that they are dozing in a position that is safe for both their health and the health of their unborn child.

A doctor can offer advice if a pregnant woman is having difficulties obtaining enough sleep or is sleeping too much.


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