Is It Safe To Sleep On Your Back When Pregnant?

By Nikitha Patel|3 - 4 mins read| July 01, 2024

From the time you realized you’re pregnant, it’s not uncommon to become conscious of everything you do that may impact your baby’s health. Questions like—can you eat sushi? Can you drink coffee? And can you sleep on your back without the feeling of crushing of your internal organs?

Read below this article to learn about whether it is actually safe to sleep on your back and what some safe sleeping positions are during pregnancy.

Importance of Sleep During Pregnancy

As your pregnancy journey approaches, getting enough sleep becomes important for both you and your baby’s health. According to the American Pregnancy Association, almost 78 percent of women feel some kind of sleep disturbance during pregnancy, possibly due to factors such as hormonal changes, physical discomfort, and incorrect sleeping positions.

So, Is It Safe To Sleep On Your Back?

Maternal sleep positions have proven to affect pregnancy outcomes. According to a study, it was found that women who sleep on their backs, particularly during the second and third trimesters, are more likely to be at risk of stillbirth. However, the overall risk remains low.

Besides, the study also recommends that sleeping on the side, particularly on your left, helps improve blood flow and nutrient delivery to the developing fetus.

Why Does Sleeping Positions Actually Matter?

During the first trimester, the uterus starts expanding to accommodate the developing fetus, which may impact circulation and comfort. 

Sleeping on the back, which is also called the supine position, can put pressure on the vena cava. This is because, when a pregnant woman lays on her back, the increased weight can compress the vein, causing hypertension, dizziness, or maybe shortness of breath. 

Besides, the increased weight may also press the internal organs, resulting in impaired breathing, backaches, and digestive issues. In fact, the reduced blood circulation may also hamper oxygen and nutrient delivery to the fetus.

Safe and Comfortable Sleeping Position Tips for Pregnant Women

As your baby bump grows, finding a comfortable sleeping position may be overwhelming. However, healthcare providers recommend certain sleeping positions that are not only comfortable but also ensure the baby’s safety.

  • Side Sleeping: Sleeping on your side, particularly the left side, is one of the best positions to consider during pregnancy. Not only does it help maintain the blood flow to your heart, but it also prevents any pressure on the liver.
  • Slightly Elevate Your Upper Body: If you find the side sleeping position uncomfortable, you can try placing pillows behind your back to gently elevate your upper body a little. Besides improving breathing, it also prevents backaches.
  • Use pillows: Sometimes, sleeping comfortably during pregnancy might feel difficult. In such a situation, try keeping a pillow between your legs and another under your abdomen to give you the support you need. You may also try pregnancy pillows that are exclusively designed to offer comfort.
  • Don’t panic: It is common to change positions while sleeping. So, one day, if you wake up and find yourself sleeping on your back, you don’t need to get afraid. The simple hack is to shift back to your side.

Overall, it is not recommended to sleep on your back, particularly during the second and third trimesters, as it may impact pregnancy and your baby’s health. Instead, opt for sleeping by your side. If you find side sleeping uncomfortable, you may use pregnancy pillows or elevate your body slightly to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep.

TheParentZ provides Parenting Tips & Advice to parents.

About The Author:

Nikitha Patel

Last Updated: Mon Jul 01 2024

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