Sleeping Position In Pregnancy – Which Side Is Safer?

Sleeping Position In Pregnancy - Which Side Is Safer?

One of the hardest things about pregnancy, is trying to get a good night’s sleep. You’re hot and sweaty, uncomfortable, your hips are aching, and your heartburn gets worse when you lie down.You end up wedged in with no fewer than fifteen pillows holding you in place, only to realise you need a wee as soon as you’ve turned the light off. On the rare occasions you are tired enough to overcome all of these sleep hurdles, the baby starts doing acrobatics and using your bladder as a trampoline. So, with all of that in mind, I’m now going to (hesitantly and politely) tell you about the best way to sleep during pregnancy. Please don’t throw anything at the screen in anger, I’m just trying to help.

Sleeping On Your Tummy During Pregnancy

During the early stages of pregnancy, it’s fine to sleep on your tummy. By the time it becomes dangerous to your baby, you will be too uncomfortable doing it anyway! Trying to sleep on your belly at eight months pregnant would be a sight fit for any touring circus.

Sleeping On Your Back During Pregnancy

You don’t really need to worry about your sleeping position at all during your first trimester. Once you’re into the second trimester though, you’ll need to avoid sleeping on your back. When you lie on your back, your uterus puts pressure on the vein that returns blood to your heart. If you lie in this position for long periods, this could restrict the amount of blood and nutrients that reach your placenta and baby. It could also leave you feeling dizzy and nauseous.

Sleeping On Your Right Hand Side During Pregnancy

Lying on your right hand side is much better than sleeping on your front or back during the later stages of pregnancy, but is still not as good as sleeping on your left. This is because, sleeping on your right hand side can puts pressure on your liver which most Doctors would prefer you to avoid.

Sleeping On Your Left Hand Side During Pregnancy

Doctors and midwives recommend sleeping on your left hand side. This position prevents the heavy uterus putting pressure on your liver, and continues to allow the baby to receive the right amount of nutrients and oxygen through the placenta. In fact, not only does this position not restrict blood flow, it actually improves circulation which means your body won’t have to work as hard to ensure you have optimal blood flow for you and your baby.

A study in Auckland, New Zealand, found that sleeping on the left hand side on the last night of pregnancy, halved the risk of stillbirth. Since you don’t usually know when your last night of pregnancy will be, it’s best to sleep on your left hand side during the later stages of pregnancy, just in case.

Don’t worry if you do as you’re told, and make sure you fall asleep on your left hand side, only to wake up on your right. There’s nothing you can do to stop yourself turning over in your sleep (although for lots of you, the giant bump might help out with that!) so don’t get upset or worry about it. As long as you spend most of the night on your left, you should be ok, so each time you wake up on your right, simply (or with the help of your partner and some kind of pulley system) turn back onto your left before you go back to sleep.

Having A Good Nights Sleep During Pregnancy

For the toss and turners amongst you, pregnancy can be very restrictive. When you’re over tired and uncomfortable, it can be frustrating to know you need to stay in one position all night, and this can make it harder to get to sleep. To prevent that from happening, and to ensure you get a good night’s sleep, there are some things you can do. Try having a relaxing bath before bed, this will calm you down and help you to feel rested. Drinking a hot drink, like a fruit tea, will also help you to feel relaxed. If you’re suffering from pelvic girdle pain, or general aches and pains, ask your partner to give you a massage just before you go to sleep. Hopefully this should rid you of the discomfort long enough for you to fall asleep.

Last Updated: February 23, 2015



  1. I’m 33 weeks and it’s so hard for me to sleep 😴 πŸ˜ͺ πŸ˜ͺ πŸ˜ͺ πŸ˜ͺ πŸ˜ͺ πŸ™€ πŸ™€ πŸ™€ my favorite position is on my tummy no matter what way I sleep my back be killing me!!!!!!!!

  2. I am a tummy sleeper but also toss and turn a lot. So sleeping just on my left side has been a challenge. What helps me is when I first lay down I lay on my right side just for a few minutes and then switch to the left for my full nights sleep. Kind of trick myself into thinking I am not being restricted. Just dont fall asleep before you turn over πŸ˜€ I am 39 weeks and anxiously awaiting our first child, a (already very active) little boy!

    1. I’m early in my pregnancy(going into my 2nd trimester ) and I do the same when going to bed. I lay on one side and then switch. Boy when I get up there it’s going to be hard. That’s the only way I can fall asleep now!!!

  3. I am 25weeks and I find it’s frustrate that the only way feel comfortable is sleeping on my back and right side :'(. Though it hurt my back but I can’t resist. :'(

  4. I also toss and turn a lot. I try so hard to sleep on my left side but everytime I wake up I find myself either sleeping on my back or right side. and sleeping is the most uncomfortable part of my pregnancy.

    #39 weeks preggo and can’t wait to meet our first baby

  5. I followed all the rules and slept on my left hand side, and according to my doctors this is what cause blood clots all down my left leg, causing me to be hospitalised. I am more prone to clotting since we have a family history of it but I would check this out ladies. Hope everyone has a great pregnancy!!!

    1. I am also struggling to get a good nights rest,whether i start of sleeping on the right ,then left…., wish there was an option of putting the belly aside at night

    2. I know how you feel. I can never fall asleep because I’m always too hot or cold or have to go to the bathroom. And my partner and I sleep on a twin bed at the moment (I’m 33 weeks and 4 days and I’m huge) so he always had me pressed against the wall in his sleep so I can’t move. Just lay there trying to breathe. I can’t sleep well until he leaves for work (about 7 am). Needless to say, I was so mad when his ain’t woke me up yesterday before 1 pm.

  6. with all three of my pregnancy I slept on my back only way I could sleep. My olders is 9 my youngest is 5 months. All births was good children was a
    Good birth weight.

  7. I find sleeping on my right side is the most comfortable for me. It hurts to sleep on my left side. Any suggestions on how to make the left side more comfortable?

    1. Hia, im 34 weeks now. I cant sleep on my left either and wake up crying cause of sore ribs on left so have to roll over to my right. Have you had your baby yet? How did you manage with sleeping in the end? Still happier on tour right?

    1. Am 30weeks old and really finds it difficult being on just my left. I toss both left and right and most times with my back to feel myself at times. They say seeing your partner lying with your back is not all that good, but thats how i enjoy it most. Please any solution?

  8. From early in my pregnancy I find myself sleeping on my right side if I turn on the left when I realize I’m back on my right it’s the only way I fell comfortable and I have no complications whatso ever I’m hoping for a girl

  9. I’m in the 2nd trimester of my pregnancy, and lying on my back was give me pain on it.and also lying on the right side makes me feel numb. Lying on the left side was the best position for me, but I can’t sleep as well.

  10. I’m currently 28 weeks pregnant and have found that I need to rotate between sleeping on my left and right otherwise during the night I wake up and my hip feels like its on fire. I’ve also woken up to find myself half on my tummy half on my side, but have never noticed any discomfort

  11. 38 weeks and I have so many issues, I sleep on both sides but still cant get comfortable…ITS CRAZY ANNOYING!!!!!!! Everything hurts on my body! I even have a body pillow, and sleep with a heating pad! Also im 1cm dilated and baby is head down, feeling really bad tighting in my low area, maybe shes ready to come!!!

  12. I have always slept on my back or tummy but since being pregnant I’m taking every bit of info in from midwife and baby books. By god I’m 7 months pregnant now and wot I would give to get a goodnight a sleep because it’s really niggling now laying on my left side my whole body aches!! suppose it the joys of becoming a mummy plenty more restless nights before I’m done

  13. im on the 12th week of pregnancy and sometimes i cry myself till morning cause im having terrible insomnias.. ive been awake for hours almost days.. and also i have heartburn a terrible morning sickness and backaches.. i cant do anything but cry.. πŸ™

    1. so sorry your going through that , I’m in the same boat as you. I am 11 weeks and have been sick since week 4 , nothing seems to help not even the medication, I looked up ways to help alleviate it and what has helped me is deep breathing method and acupressure for the nausea and eating really small meals, ginger candies , mint gum and I don’t know if your religious but prayer has comforted me as well , just know your not alone and hope it gets better.

  14. I currently have a very sore left shoulder, so I cannot sleep on my left side atm. I’m scared to sleep on ny right or my back but it hurts too much on left and ill wake up crying in pain just for trying. I’m only 15 weeks n 4 days pregnant with my first.

  15. Good one, it’s just that it always hurt sleeping on my left side. The only comfortable position is my right side and sometimes on my back. I just hope and pray it won’t affect my first ever baby. Am in my 28 weeks.

  16. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been one to sleep on my stomach, now I’m 20 weeks and it hurts.. Even sleeping on my right side or my back seems to keep me up all night.
    I sleep on my left side now, and every morning I wake up I find it hard to roll out of bed without my stomach feeling like it weights 500 pounds, and is being jabbed..

  17. am 38weeks and cant sleep on my right side…totally.on my back ifeel like i dont breath….but the gudness is its not a lifetime thing…soon i wil.b a happy mom…take heart my dears it wil b over soon

  18. I tried sleeping on my right side and it was so uncomfortable I cant sleep like that anymore. I cant really say its a pain when I do, but it gets ti a point of me scared to.

  19. Now this is my 38th week of each and every night i am unable to sleep properly.from the beginning of my pregnancy itself i used to sleep at the right side.nw my belly becomes too big.if i sleep at the same side for a long time i feel a great pain in my thigh.and if i sleep at the left side for a long time i could have the feel of pushing the baby and creates a fear in me.wil it affect the child’s growth and movement.?

  20. Am 32wks gone,find it uncomfortable sleepin on my left side;everytime I attempt,after a while my ribs begin to hurt.about sleepin on my back,someone said its not the best,that d chord will go round my baby’s neck.How true is it?

  21. I don’t really have anyone to talk to about this but I’m almost 18 weeks and the only way I sleep is if I’m sleeping on my right side. So am I going to hurt my baby?

  22. My doctor told me that despite popular discourse, sleeping on either side is fine. I am 25 weeks and slept on my tummy until 20 weeks.

  23. Im 38weeks now and having a hard time sleeping every night..i usually sleep on my left side as they told me its the better position..but lately its been uncomfortable especially on my right side..theres no way i can get back aches plus d baby keeps on kicking and moving sometimes its! ☹️ How can i sleep now? No way,really!!!!

  24. I’m 33 weeks and classed as at risk. Sleeping has been a major issue since the beginning of my pregnancy. I’ve not really been bothered about my sleep positions till now. I’m trying to adopt sleeping on my left following others advice that it’s beneficial but my left side is becoming numb. Has anyone experienced this? Wishing you all a safe and healthy delivery

  25. I’m 8weeks pregnant and I stay in bed day and night, if I get up I feel nauseated,and straight to vomiting. I only can handle eat a biscuit,avocado,and strawberries. I slept on my back then giving me a heartburn, I can’t sleep on my right otherwise I can smell my hubby. I slept/on my back/left. My 4weeks pregnant is worse I vomit 24hrs and can’t eat without medication for nausea. Is it safe to stay in bed 24hrs?

  26. I’m 34 weeks and 2nd days. Ive taken ambien for abt 10years now.. It helps get u to sleep but I struggle w always having to sleep on my left side all the time…I havew already had neck and hip surgery which makes it hard on me!! But i am tryin my best to do what’s best for baby boy!! Love everyone’s post! God bless and best wishes

  27. I slept on my right side throughout my whole pregnancy and everything was perfectly fine my baby was/is perfectly healthy and my body/organs are healthy as well my doctor told me since I was an “active” sleeper aka tossing and turning throughout sleep it was perfectly fine to sleep on my right side, just to let the tossing and turning pregnant ladies know

  28. Am 25 week and I sleep on my left but keep turning on my right it hard to stay one way for the whole night got cramps in my leg as well it pains me a lot I keep waking up true the night

  29. Im 36 weeks pregnant and it is very difficult for me to sleep in night , when I try to sleep on left hand my righy leg Pain start and same thing happened if i sleep on right. Now im reaΔΊy worried how i will get sleep for 8-9 hrs … there any other way to complete my sleeping hours

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