When to Stop Sleeping on Stomach During Pregnancy

When to Stop Sleeping on Stomach During Pregnancy

One of the challenges a pregnant woman faces is getting enough restful sleep, particularly as your body undergoes significant changes. For many women, sleeping on their stomachs has been their go-to sleeping position for years, and letting go of the habit can be a struggle. However, when it comes to pregnancy, sleeping on your stomach might not be the best idea, especially if you're experiencing pelvic and hip pain. Let's look at some factors that could help determine when it's time to change positions.

What is the discomfort level like?

For the first 16 to 18 weeks of pregnancy, depending on how quickly and how large the belly grows, it is safe to sleep on your stomach. After this stage, lying on your stomach is not only harmful for the baby but also quite uncomfortable. If you sleep on your stomach when pregnant, your growing baby may shift inside your stomach, putting pressure on your aorta and inferior vena cava (IVC). 

As your baby grows, your body's center of gravity shifts. The weight is adjusted, impacting the way you sleep. Once you're in the second or third trimester and start experiencing pelvic and hip pain, a sleep position change may be due. Sleeping in the stomach position during this period will increase the pressure on your hips, spine, and core. If lying on your stomach causes any discomfort or pain, it's time to stop sleeping on your stomach.

How far along are you?

In the first trimester, the uterus is pelvis-localized, so sleeping on your stomach can still be manageable. However, in the second and third trimesters, your uterus will have increased in size and shifted its position, bringing the need to change sleeping positions. If you are in your second trimester or beyond, this is the best time to rethink sleeping on your stomach, even if it’s your go-to position. 

Are you comfortable with other sleeping positions?

Many women are afraid that once they stop sleeping on their stomachs, they won't be able to sleep comfortably. The good news is, there are other sleeping positions that can provide you with the necessary support, such as sleeping on your side. The recommended position for pregnant sleep is lying on your left side since it increases the blood supply to the uterus, kidneys, and fetus. A high quality pregnancy pillow and its attachments is highly recommended to support your belly, between your knees, and behind your back to keep you comfortable while sleeping.

What does your doctor recommend?

Consulting a healthcare provider is always advisable because everyone's pregnancy journey is different. Your provider will advise you about any sleep position changes you should make, though most recommend sleeping on the side. Not comfortable sleeping on your side? A maternity pillow can help you sleep more comfortably. 

In conclusion, sleeping on your stomach during pregnancy is safe, but not practical for the second and third trimesters, and it can cause discomfort and pain in many women. It is essential to find your most comfortable sleep position to ensure you're getting enough sleep, which is an integral part of a healthy pregnancy. Swapping your stomach position for a side position is the best option and using a pregnancy pillow is recommended to increase your comfort. Besides these tips, we recommend speaking with your healthcare provider to get personalized advice on sleep positions during pregnancy.

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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