Sleeping on your stomach when you’re pregnant — is it OK? Are there trimesters you can or can’t sleep on your stomach? What is the best sleeping position to sleep during pregnancy?
Is it OK to Sleep on Your Stomach When Pregnant?
Well, it depends…
First off, every person is different, so definitely ask your doctor before you take my advice. You may have back or placental issues that would be better positioned another way.
First off, hello! I’m Hilary — many people know me as The Pregnancy Nurse 👩⚕️. I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind this website Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. 🩺 So, I’ve answered a LOT of questions about pregnancy sleep….
Come join me in my FREE Beginning Prenatal Class where we chat a bunch of ways to be in the DRIVERS seat of your upcoming birth!
Can you sleep on your stomach during the first trimester?
In general, yes. As long as you find it comfortable, you can do that. And, for quite a few weeks it will feel fine to sleep on your stomach during pregnancy.
However, as you progress a few weeks of pregnancy, you’ll start to feel a lump in the baby area.
At this point, it is probably not dangerous to keep sleeping on your stomach, but it will start to be uncomfortable.
At that point, I’d stop sleeping on my stomach. Although there are stomach-sleeping pregnancy pillows out there.
BTW, I have a whole post on Pregnancy Sleep that you might enjoy. 🙂
Related Post: Stomach Gurgling in the Second Trimester
Is it safe to sleep on your back when you’re pregnant?
Once you hit about 20 weeks, you should stop sleeping on your back, it can cut off blood flow to your lower body by all the weight pushing directly on inferior vena cava (the big blood vessel in your body that takes blood to all your parts).
What can happen if you sleep on your back during pregnancy?
This all sounds really freaky, right? But I think if that was really happening, your body would know to wake up and shift position.
I used to wake up on my back frequently, thinking I had ruined my baby — but a manager told me that above, and it makes sense.
Best way to sleep during the 2nd and third trimester?
The best way is to lay on your side. They have SAID the best way to sleep is on your left side, that it helped promote blood flow, but I recently heard that it doesn’t actually matter. Either side is fine.
I also recommend using a body pillow (or just a pillow between your legs) as it helps support your hips. I talk about all sorts of other ways to sleep better during pregnancy.
You can also sleep “tilted” — in which case you usually shove a pillow behind your hip so that you don’t end up flat on your back (if you can help it). There are lots of pregnancy pillows out there, but you can totally use regular pillows too.
The key is not having a direct straight down pressure, by tilting, your uterus rolls off your Vena Cava.
What if I want to sleep on my stomach while pregnant?
It SOUNDS good, but it really wouldn’t be comfortable for you, or the baby. You CAN sleep pretty far onto your side — often comfy with your leg up on a pillow. We call this “Sims” position in the hospital. It often helps your baby move well.
I also have a post on the best pillows for pregnant stomach sleepers.
FAQ’s on Best Sleeping Positions during Pregnancy
It doesn’t matter, your baby is so small, your organs and muscle cushion it enough it dosen’t matter
I recommend people sleep on their side, or at least tilted a bit (usually with a pillow behind your back so you don’t go flat).
It depends on how you’re counting “3rd month” — I would gauge it on how comfortable it is. If your stomach is still comfortable, you should be OK. But, soon you’ll want to switch to back or side.
So you avoid sleeping on your stomach, and they no lying on your back — so sleeping on your side during pregnancy is probably your best bet. Question answered!
Come join me
Ok, now that we’ve gone over ALL of that (PHEW) — please consider checking The Online Prenatal Class for Couples that will simplify a lot of pregnancy for you.
If you feel like you’re not quite ready for that full class, grab my Free Beginning Prenatal Class to get you started.