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 OB/GYN physician at Advocate Health Care.

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 hip or knee pain? Take a free online quiz to learn more. 

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.