Best sleeping positions during pregnancy

Pregnancy can make sleeping difficult.

Interrupted sleep every night because you have to pee?

Shortness of breath because you accidentally rolled over to your back?

Hip pain when you sleep on the side for too long?

Pregnancy can be a beautiful and exciting time for expecting mothers, but it can also come with its challenges, one of which is getting a good night’s sleep.

As the baby grows, the body goes through several changes, and finding a comfortable sleeping position can be a struggle.

In this blog post, we will explore the best sleeping positions during pregnancy, tools to aid sleeping, and answer some frequently asked questions about pregnancy and sleep.

Why is sleeping hard during pregnancy?

best sleeping positions when you're pregnant

There are several reasons why sleeping can be difficult during pregnancy, such as:

Changes in hormone levels – Pregnancy causes an increase in the hormone progesterone, which can cause sleepiness during the day and disrupt sleep at night.

Frequent urination – As the uterus grows, it puts pressure on the bladder, making it harder to hold urine. Pregnant women may need to use the bathroom more frequently, especially at night, which can disrupt sleep.

Heartburn – Pregnancy can cause heartburn or acid reflux, making it uncomfortable to lie down, especially after eating.

Shortness of breath – As the uterus expands, it can push on the diaphragm and make it harder to take deep breaths, making it difficult to get comfortable.

Back pain – The weight of the growing baby can strain the back muscles, making it uncomfortable to lie down for long periods.

The best sleeping positions during pregnancy

The position you sleep in during pregnancy is important as it can affect your comfort and the health of your growing baby. The best sleeping positions during pregnancy are:

Sleeping on your left side

Sleeping on the left side is best udring pregnancy because it promotes healthy growth of the baby and relieves pressure off the kidney

Experts recommend sleeping on your left side during pregnancy, as it can help improve blood flow to the fetus and the placenta, which can promote the healthy growth of the baby.

Additionally, sleeping on the left side can help reduce the pressure on the liver and kidneys, which can become congested during pregnancy.

However, sleeping in one position for a prolonged period of time puts stress on the pressure points, resulting in shoulder and hip pain.

To add extra comfort, you can use a mattress topper and pillows to support your back, hips, and belly while sleeping on the side.

A pregnancy pillow can be especially helpful as it can support the entire body, reducing pressure points and providing extra comfort. Furthermore, it prevents you from rolling over to your back or belly.

Having a pregnancy pillow provides full body support, giving you a better sleep

Elevating the upper body

Bed wedge pillow to elevate upper body or legs

You can get heartburn at any stage of pregnancy, but it’s more common from 27 weeks onwards.

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest caused by acid travelling from the stomach towards the throat, which can wake you up at night.

Elevating the upper body by propping up the head and shoulders with pillows helps alleviate this acid reflux symptom.

Combine elevating your upper body with dsleeping on the side for best result. 

Do not sleep on the back or the stomach

you should not sleep on the stomach after the first trisemester

Sleeping on the back is not recommended during pregnancy, especially after the first trimester. 

Sleeping on the back can cause the weight of the uterus to press on the vena cava, a large vein that carries blood to the heart, which can lead to dizziness, shortness of breath, and low blood pressure.

Additionally, sleeping on the back has been associated with stillbirth in late pregnancy (28 weeks and after) according to studies.

On the other hand, sleeping on the stomach is not recommended during pregnancy as the weight of the growing belly can make it uncomfortable and put pressure on the baby.

However, if you wake up finding yourself in one of these positions, do not worry. Research shows that the position you go to bed with is the position you sleep the longest in.

To avoid rolling on your back or stomach during sleep, try using a pregnancy pillow.

What to do to improve sleep quality during pregnancy

Cater to the underlying problems

To alleviate the problem, first you need to identify potentially underlying problems.

If your sleep pattern is disrupted due to irregular naps throughout the day, try to set a routine and stick to that.

If it’s because of frequent urination, try drinking enough water throughout the day, and stop drinking water a few hours before bed.

Try other ways to improve your sleep quality.

tips and tricks to improve your sleep quality

Tools to aid sleeping during pregnancy

There are several tools that can help pregnant women get comfortable and sleep better. And your best friend may be a pregnancy pillow.

A pregnancy pillow is a specially designed pillow that can support the entire body, reducing pressure points and providing extra comfort. It can be used to prop up the back, hips, and belly while sleeping on the side.

In addition to the support, it prevents you from rolling on to your back.

There are different shapes to pregnancy pillows, but you may find the best support if the pillow forms a B.

Having a pregnancy pillow provides full body support, giving you a better sleep


However, a pregnancy pillow may not be the best fit for your body size because everyone is built different.

If you feel that the full body pregnancy pillow is a bit too big, too small, or too tall, try a wedge pillow instead.

A wedge pillow is a small, triangular pillow that can be used to support the belly, back, or hips while sleeping on the side.


Last but not least, a mattress topper is a baby mom’s good friend.

As sleeping on the side is the most recommended position for pregnant women, extra cushion to relieve your pressure points is essential.

You may get hip pain and shoulder pain for sleeping on one side for too long. That’s why it is important to invest in a good mattress.

But if you have a firm mattress, you can add a mattress topper to make your bed softer.

Mattress topper provides extra cushion to relieve pressure points, improving side sleepers' sleep quality

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to sleep on my stomach during pregnancy?

Sleeping on your stomach can become uncomfortable as the baby grows, but it is generally safe to do so during the first trimester. However, as the pregnancy progresses, it is best to avoid sleeping on your stomach as it can cause strain on the uterus and compress the baby.

Is it safe to sleep on my back during pregnancy?

Sleeping on your back during pregnancy can cause the weight of the uterus to compress the vena cava, a major blood vessel that carries blood back to the heart. This can lead to dizziness, shortness of breath, and a decrease in blood pressure. Experts recommend avoiding sleeping on your back after the first trimester.

Is it safe to sleep on my side during pregnancy?

Yes, sleeping on your side is generally considered the safest sleeping position during pregnancy. Specifically, sleeping on your left side is recommended as it can help improve blood flow to the fetus and the placenta.

Can sleeping positions affect the baby's position?

While sleeping positions do not directly impact the baby’s position, sleeping on your left side can help improve blood flow to the fetus and the placenta. Additionally, it is recommended to avoid sleeping on your back as it can cause low blood pressure and shortness of breath.

Do I need a pregnancy pillow to sleep comfortably during pregnancy?

No, a pregnancy pillow is not necessary to sleep comfortably during pregnancy. However, many pregnant women find that using a pregnancy pillow can help alleviate discomfort and provide support to the body. Pregnancy pillows come in various shapes and sizes, including C-shaped, U-shaped, and wedge-shaped, and can be used to support the back, hips, and knees.

Can I take sleeping pills during pregnancy?

It is generally not recommended to take sleeping pills during pregnancy, as their safety for the developing fetus has not been fully studied. Most sleeping pills fall into the category of sedatives or hypnotics, which can have potentially harmful effects on the developing baby.

Some studies have linked the use of certain sedatives or hypnotics during pregnancy with an increased risk of birth defects, preterm birth, low birth weight, and developmental problems in children. However, the specific risks associated with each medication can vary.

If you are experiencing trouble sleeping during pregnancy, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider about safe and effective options for managing your symptoms. They may be able to suggest non-medication approaches, such as relaxation techniques, sleep hygiene practices, or cognitive-behavioral therapy.

In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend a medication that is considered safe for use during pregnancy. They will carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits of any medication before making a recommendation.

It is important to never take any medication, including sleeping pills, during pregnancy without first consulting with your healthcare provider. They can help you make an informed decision about the best way to manage your symptoms while keeping you and your baby safe.

Related Posts

Sleep quality improvement is necessary to make you wake up feeling energized

How to improve your quality of sleep

Are you one of those people who struggle to get a good night’s sleep? You’re not alone! Whether it’s due to stress, anxiety, or lifestyle factors,