Lying On Your Back During Pregnancy

4 min read

Written by Pradeep


The journey of pregnancy is the most uncomfortable and memorable period of a women’s life. The list of memories and myriad of problems trouble the peace of mind. Simple aspects like sitting, standing, and sleeping bothers a lot. Almost 76% of women trouble getting quality sleep as suddenly the sleeping position changes. Research says that lying on the back during pregnancy is not safe, as there are chances for stillbirth.


sleeping on back during pregnancy


But is it safe for pregnant women to lay on the back? Let’s delve deep into the science and know the facts.

Is lying On Back While Pregnant Dangerous?

If you are sleeping for a short while, unconsciously, don’t worry. This wouldn’t be a significant trouble. As you sleep on your back, the pressure of the abdomen lies in the intestines.

The resulting health problems include:

  • Backpain
  • Trouble with breathing
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Digestion concerns

Make sure to sleep to your left, even while having a small nap. After getting back to sleep post nightmares or while settling to sleep, remember to relax to your left. 

What Happens If You Accidentally Sleep On Your Back While Pregnant?

If you are in the third trimester and sleeping on your back, this is what exactly happens to your to-be baby and then to you.  

As the fetus size increases, the main blood vessel gets compressed by the uterus. Pregnant women feel shortness of breath as there is a disturbance in the blood flow. 

  • The blood flow in the baby interrupts.
  • Supply of oxygen as well nutrients are disturbed.
  • The pregnant lady feels dizzy and feels vomiting sensation. 

How Long Can You Lay On Your Back When Pregnant?

It is relatively safe to lay on the back during the first trimester. You can lay on your back once in a while during your second trimester as well. However, it is better to avoid this posture once you enter your last trimester. Yet, lying on your back for prolonged periods at any phase of pregnancy can create several issues.

Pillows can do wonders

If you insist on sleeping on your back, take the help of the cushions.

Are You Troubling With Heartburn And Couldn’t Sleep?

Place a pillow to solve the issues of heartburn under your upper body. Have some rest to your head to make yourself comfortable. 

Are You Not Satisfied With Shortness Of Breath?

In the later stages of pregnancy, shortness of breath is a common issue that troubles many expecting mothers. Keep your sleeping or relaxing position comfortable using a thin pillow or cloth under your body.

Are You Figuring To Reduce Back Pain?

Using a pillow under your belly will give you a better position of comfort. After 20 weeks, pillow support helps your abdomen with its growing size. 

Why Lying On Your Back During Pregnancy Is Bad?

When you lie on your back, your baby gets discomfort. Your uterus compresses the veins of the baby and the major. There are chances for the baby to get reduced oxygen supply. As a result, pregnant ladies feel dizzy and nauseous. 

Don’t bother much ladies; you will automatically feel uncomfortable sleeping on your back and flip yourself as the pregnancy progresses. So, sleep in peace and make your mind to sleep towards left. 

Can I Lie On My Back On The Sofa When Pregnant?

The research states that stillbirth and sleeping positions are related. Reduce the chances of stillbirth by not lying on your back. 

The pressure of the womb and your increased body weight puts pressure on your other parts of the body. This makes you uncomfortable sleeping on your back. 

When relaxing on the sofa, make sure you are resting on your left. Don’t ignore this little fact if you are in the third trimester or over 28 weeks. 

Even if it is daytime, ensure to bother about your sleep position. 

Can Sleeping On Back Cause Stillbirth?

The research of Auckland University states that sleeping positions have an impact on the causes of stillbirth

  • Sleeping on the back increases the pressure on the fetuses.
  • Whatever might be other complications, sleeping on back will increase the chances of stillbirth. 

Sleeping on the back for hardly one or a couple of times should impact the rate of stillbirth.

Is Lying On Your Back During Pregnancy In The Third Trimester Safe?

There is a scope of harm lying on your back during pregnancy in the third trimester. The rate of stillbirth and episodes of miscarriage is found to increase among women who lie on their backs during pregnancy. 

The chances of premature placental abruption are also found to increase when one lies on her back as the pregnancy progresses. Placental Abruption can lead to stillbirth.

Almost 1 in 160 cases are these stillbirths observed. Reduce the risk of these miscarriages or stillbirth by not laying on your back.

Check Different Safe Positions to Sleep During Pregnancy?

As the pregnancy advances, it will not be easy to find a comfy position to sleep in. Also, turning over in bed will turn to be a tough task as the pregnancy progresses. Therefore, foreseeing this, it is better to establish a practice of sleeping on your side from the first trimester onwards. Lying on one side, more likely on the left side, by curling the knees, is most likely the comfiest and safe posture for the whole pregnancy.

Sleeping On Your Left: 

  • As you enter your second or third trimesters, you are advised to sleep to your left. This posture will help the placenta to get maximum blood flow and nutrients. 
  • Problems of swelling of feet decrease if you sleep on your left.
  • Seek the help of the pillows or prop yourself up by using recliners as per the comfort. 


As pregnant women enter the third trimester, doctors and the research suggest avoiding lying on the back. Ensure you are not staying on your back for extended periods. Occasionally, you can relax on your back. Sleeping on the sides helps to increase the blood flow to the placenta.


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