When to Stop Sleeping on Back During Pregnancy

When to Stop Sleeping on Back During Pregnancy

Should you stop sleeping on your back during pregnancy? That’s a question many women ask, especially if they’re traditional back sleepers. We feel your pain as some of our mommas at babybub also preferred sleeping on their back. 

Pelvic and hip pain are common in pregnant women, especially during the last trimester. As sleep is important for a healthy pregnancy, finding the perfect sleeping position becomes a priority. Many pregnant women wonder if they should stop sleeping on their back as they approach the end of their pregnancy. In this post, let’s explore whether or not you should stop sleeping on your back during pregnancy.

What happens to our body during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, your growing uterus puts pressure on blood vessels, which can reduce blood flow to the placenta and your baby. Sleeping on your back can make this pressure worse, as your uterus weighs down the major blood vessels that supply your lower body. This can result in dizziness and shortness of breath. Moreover, sleeping on your back can worsen existing hip and pelvic pain. As a result, many health care professionals advise pregnant women to avoid sleeping on their back in the third trimester.

Is there a good alternative sleeping position for back sleepers?

After the 20th week of pregnancy, it isn't recommended that pregnant women sleep on their backs, so you may want to start making the transition to a different sleep position right away.

The vena cava, a large blood artery that runs down near the spine, can be compressed by the weight of the uterus. When this vessel is compressed, blood flow to the fetus is impeded. A baby's oxygen supply could be compromised if you sleep on your back, as this position prevents blood from the abdomen from returning to the heart. Preeclampsia, decreased fetal growth, and stillbirth are just some of the potential effects that have been connected to constriction of this blood artery.

If you’re experiencing hip or pelvic pain, it may be helpful to sleep on your side. Sleeping on your left side, in particular, is often recommended by many experts as it improves circulation and blood flow to your baby. Additionally, placing a pillow between your legs will help to take pressure off your hips and lower back. If you’re finding it difficult to fall asleep in this position, try elevating your head with a pillow or wedge. Maternity pillows are your best bet! The right ones can prevent you from rolling on your back, which helps reduce back and hip pain as well.

If you’re struggling to find a comfortable sleeping position, talk to your health care provider who can provide advice and guidance. You might also want to consider a change of mattress as well. Memory foam is highly recommended as it helps support your torso and limbs. 

Final Thoughts

Generally, sleeping on your side is the better option as it reduces the risk of decreased blood flow to your uterus and baby. Most importantly, listen to your body AND your doctor. Keep in mind that different positions may work better at different stages of pregnancy, but it’s also important to listen to what your healthcare professional is recommending. 

Medical disclaimer: The information provided is not meant to be a substitute for expert medical advice, diagnosis, or care. Always ask your doctor or another qualified health provider for advice if you have any concerns about a medical issue. Never dismiss or put off getting expert medical advice because of something you read on Bub’s Blog. babybub does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on this site.
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