How to safely sleep during pregnancy

How to safely sleep during pregnancy

Sleep during pregnancy can be tough. There’s the potential pregnancy insomnia, the trips to the bathroom, pregnancy nose and congestion. The list goes on.

And as the baby – and the mom’s belly – grows, the list of comfortable and available sleeping positions gets a little smaller. Starting the second trimester, between 24 and 28 weeks, there is a sleep position pregnant people should avoid: lying flat on their backs.

“At this point, the uterus is getting heavy due to the growing fetus and may compress the mom’s major blood vessels, which run down her back, leading to reduced blood flow to her uterus and lower extremities,” says Dr. Jennifer Kossoris, an obstetrics and gynecology physician at Advocate Medical Group in Elmhurst, Ill.

Dr. Kossoris says it is best for moms to sleep tilted on their side.

“The left side is better than the right side, but both sides are fine,” she says.

If sleeping fully on a person’s side is uncomfortable, Dr. Kossoris suggests using a pillow to prop up a person’s hip.

If a pregnant person starts the night on their left side and wakes up to find they’re lying flat on their back, Dr. Kossoris says there is generally no need for concern.

“If a mom is concerned, she can always do kick counts to reassure herself,” says Dr. Kossoris.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, kick counts can be done at home. Kick counts are a record of how often a person feels a fetus move over a certain time period.

Do you have trouble sleeping? Learn more about sleep apnea by taking a free online quiz. 

Related Posts


Subscribe to health enews newsletter

About the Author

Brittany Lewis
Brittany Lewis

Brittany Lewis is a media relations coordinator at Advocate Aurora Health. She previously worked as a reporter at TV stations around the Midwest, including Milwaukee. She studied at DePaul University where she majored in Journalism and Public Relations. Brittany enjoys traveling, hanging out by Lake Michigan, trying new restaurants and spending time with friends and family.