You Shouldn’t Sleep in These Positions if You’re Pregnant

Over 53% of pregnant women report frequent fatigue in the third trimester.

Many pregnant women experience cramping in the legs, frequent bathroom visits, and restless nights. Sleep deprivation and fatigue are some common symptoms that occur during pregnancy. Over 53% report frequent fatigue in the third trimester versus 3.5% who reported no fatigue at all.

Sleep deprivation can also affect stress because of the many changes happening in your body, mind, and lifestyle. However, a high level of stress that continues over a long period of time may cause insomnia, depression and may induce premature labor.

That’s why it’s important to get proper rest. Here’s what you need to know about the best and worst sleeping positions while pregnant.

Positions to Avoid when Pregnant

Getting sufficient amounts of sleep can decrease certain health conditions that cause inflammation in the body. Sleep has also been proven to strengthen the immune system, boost mood, improve memory, and much more.

Unfortunately, many women struggle to fall asleep, especially during their last trimester. As a result, women who sleep less than 6 hours per night experience longer labors and are 4.5 times at risk of delivering a premature baby.

The position you sleep in may also have impacts on pregnancy and labor. Occasionally waking up to an awkward sleeping position or one that’s not recommended is nothing to worry about. However, if you typically sleep on the stomach or back, you may experience some health concerns, especially during the last trimester.

Stomach Sleeping

It’s OK to sleep on the stomach until you reach 16–18 weeks.

If you’re a typical stomach sleeper, the good news is that you can continue to sleep in this position for the first half of your trimester and have little to no effect on your health or the health of the baby.

It’s OK to sleep on the stomach until you reach 16–18 weeks.

The baby bump will grow bigger after 16 weeks of pregnancy, making the position less conformable. The good news is that changing your sleeping position to the side is relatively easy. Out of a total of 263 pregnant women who participated in a study on maternal sleeping positions, 86.3% agreed that there is minimal difficulty adjusting their sleeping position to the left side to benefit the baby.

You can make this sleeping position more comfortable by using pillows to support your hips and lower back.

Back sleeping

In the first trimesters up until 12 weeks into the pregnancy, you will want to change your position from back to the side. Sleeping on your back adds extra pressure on your blood vessels, promoting blood flow to the uterus, heart, and brain.

Moreover, women who slept on their backs after 28 weeks of pregnancy were at greater risk of stillbirth. If you occasionally wake up from a doze and find yourself on your back, don’t worry. Reposition yourself back on the side, and continue to snooze.

Best Sleeping Positions for Pregnant Women

It’s better to sleep on your sides and preferably your left.

All sleeping positions are considered safe for up to 12 weeks. Typically doctors will tell you that it’s better to sleep on your sides and preferably your left. The reasoning lies in the distribution of weight and circulation of blood flow.

Right Side

Either side is deemed safe to sleep on. When sleeping on one side, your body will typically become sore from alternating the side for comfortability. Adding pillows between the legs and behind the back can add additional support to your lower back and hips.

Women who prefer sleeping on the right side can do so without worrying about any health concerns.

Left Side

Doctors will typically recommend during the 20 weeks of the pregnancy to sleep on the left side. This is considered the ideal sleeping position for pregnant women since it allows for maximum blood flow to the heart and uterus.

Sleeping on your side can take the weight off your bladder, kidney, and liver. All these positive attributes help stop the swelling, reduce ad leg pain, and prevent heartburn. Additional support, like pillows, provide support and comfort for a better rest.

Sleeping Aids for Pregnant Women

If you’re finding it difficult to fall asleep, there are some tactics you can take.

Light daily exercise can help reduce fatigue.

Some common recommendation for pregnant women include:

Wrap Up

Sleep can prove to be challenging and stressful during different stages of pregnancy. While sleeping in any position during the first stage of your pregnancy is considered safe, many doctors recommend resting on your left side to protect the developing fetus.

Sleeping on the side is also a great way to promote blood flow give you and the baby room to breathe. If you are consistently feeling stressed or tired, make an appointment with your doctor to consult possible causes and treatments.

Before You Go…

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Originally published at on January 4, 2021.




We believe that wellness comes from a happy mind and a healthy body. We inform mindfulness, meditation, and healthy living practices.

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