Can I Sleep On My Stomach While Pregnant? Safe Sleep Positions

Can I Sleep On My Stomach While Pregnant

Sleeping positions that are comfortable or even tolerable get more and more difficult as you get close to the third trimester

Most pregnant women avoid sleeping on their stomachs while pregnant, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t be done or is dangerous. While the left side is the safest sleep position as your pregnancy progresses, the maternal sleep position is just a matter of preference.

In this article, we’ll discuss your sleeping position as your pregnancy makes your baby bump bigger and answer your question: Can I sleep on my stomach while pregnant?

We’ll also talk about which maternal sleep practices are best for restful sleep, what to avoid, how much pressure your bump can handle, and how to find a comfortable sleep position, especially if you are typically a stomach sleeper.

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Can I sleep on my stomach while pregnant?

Sleeping in comfortable positions becomes more challenging; the further into the pregnancy you are, the bigger you get. 

Sleep is incredibly important for pregnant women, so finding a perfect sleeping position is sought after by many women, especially in the third trimester.

A stomach sleeping pillow can help you to take some of the pressure off of your bump, but if you don’t have one and are used to sleeping on your stomach, as long as you can get comfortable, you don’t have to worry about any adverse effects to your baby.

Can I Sleep On My Stomach While Pregnant

Sleeping positions during pregnancy

Good sleep is essential when you’re pregnant. 

A relaxing bedtime routine and quality sleep help your memory improve, and it also helps to relax and repair your blood vessels under the stress of increased pressure of more blood flow caused by your pregnancy.

Sleep helps to take the pressure off of your lower body, as well. Due to that increased blood flow and water retention, by the third trimester (week 28 plus), you may have noticed swelling in the feet and lower legs.

Sleeping comfortably can also boost your immune system, which repairs itself while you sleep.

The following are the sleeping positions that a pregnant woman may find herself trying to get into, as well as information about how you can sleep better in some of these positions.

1. Left side sleeping

Sleeping on your left side is the best sleeping position in terms of health. This takes the pressure off the inferior vena cava, the primary vein that delivers deoxygenated blood flow to your heart. 

As your body grows, not every position allows the vena cava to deliver the appropriate amount of blood to your heart and the rest of your body.

If you have trouble sleeping and want to try sleeping on your left side, try sleeping with a pillow propped up behind your back to help keep you in this position. You can also tuck another pillow or a pregnancy pillow underneath your other side to wedge you into that side.

2. Right side sleeping

If you usually sleep on your right side and want to continue sleeping on your side but can’t get into the habit of turning to sleep on your left side, don’t worry.

It used to be advised never to sleep on your right side, especially in the late stages of pregnancy. However, studies have shown more recently that there is little risk of any actual harm of side sleeping positions in either direction.

3. Stomach sleeping

If you prefer to sleep on your stomach and are pregnant, you may think your days are numbered. 

While sleeping on your stomach may prove to be a difficult thing to accomplish, it can be done.

There are pregnancy pillows designed with pregnant women who are stomach sleepers in mind. So if sleeping on your stomach is what you think is necessary, and you’re at the mid-pregnancy point of being uncomfortable, you may want to speak with your healthcare provider about how to go about selecting the best pregnancy pillow for you so you can continue to sleep on your stomach.

4. Back sleeping

Sleep positions, for the most part, are fine during pregnancy, even past the second trimester. The trick is finding a way to get into a comfortable position. 

Many women may think sleeping on your stomach during pregnancy is a bad idea or even dangerous, but the most dangerous sleeping position is on your back.

Avoid lying flat

The best sleeping positions are on your sides, allowing the best blood flow to your heart, major organs, and baby. Sleeping on your stomach during pregnancy is okay, as well. It’s when you lie flat that issues can arise.

You should avoid sleeping on your back so that the pressure of your developing baby doesn’t cut off circulation, impair kidney function, or cut off blood flow. 

While sleeping in a supine position isn’t overly dangerous in the first trimester, you should get out of the habit sooner rather than later.

Can I Sleep On My Stomach While Pregnant

What if I change positions in my sleep?

Changing sleeping positions during pregnancy worries some mothers-to-be, especially after the first trimester. However, only a few people stay in one position all night. Most of us move around.

If you fall asleep in your preferred position but wake up on your back, you may worry that you’ve hurt your baby. This is usually not the case. 

If you wake up on your back, on your stomach, or on either of your sides, try not to worry. Most doctors agree that there’s no real risk in moving or changing positions in your sleep.

How much pressure can a pregnant belly take?

Your uterine walls are thick, and the amniotic fluid cushions your baby to provide extra support and protection from impact and pressure. Even in the later stages of pregnancy, most women don’t need to rush to their family physicians every time they bump their stomachs into something.

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Late pregnancy and bumps

Your growing uterus and body may feel uncomfortable, and everyone may treat you as fragile. However, lightly bumping into something, holding your toddler, or lying on your stomach in bed will not harm your growing baby.

Most women who have typical and healthy pregnancies can handle lifting up to 36 pounds through their pregnancy. This means that your belly can take quite the load. 

If you happen to bump into something and have any fears or worries, never feel uncomfortable getting checked out by your doctor for any adverse effects you may have.

If your stomach is your favorite position

Good circulation the heart, baby, and major organs, and better sleep are all vital, especially during pregnancy. If you want to improve sleep duration and value, try to sleep in any position that feels best for you, aside from on your back.

If being on your stomach helps you sleep best, try using at least one pillow that caters to sleepers of this type to help take the pressure off. And don’t worry if you wake up in a different position than you started.

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