The Best Sleeping Positions For Pregnant Women

Hesham Fathi

Hesham Fathi

During pregnancy, you may find it difficult to sleep properly or get the baby sleeping positions. I understand that when you’re pregnant your body goes through a variety of changes causing your regular sleeping positions no longer work for you. That’s why I have put together this article to address tips and how you can sleep properly even while pregnant. 

What Are The Causes Of Discomfort While Sleeping During Pregnancy?

Throughout the three trimesters, there are various causes of sleeping discomfort. Some of them include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety, heartburn, and constipation
  • Frequent urination
  • Back pain and leg cramps
  • Shortness of breath and snoring, nightmares
  • Increased size of the abdomen

So how should you sleep to prevent sleeplessness due to these factors? Read on to find out more about that.

How To Sleep When You’re Pregnant 

During pregnancy, your body may go through different hormonal fluctuations during the three trimesters. All through the three trimesters, the sleeping position you should adopt is the Sleeping on Side (SOS) position. It is even better to sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby. Keep your legs and knees bent, and put a pillow between your legs. If you’re having constant back pain use the “SOS” position, and try placing a pillow under your abdomen as well. If you are experiencing heartburn during the night, you may want to try supporting your upper body with pillows. In your third trimester, you may experience shortness of breath and changes in the throat. Try lying on your side using pillows to support your side. 

I understand that these suggestions may not be completely comfortable, especially if you are used to sleeping on your back or stomach, but you can try them out.  You may find that they work. Keep in mind that you may not stay in one position all night, and changing positions is totally fine. 

What Sleeping Positions Should You Avoid  

Sleeping on your back: As your pregnancy grows, your uterus grows. Sleeping on the back puts pressure not only on the back but also on the pelvis, causing backache. This might disturb your sleep cycle and make you irritated.

Lying on the back during pregnancy may also put pressure on the largest vein (inferior vena cava), which could lead to low blood pressure, hemorrhoids, and decreased blood circulation resulting in decreased nutrition supply for the baby and the mom. Sleeping on the back might also cause snoring and heartburn in some women.

Sleeping on your stomach: At the early stages of your pregnancy, it’s okay to sleep on your stomach.  However, once your belly starts to grow, this position becomes difficult for you.  Also, sleeping in this position can put pressure on your bladder, which may cause frequent urination.

Tips To Sleep Comfortably During Pregnancy

You can help yourself sleep comfortably during pregnancy. Try out the following tips:

  1. Drink less water during the night: It’s advisable you drink more water during the day than at night. This would make you have a good night rest and avoid you waking up in between 
  2. Take short naps during the day: You may nap for a while during the day but don’t sleep for so long that you disrupt your night-time sleep.
  3. Eat light snacks: To prevent nausea, you can eat some snacks such as bland biscuits or crackers at regular intervals. You may also eat something light before going to sleep to avoid midnight hunger. 
  4. Try relaxation techniques: Breathing, yoga, and meditation can help you relieve stress and let you sleep well.
  5. Make yourself comfortable: The physical changes you experience could disturb your sleep and make you irritated more often during the first trimester. Having dim lights in your room, wearing comfy clothes, and lying down on softer pillows can let you sleep comfortably.
  1. Avoid spicy food: One of the causes of heartburn is usually caused by fried, acidic, and spicy foods. If you can, try to avoid that at this stage of pregnancy. Also, don’t forget to drink enough water. 
  2. Talk to your doctor: You may have Restless leg syndrome (RLS)  that could be due to iron or magnesium deficiency. You can schedule an appointment to meet with one of our doctors who can prescribe medications that can help you treat any nutrient deficiency or blood pressure that makes sleeping difficult

When your baby is born, you may have to deal with sleepless nights but while you’re pregnant try to understand your body and sleep properly. Try these sleeping positions and follow these tips that I  have recommended to sleep and rest better. The more comfortable you sleep the better you would feel. If you are unable to sleep irrespective of the position.

You can also watch this Antenatal Class on the Do’s and Don’ts In Pregnancy

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Hesham Fathi

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