Sleeping On Back During Pregnancy

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

pregnant women lying on back

Pregnancy brings so many changes to the body of a woman. You need to sleep well in this phase of your life. You have to be careful about your sleep position while sleeping. Bad sleeping postures may be harmful to your body in pregnancy. Many women love to sleep on their backs. Also, some may sleep on their side but end up waking on their back. Yet, after the first trimester, sleeping on your back will become difficult for you.

Moreover, doctors suggest you sleep on the left side instead of your back. Sleeping on your back in pregnancy can cause health problems. Here are some other pieces of important information about sleeping on your back in pregnancy. pregnancy pillow

In This Article

Is It Safe To Sleep On Back During Pregnancy?

Most women who love sleeping on their back will feel concerned about it during their pregnancy. Most doctors will suggest you not to sleep on your back in pregnancy. If you do that, then you could have to face some unavoidable health problems. Moreover, sleeping on your back in pregnancy will not be as comfortable as you feel when you are not pregnant.

You should know that sleeping on the backside is considered safe generally during pregnancy. However, sleeping on your left side will be a wise choice for comfortable and safe rest.

Can You Lay On Your Back On The Couch While Pregnant?

The general position of sleeping on a couch is belly up. If you do this in pregnancy, it brings certain health threats that you would want to avoid. Moreover, after the 20th week of your pregnancy, you should avoid sleeping on your back. The risk of stillbirth increases significantly if you are sleeping on your back in pregnancy.

This risk of health problems for your baby is not only applicable for sleeping on your back but also for sleeping on the right side. So, even if you lay on the couch in pregnancy, you should try and avoid sleeping on your back.

Can You Hurt The Baby By Sleeping On Your Back?

Most pregnant women fear sleeping on their back. They think it can hurt their baby. So, sleeping on your back is not the appropriate position to sleep in during pregnancy. However, if you are sleeping on your back during the first trimester will not harm your baby. But, after this period, if you sleep on your back periodically, then it can be harmful to your baby.

The belly-up sleeping position will make your abdomen rest on the important blood vessels and intestines. So, this sleeping position will become uncomfortable for you and your baby. Moreover, sleeping on your back will cause the following problems:

  • Breathing Problems
  • Backaches
  • Digestive Issues
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Low Blood Pressure

When Should You Stop Sleeping On Your Back When Pregnant?

After conceiving, you should start practicing a new sleep position. So, by the time you reach the 20th week of your pregnancy, you will feel comfortable even if you don’t sleep on your back. The vena cava, a major blood vessel that allows the blood to flow to your baby, will get compressed as you sleep on your back because of the pressure from the uterus. Because of this, you feel:

  • Nauseated
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breathing

Is It OK To Sleep On My Back In the Second Trimester?

If you are a back sleeper, then you should start practicing a new position for sleeping once you get pregnant. The reason for this is you cannot sleep on your back beyond the first trimester. You have to avoid complications during pregnancy. Sleeping on your back for a prolonged period can bring complications.

It can cause harm to your baby’s growth. Thus, you should avoid sleeping on your back after the first trimester. Roughly around the 20th-week mark of your pregnancy, you have to avoid sleeping on your back completely.

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

Unintentionally sleeping on your back while pregnant will not bring about serious harm to your baby. However, when you wake up on your back, just alter your position and go back to sleep. It is important to sleep as peacefully as possible during pregnancy.

What Is The Best Sleeping Position During Pregnancy?

At the time of pregnancy, you have to be very careful about your sleeping position. You want to make sure that you get adequate rest while sleeping. Also, your sleeping position should be comfortable. However, it should not cause any harm to your baby. For a back sleeper, it will be difficult to switch to another sleeping position. But, once you find out that you are pregnant, you should start practicing a different sleeping position.

You should sleep on either side of your back during pregnancy. However, your doctor is more likely to suggest you sleep on the left side rather than the right. The reason for this is the vena cava vessel is located around the right side of your spine. So, sleeping on the right side will stop the flow of blood to your baby. Sleeping on your left side will ensure smooth blood flow.

Wrapping Up

Therefore, if you usually sleep on your back, you can continue doing so during your first trimester. It is not unsafe during that phase of pregnancy. But as you get into the second trimester start used to sleeping on your side as your abdominal area is becoming heavier. Remember that lying on your back during the third trimester the risk of stillbirth doubles.

Before choosing your sleeping side, you need to consult with your doctor. You should convey any discomfort you are having with a particular sleeping posture to your doctor. Sleeping on your back is something that your doctor will not recommend after the first trimester

During pregnancy, whatever step you take should be done after a consultation with the doctor. The same should also be followed when you are choosing your sleeping posture. In case of any uncomfortable feeling while sleeping, never hesitate to share it with your doctor.


1. How Long Can I Lay On My Back While Pregnant?

You can rest on your back for brief periods of time if you are a healthy, fit pregnant woman. Try to limit it to no more than 5-10 minutes at a time. If it’s time to get up, your body will tell you. So listen to your body.

2. What Is The Healthiest Sleeping Position?

Sleeping on your side with a cushion or blanket between your knees is the most comfortable sleeping position. Those who suffer from neck or back discomfort may find that sleeping on their side alleviates their symptoms.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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