Are you in the first, second or third trimester and struggling with your sleeping position? During pregnancy, most women do not find a perfect sleeping position . In this article, we will offer you the best sleeping position for pregnant women. With several changes in your body, nothing should separate you from having enough rest. However, realizing the right sleeping position of a pregnant woman will facilitate a smooth nine month journey.

Read on and choose the position that will perfectly suit you during this awesome journey of pregnancy.

What is the best sleeping position for a pregnant woman?

The pregnancy journey is divided into three trimesters and as the pregnancy progresses, the sleeping positions tend not to be comfortable at all. We have given the best position in each trimester.

1. Best sleeping position during the first trimester (0-12weeks)

Sleep is a very essential aspect to the human health; therefore it is common sense that lack of adequate sleep may harm your baby. Majority of women experiences extraordinary sleep during this stage especially during the day due to rapid hormonal and physical changes in their bodies. Below are the recommended sleeping positions for a pregnant woman in her first trimester.

Sleeping on side

Biologically, sleeping on side pressurizes your internal organs such as the liver. However, sleeping on your left side is preferred for pregnant women since it enhances adequate blood flow and circulation, allowing necessary nutrients to reach the placenta. Do not condemn yourself when you find yourself sleeping on the right side or on your back since it’s also necessary to shift your weight; though ensure you spend a larger part of your sleep on your left.

Sleeping on your back/on your stomach

During this stage, a pregnant woman may sleep on their back or on their tummy since the belly is still tiny and there are fewer and unnoticed developments compared to other advanced stages. A number of women are yet to realize their pregnant condition during the stage, confusing their state to a normal body discomfort

Best sleeping position during the second trimester (12-24weeks)

During the second trimester, a pregnant woman may enjoy sleeping since; the hormones have settled, and the uterus has moved up from the pelvic region reducing the pressure in the bladder, which caused frequent trips to the washroom during the first trimester. However the below reasons may keep her awake. Similarly, realizing the best position of a pregnant woman while sleeping will help handle conditions such as;

Constipation, congestion, continuous heart burns, leg cramps, weird dreams among others.
The baby movements intensify during this stage. Any pregnant mother can spend a better part of their night listening and monitoring these magical kicks.
Your baby anxiety may disrupt your sleep. It is in this stage a portion of expectant mothers settles on carrying a gender scan. Some may spend a whole night worrying about giving birth to a physically challenged baby among others.

During this stage a pregnant woman are advised to sleep with their knees up for comfort. Other adjustments for comfort purposes are made my repositioning your pillow. For instance;

You may place a pillow between your legs to support your knees up
Place your pillow under your tummy in case of a back pain
Adjust your pillow position any time you feel congested (struggle while breathing)
Elevate your head with the special pillow to reduce nausea
The experts recommend sleeping on your left-side for your baby’s health. Get used to the position even though it’s discomforting. Remember, you’re not doing this for your lifetime but for a few months

Best sleeping positions during the third semester (24-40weeks)

Your belly is now very enlarged, and you have acquired a special walking style. The good news is that soon will hold your bundle of joy. At this stage, you will tackle all the issues that disrupted your sleep during the second semester though very intense. The frequent visit to the washroom will resume since your large belly is now pressurizing your bladder. During this stage, you will also experience false labor as your baby prepares to come. This implies; it will be quite difficult to catch a glimpse of sleep due to all the discomforts. However, you may apply the below tips to have catch some sleep .

Always remember to sleep on your left side for the safety of your baby.
Avoid tight sleeping wear; Invest on night wares made of cotton fabrics.
Sleep where comfortable. For instance; if you find yourself having a good sleep on your comfy couch, spend your nights there.
Avoid spicy foods to manage constipation and heart burns.
Try taking a warm bath before going to bed to relax your body and your mind. You can also try taking a cup of hot drink to keep yourself warm and increase your digestion rate. Other useful sleeping aids are;
Use of special pillows

The special pillows are placed at the knee level between your legs to support your belly. In case of frequent heart burn, placing a wedge pillow to elevate your head will be useful since it will prevent the acid from flowing upwards. Sometimes as you progress you will require some special full body pillows or curved pillows to support your enlarged belly.

Monitoring your meal schedule

To prevent nausea, avoid large portions of meals some minutes before sleeping. Taking food rich in proteins in small portions during the day may prevent frequent headaches, unpleasant dreams and sweating at night. However it will be better if you monitor the kind of diets that works best in your condition.

Having an adequate sleep

Adequate sleep is highly recommended to pregnant women. Ensure nothing prevents you from taking at least thirty minutes sleep in the afternoons to ensure you have enough rest daily.


Surprisingly, proper exercises are associated to smooth delivery and also facilitate having good sleep.

Enough massage

A gentle massage on your foot and neck also keeps a pregnant woman relaxed and active. If you cannot afford regular visits to the massage parlor, let your partner or friend do it to you frequently. It’s good for your unborn baby.

Bad sleeping position for a pregnant woman

Sleeping on your back

It’s argued that sleeping on your back during the second semester and the third trimesters, puts extra pressure on the blood vessel, spinal cord and on your back due to the enlarged belly. This may cause severe back pain and a drop blood pressure which may contribute to conditions such as dizziness and vertigo. Dr Nathaniel Adewole a gynecologist at the University of Teaching Hospital also argued that, biologically, sleeping on your back during the late stages of pregnancy may expose your baby to brain problems. This is due to the reason that, on that position, the unborn baby rests against the inferior venacava that supplies blood to the heart. If the baby rests on it, there will be inadequate blood circulation to both the baby and the mother. He insisted that, even while giving birth, a mother should not lie on that position to avoid such complications. However it is advisable to avoid the position

Sleeping on your tummy

Mothers who find comfort while sleeping on their stomachs can enjoy it once the belly is tiny (first trimester) because when the belly grows and the baby develops, sleeping on that position may put some extra pressure on your baby, which may affect its formation negatively. However, some care givers do discourage the position, but argues on positioning a pillow below the belly for comfort. But why risk while you can adapt to the recommended position (left-side) for the safety of your baby?


This content is not intended to replace any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Everything under this content is intended to offer general information to pregnant women or other interested parties about the topic.