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Here's why you should not sleep on your back during pregnancy

Here is how you should be sleeping during your pregnancy.

Written by Debjani Arora |Published : May 16, 2016 5:29 PM IST

It might seem just fine to sleep on your back during the initial months of your pregnancy when your belly isn t big enough. But the same might not be possible during mid-pregnancy or just as you enter your second trimester when your belly starts growing. The reason is simple, lying straight on your back might put pressure on the major organs by the uterus. Most often, the uterus puts pressure on the nerves (vena cava) that brings blood back from the lower body to the upper body.

Apart from this, lying straight for an extended period can also exert pressure on the major organs like the heart and lungs, which would lead to less nutrient and oxygen supply to the baby. Your bulging uterus also presses on your spine, intestine and other major blood vessels. This could, in turn, lead to lower back pain or even pain in the hips. If you wake up after lying on your back for the entire night, it can also make you dizzy in the morning.

This is a reason why a change in position is recommended during pregnancy so that it gives you optimum rest and keeps your baby safe. In fact, sleeping on your sides is recommended during pregnancy, preferably on your left side. Sleeping on your left side helps the baby to get more oxygen and blood supply through the placenta. With time, most mothers feel that this position is ideal for them to sleep and gives them maximum comfort. However, if you are not comfortable with this position try to tuck in a pillow between your legs to make yourself more comfortable. Also, you can tuck in a small pillow underneath your abdomen for better belly support.

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In case, you feel like sleeping on your back, prop up pillows on your bed to sleep in a reclining position and be in that position just for a brief period. After you rest for a while, change the position to your side. Also, sleeping during pregnancy can become fragmented due to some issues discomfort, frequent urination, indigestion, etc. Remember restful sleep during pregnancy is still a necessity and try to adjust yourself to this sleeping position to benefit both, you and your baby.


Sabino, J., & Grauer, J. N. (2008). Pregnancy and low back pain. Current reviews in musculoskeletal medicine, 1(2), 137-141.

Image source: Shuterstock

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