Safe Sleep During Pregnancy

Pregnancy and poor sleep often go hand-in-hand. But just because you’re pregnant, you don’t need to count on disrupted sleep. Work with your healthcare provider and use some simple strategies for safe shut-eye.

Get your shuteye

As your baby grows in your uterus, you shouldn’t lie on your back. This position puts pressure on the inferior vena cava. This is a major vein that returns blood from your lower body to your heart. This extra pressure on your back and intestines can cause discomfort.  You should also avoid sleeping on your stomach during pregnancy. This would put too much pressure on your baby.

Experts say that you should sleep on your side during pregnancy, especially the left side. It’s thought that this allows for the most blood flow to your baby. It may also improve your kidney function. If your kidneys work better, this may help reduce swelling.

Place a pillow between your knees to help you sleep more comfortably on your side. If possible, start sleeping on your side by about 20 weeks or 5 months. But don’t worry if you wake up on your back. Just change positions and go back to sleep.

Online Medical Reviewer: Bowers, Nancy, RN, BSN, MPHFoley, Maryann, RN, BSN

Date Last Reviewed: 4/27/2016

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