If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. Many women find themselves wondering how best to sleep when pregnant. Sleep issues are common during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester, when finding a comfortable sleeping position can be challenging. Some pregnant women may also worry that certain body positions might affect their health or that of the fetus. Many women report fatigue during pregnancy, particularly in the first and third trimesters. Rising progesterone levels and the effort of carrying around extra weight can intensify this fatigue, which sleep deprivation can worsen.
Sleeping on your belly
Pregnancy means a laundry list of uncomfortable changes that your body is dealing with. These can interrupt your normally peaceful rest. In a study of nearly 2, women, about 76 percent reported poor sleep quality during pregnancy, more so than at any other time. Although sleeping on your back while pregnant is generally safe, the position can feel uncomfortable and may cause avoidable health problems. Doctors recommend you sleep on your left side during all stages of pregnancy for the safest, most comfortable rest.
In the third trimester our advice is to go sleep on your side because research has shown that this is safer for baby. This includes night sleep and day time naps. Research has shown that in the third trimester after 28 weeks of pregnancy going to sleep on your back increases your risk of stillbirth. As the link has now been shown in four separate research trials, our advice is to go to sleep on your side in the third trimester because it is safer for your baby. The advice relates to any episode of sleep, including:. If your pregnancy is uncomplicated your risk of stillbirth is low 1 in babies are stillborn. Going to sleep on your side will make it even lower.
Women are accustomed to sleeping in whatever position feels most comfortable and familiar to them, but that tends to change in pregnancy. Not only do some moms-to-be experience tender breasts, frequent urination, heartburn, back pain, shortness of breath, or bouts of insomnia, but an ever-expanding midsection can make it very difficult to find and settle on a comfortable sleeping posture. Making slumber even more challenging: Some sleeping positions may not be as safe for pregnant women and the growing fetus as others. To help you and your baby stay healthy—and maximize your sleep in the months ahead—use this guide to help you identify the best possible sleeping position during pregnancy. Sleeping on Your Back. Throughout your pregnancy, you should avoid sleeping on your back. While it may be safe during your first trimester , the biggest no-no with resting this way is that it causes your increasingly heavy abdomen and uterus to press down on the major vein that works to return blood from your lower body to your heart. So lying on your back can make you feel lightheaded and dizzy, and also interfere with the delivery of blood and nutrients to the placenta and your growing baby. Other issues that can arise are backaches, difficulty breathing, digestive system problems, hemorrhoids, low blood pressure, and decreased circulation in you and the baby. Sleeping on Your Stomach.