Is it Safe To Sleep on Your Back When You’re Pregnant?

Updated on April 18th, 2020
Sleeping On Back While Pregnant

Peaceful sleep and Proper rest at night are crucial during pregnancy. But it is challenging to find a comfortable sleeping position during pregnancy, owing to the expanding belly, especially during the second and third trimester of pregnancy.

Give it up during pregnancy

If sleeping on your back is your favorite position, you may have to give it up during pregnancy. Although there is no proven evidence available, which hints that sleeping on the back during pregnancy is harmful, it is suggestible to avoid doing so, as it can be very uncomfortable, particularly after the 1st trimester. It may also lead to health problems.

Is Sleeping on Your Back Safe While Pregnant?

If you are sleeping on your back, you may still be able to do so even until the end of the 1st trimester of your pregnancy. But as you progress in your pregnancy, you may have to switch to a more comfortable position.

Consider these Things If You Are Sleeping on Back During Pregnancy

  • If you cannot do without sleeping on your back in pregnancy, then pillows can be a real lifesaver for you to make the back-sleep position relaxing.
  • You can take the aid of pillows to comfortably support yourself and make sleeping on your back more relaxing during pregnancy.
  • If you are disturbed with indigestion at night, placing a pillow on the back of your head, and upper part of the body will help.
  • To relieve the pain in your back, you can try slipping a small pillow in the groove of your back to support your back.
  • To handle shortness of breath, you may like to consider sleeping in a slightly raised position, propped with pillows, or consider using a recliner.

[Read: Everything You Should Know About Traveling While Pregnant!]

Why Should You Evade Sleeping on Your Back?

Sleeping on your back, especially during the ensuing stages of pregnancy can feel more and more uneasy because of the developing belly. Moreover, it may not be an excellent position for your baby. Here are the effects of sleeping on the back while pregnant(1):

Affects the blood supply to the baby

When a pregnant woman relaxes on her back, the weight of the expanding uterus can put pressure on the critical blood vessels, adversely affecting the blood supply to the baby, which means fewer nutrients and oxygen for the developing fetus. The limited blood flow may also lead to low blood pressure that may cause you to feel giddy and faint.

Can Sleeping on the Back Increase the Chances of Stillbirth?

There might be a link between the lying down position of the mother and the risk of stillbirth. Sleeping on the back, for a prolonged period, may be harmful to the growth of the fetus, and in case of complicated pregnancies, it can further distress the fetus resulting in stillbirth in some cases.

[Read: Extra Cautious With Coronavirus for Pregnant Women]

A study

According to some studies, the fetus tends to be in a less active state when pregnant women sleep on their backs.

Some of the comfortable  and safe sleeping positions during pregnancy can be:

Sleeping on the Side
  • Sleeping on your left side: during all stages of pregnancy, is generally considered to be the most reliable and best sleeping position as it doesn’t hamper with the blood flow and assists drive in more nutrients to your baby.
  • When sleeping on the side: you’ll feel relaxing if you bend the knees and legs. This helps in keeping unneeded pressure off the heart.
  • After the 1st trimester: pregnant women may find placing a pillow under their tummy helpful while sleeping on their side in supporting the weight of their expanding belly.
  • While sleeping on your side, putting a stiff pillow underneath the top leg can aid in properly aligning the body and easing pressure from the back and lower leg.
  • In the side position, putting a pillow at the back and in the front can permit you to bend forward or backward comfortably.
  • If you like sleeping on the stomach: it may be excellent, but only during the first trimester(2). After that, the growing belly may not allow you to sleep comfortably in this position.
  • During pregnancy: it is crucial to choose sleeping positions that are not only convenient but also helpful for the baby’s wellbeing.

[Read: Get Rid of Neck Pain from Sleeping Wrong]


While some pregnant women may choose sleeping on the back even during pregnancy, it is suggestable to practice and try sleeping on the left side instead. Pregnant women may also talk to a doctor to discuss their options for comfortable sleeping positions during pregnancy.

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