During pregnancy, it could be hard for you to get comfortable in bed and fall asleep and unfortunately your normal sleeping positions will not work for you specially if you are a back sleeper.

According to doctors advice, it is best to avoid sleeping on your back when pregnant. Sleeping on your back can lead to backaches, breathing problems, digestive issues, low blood pressure and decreased circulation to your heart and baby.

This is caused by your expanding abdomen pressing on your intestines and major blood vessels (the aorta and vena cava). You can also develop sleep apnea as you gain weight during pregnancy.

Sleeping on your side (ideally left) is considered as the best sleeping position for pregnant women. In this blog we’ll go through what positions are best during pregnancy and what position to avoid.

Why do pregnant women avoid sleeping on their backs?

It is advised by doctors to not sleep on the back when pregnant specially during the third trimester. According to research, sleeping on your back throughout the third trimester (after 28 weeks of pregnancy) increases your chances of having a stillbirth.

It is recommended sleeping on your side in the third trimester because it is safer for your baby. Do not become concerned about this. If your pregnancy is straightforward, your chances of stillbirth are small (1 in 200 babies are stillborn). Sleeping on your side will bring it further lower.

What is the best position to sleep when pregnant?

The best sleep position during pregnancy is "SOS" (sleep on your side), which gives the best circulation for both you and your baby. It also applies the least amount of pressure to your veins and internal organs.

Sleeping on your left side increases the flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta and your baby. Furthermore, excellent circulation helps to minimize swelling, varicose veins in the legs, and hemorrhoids.

Tips to sleep comfortably during pregnancy:

  • To ease stress on your back, keep your legs and knees bent and place a pillow between them. You can use a knee pillow to relieve pressure and support your lower back.
  • If you are experiencing back pain, try the "SOS" position with a pillow under your abdomen.
  • If you have heartburn at night, consider elevating your upper body with pillows.
  • Shortness of breath may occur during the late stages of pregnancy. Consider laying on your side or supported up with pillows.

These options may not sound quite comfortable, especially if you are used to sleeping on your back or stomach, but give them a try. You may find that they work. Remember that you may not stay in.

Worst sleeping position during pregnancy

The worst sleeping during the second and third trimester of pregnancy is sleeping on your stomach. Sleeping on your stomach is fine during the first few weeks of pregnancy.

Your bump will not become visible until the second trimester, and sleeping on your stomach is unlikely to be painful. You will have a huge bump in the third trimester, so it won’t be comfortable for you to sleep in this position. However, if you wake up on your stomach, don't worry; simply roll onto your side.

Sleep tips for each trimester

Every trimester can bring a whole new experience to you, here are tips for each trimester to sleep better-

Tips for First Trimester

The first few months of pregnancy can be rough, especially if you are someone experiencing morning sickness. You may feel tired and exhausted due to sudden surge of hormones like HCG and progesterone. You may also experience insomnia at night and it is difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep at night.

You can follow these tips during first trimester to sleep better:

Do not drink much water before sleeping as your bladder can overdrive and you have to make frequent trips to the bathroom.

Avoid using your phone before going to bed, it is better to avoid blue light emitting devices as they can keep you awake at night.

Create a calming bedtime routine for yourself. You can meditate, take a warm bath, listen to relaxing music or read something before going to bed.

Go to bed whenever you feel tired. It is not compulsory to sleep on a fixed time when pregnant, you can go to bed at 6:00 if you are feeling sleepy and tired. But remember to complete 7-9 hours of sleep.

Tips for Second Trimester

Although you will feel relief from morning sickness as you enter the second trimester, it comes with whole new challenges such as  heartburn, a rapidly growing belly, and restless leg syndrome (RLS).

Follow these tips to get a good night's sleep during second trimester:

  • Start sleeping on your side as your baby bump is growing and sleeping on your stomach can be challenging. You can use a pregnancy pillow to get more comfortable when sleeping.
  • Avoid eating close to your bedtime especially if heartburn is an issue with you. It is better to eat 2-3 hours before bedtime so that your body has enough time to digest the food. Try eating smaller meals during the day rather than big meals.
  • Start doing light exercise as it will give you relief with tingly effects of restless leg syndrome, also it will make you fall asleep faster at night.

Tips for Third Trimester

The excitement to welcome a new life into the world at peak as you enter the last phase of your pregnancy journey. Even though sleeping in this phase is much difficult with an extra big belly, pelvic pain, back pain, and baby rib kicks.

You can try following these tips to get some sleep at night:

Use a pregnancy pillow or surround yourself with  multiple pillows to support your back and belly.

Keep your hips aligned to take off pressure from your pelvis. Try sleeping in a side position and keep a pillow under your knee.

Stay hydrated to prevent leg cramps. Try to consume healthy drinks and plenty of water during the day.

Take rest during the day as your body is already preparing for delivery, don’t stress your back and pelvis much during the day as you’ll feel more pain at bedtime.


Even once you've found a comfortable sleeping position (and the ideal pregnancy pillows to make it work), getting enough sleep may be difficult. Sleeping on your back is not advised during pregnancy especially during the third trimester as it will increase the risk of stillbirth.

Pregnancy symptoms such as frequent urination, nausea, heartburn, and restless legs can make it difficult to sleep soundly. However, there are many other sleep tips you can use when pregnant to sleep better.

You can use a Sleepsia knee pillow between your knees to sleep better during the pregnancy. It will provide excellent support to your knee, thigh, and lower back. The hourglass form provides for ideal placement between the knees and the upwards thigh area.