They come in U or C shapes and wrap around your entire body to help with side sleeping. There’s a lot you may worry about during your pregnancy. At the end of pregnancy, a woman's uterus and the baby take up a large portion of the body. When the mother experiences hypotension, the placenta’s blood supply is reduced, leading the fetus to receive less oxygen. And, if something horrible happens, it's difficult to convince women that it wasn't somehow their fault," Fox said. If you have dizziness and severe pain that radiates up to the shoulder, get to an emergency room. 12 reasons why you're tired -- and how to fight them. About one-third also underwent a sleep study where their positions were recorded, Silver said. As the baby grows, this improves circulation by preventing the pressure of the uterus from resting on the veins, back, and internal organs. You … My placenta in my 4D ultrasound is located at the left posterolateral area with edge of 5cm from the internal OS (Grade 2 maturity) beside of my baby's head close to my cervix. Last medically reviewed on February 28, 2020. If side sleeping isn’t your thing, here are some suggestions for how to make it feel more natural or at least comfortable. If a woman lies flat on her back during labor, it's possible to compress blood vessels underneath. Previous studies asked women who'd had stillbirth to try to recall how they slept while pregnant. Here’s our process. Dr. Sharp: But if they're on their back, they shouldn't lose sleep over it. At that point, your bump may be growing a bit bigger, making this position less and less desirable. Here are eight solutions that will help you sleep better. After that, you may have heard that studies link sleeping the whole night on your back to stillbirth. It doesn’t matter, right or left, sleeping in the sideways position is often painful. A case control study such as this is useful for looking at outcomes that are relatively rare, such as stillbirth. Twenty-two percent of women in the study had these outcomes. Right now, side sleeping is safest for your baby. Regular pillows may work just fine for you, or try one of the many pillows that are made specifically for pregnant women. Most women are not comfortable sleeping on their side, with the hip and shoulder pointing to the ceiling. One of the biggest complaints pregnant women suffer from is having a good night sleep. According to the largest study about maternal sleep position and risk of stillbirth , women who suffered a stillbirth were 2.3 times more likely to have slept on their backs. Left is best. Why is this exactly? The intervention may seem simple or benign, but it can potentially inconvenience a lot of people. So, if left is ideal — should you avoid the right side? Hip pain is a common complaint during pregnancy, and most women experience some degree of hip and back pain during the later stages of pregnancy 2. Ectopic pregnancy can causes pregnant pain on left side. and often find yourself on your back, consider placing a wedge pillow behind you. This position has also been shown to enhance blood flow to your organs. Whatever one you choose, the idea is that you get some shut-eye on your stomach while giving your baby (and you) plenty of room to breathe. But Fox explained that it's difficult for people to remember what they did in the past, and even more so after a tragedy like stillbirth. And as your belly grows week after week, you may be adding sleep positions to your list of concerns. The most popular reasons that affect the quality or lack of sleep of a pregnant woman. The new study was designed differently. Beyond that, you might try using some pillow props to get into the most comfortable position for you. However, I have been sleeping on both sides as I find I get achey sleeping on one side for too long (am currently 30 weeks pregnant) and I only find sleeping on my back is bad as it makes me feel a bit sick. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Because your liver is on the right side of your abdomen, lying on your left side helps keep the uterus off that large organ. Sleeping on your left side during pregnancy can help improve blood circulation for both you and your baby, which might help with cramping legs. And if you want to be a little, well, extra, you could consider getting an orthopedic knee pillow that’s made of memory foam. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. I'm 32 weeks pregnant and for some reason, my pregnancy is sensitive. I have a low lying placenta. Should you worry if you wake up on your back in the middle of the night? His editorial concluded: "This harm to women already suffering from sadness and despair must not be minimized.". Can belly shape in pregnancy predict you’re having a boy? All rights reserved. Lying on your back is safe, but it may not feel good. All rights reserved. He noted public health campaigns encouraging women to sleep on their left side during pregnancy. But if you want to get into the habit of favoring your side, try simply slipping a pillow between your legs. Yet when researchers compared these pregnancy complications to a woman's sleep position, they didn't find a link. Sleeping in any position is generally fine early on. Not necessarily. Doctors recommend resting on your side — right or left — to give you and your baby the optimal blood flow. "And we [the medical community] need to be cautious when giving recommendations about what to do in everyday life. Doctors also recommend sleeping on your left side to help with insomnia or other sleep issues during pregnancy. Well, there is no particular way to suggest how to sleep on your left side. We include products we think are useful for our readers. To make this position more comfortable, you may consider purchasing a stomach sleeping pillow. You can stick them under your belly and behind your back to keep yourself from rolling. Related: How to kick insomnia in early pregnancy. The latent phase of labor comes before the active labor stage. Besides comfort, though, there isn’t much to worry about if you somehow find yourself on your stomach. It carries blood to your heart and, in turn, to your baby. "Women should try to sleep in whatever position is most comfortable for them," Fox said. "It's hard to forecast the outcome of such recommendations where people have good intentions, like preventing stillbirth. What Are the Symptoms of Antepartum Depression and How Is It Treated? Your sleep position doesn’t need to be top of the list. It also keeps pressure off your liver. It may feel a bit like you’re trying to sleep atop a watermelon. It is best not to sleep flat on your back. Related: Your guide to sleeping on your back during pregnancy. There is a known phenomenon that can limit blood flow during labor if a woman lies flat on her back, explained Dr. Nathan Fox, associate clinical professor in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. The research is being published in the October issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology and ahead of print online Sept. 10. This may ease discomfort in your hips and lower body as you adjust. It may make you feel lightheaded or dizzy. Sleeping On Your Back. Specially designed pillows are so coveted by pregnant women because as your belly grows, there are fewer ideal positions to sleep in. We'll tell you what to expect, from how long it lasts to how to relieve the pain. The third trimester is a time of great anticipation. Researchers and scientists are of the opinion that sleeping on your left will prevent any damage to the foetus, so try sleeping on your left side. Place pillows between your legs and behind your back; full-body and wedge pillows, in particular, are a pregnant woman’s best friend. That 2019 study review showed equal safety with sleeping on the left and right sides. That way, when you try to roll onto your back, you’ll stop at an angle that will still allow blood to flow and nourish your baby. By the way, you may have heard that what side you sleep on indicates the sex of your baby. Photo credit: Nathan Haniger for BabyCenter Sleeping on your side is the best position for you and your baby during pregnancy, especially once you're more than halfway through. Otherwise try sleeping in a recliner or other comfy … Frequent urination; Before you get too worried, understand that the studies are small and there may be other factors, like sleep apnea or recall bias, at play here. How to Sleep on the Left Side During Pregnancy. Just over 8,700 women were asked at several points during pregnancy about their sleep positions. As well, some experts at the Cleveland Clinic point out that it may only be sleeping an entire night on your back that’s dangerous, which is nearly impossible with all the bathroom trips and insomnia you may be experiencing. It boils down to blood flow. You can use pillows under your belly, between your legs, and behind your back if you like. Arrange other pillows under your belly and behind your back for extra comfort and support. Sleeping on your left side also takes the pressure off your liver and your kidneys. Lie on whichever side feels best (and switch throughout the night), though experts recommend lying on the left side to allows optimal blood flow to the placenta. These studies can’t be completely discounted. We'll tell you why and offer some alternatives for pain. If you lie on your side, you’ll put undue pressure on organs like your liver. SOURCES: Robert Silver, M.D., chairman, obstetrics and gynecology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City; Nathan Fox, M.D., associate clinical professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, and vice president, Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates, New York City; Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter. I think women have been having babies for millennia, and it's only in recent years fuss has been made about sleeping a certain way. Unfortunately, this is just another urban legend you should take with a grain of salt. That's because being pregnant requires that you drink more water for the developing fetus. Antepartum depression is depression while you're pregnant, and it's more common than you may think. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Wondering if you can sleep on your stomach during pregnancy? Making sleep more difficult in pregnancy may have an impact on a woman's health. In fact, it might be better for you; not getting enough sleep may be much worse for pregnancy outcomes than the slight risk of … As your belly grows, you’ll want to make sure your mattress is somewhat firm so your back doesn’t sag. If you simply can’t get used to sleeping on your side, try using pillows to prop your upper body at a 45-degree angle. Your guide to sleeping on your back during pregnancy, Your Guide to Sleeping on Your Back While Pregnant, The Third Trimester of Pregnancy: Pain and Insomnia, Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI, What to Expect When You’re in the Latent (Early) Phase of Labor, Pregnancy Snacks for Your Cravings and Challenges. If yours is too soft, you might consider slipping a board between your mattress and box spring. Side sleeping is the best position during pregnancy, whether it’s the first 12 weeks or last 12 days. TUESDAY, Sept. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women are often told to sleep on their left side to reduce the risk of stillbirth, but new research suggests they can choose whatever position is most comfortable through most of the pregnancy. If you find them a bit cumbersome with your growing belly, investigate wedge pillows. 11 foods and beverages to avoid during pregnancy. Therefore, pregnant women should practice to sleep on left side since the beginning of pregnancy. Turn Left. Ectopic Pregnancy. There’s a very slight risk of compression issues with the IVC when you sleep on the right, but it’s mostly a matter of where you’re most comfortable. You can also hug a full length body pillow for extra comfort. Sleeping on the left side also improves circulation to the heart and allows for the best blood flow to the fetus, uterus, and kidneys. Continue using a pregnancy pillow for support. During the first trimester, pregnant women tend to sleep a … However, if sleeping on your back for some time makes you comfortable, go for it by all means. This can cause severe abdominal pain on one side. A few tips to help you sleep better: You don’t like sleeping on your side. Here are some details about the process, including how…. This position is especially uncomfortable during pregnancy as side sleeping can cause some significant side-ache pain. It allows perfect passage of blood and nutrients to your baby. Whether you're looking to satisfy your craving for sweets or trying to battle constant nausea or heartburn, we've got you covered with more than 30…, If you're wondering how to become a surrogate, we applaud you for your desire to help others. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s what you need to know about taking Unisom and other sleep aids during pregnancy. Sleeping on your left side has long since been considered the ideal sleep position during pregnancy, as sleeping on your back especially during the last trimester has been linked to stillbirth. You position the pillow so that it runs along your back and then hug the front while simultaneously slipping it between your knees. Many providers tell pregnant women to sleep on the left side. Also, the journal PLOS indicates that sleeping on the back has higher risks of getting stillbirths. If you’re especially concerned about your sleeping position, you may even ask your partner to check on you from time to time and help nudge you into a better position. You might also be surprised to hear that sleeping on your left side is superior to sleeping on the right during pregnancy. While sleeping, finding a comfortable posture is more important. Those studies found a significant link between certain sleep positions, such as on the back, and stillbirth. The uterine walls and amniotic fluid protect your baby from being squished. The participants were also carefully selected and well matched, which improves the chances that these findings can be applied to the wider population of pregnant women. Having a sound sleep is what you should look for. If you’re a solid sleeper (lucky you!) I'm 34 weeks and I pretty much only sleep on my right side, I have an anterior placenta and its on my right side so I don't feel baby on that side..whenever I try to sleep on my left she kicks and pushes that side like no tomorrow (I don't think she likes me sleeping on that side either haha) do what feels right for you, as long as you're on your side you're fine. Alternatively, you can try elevating the head of your bed a couple inches with books or blocks. This way, you’re not flat on your back and you take the compression off your IVC. Taking ibuprofen in pregnancy isn't a good idea. However, sleeping on the left side is still often referred to as the ideal scenario during pregnancy. Silver said this research needs to be done in later pregnancy to see if the results are the same. Switching sides would allow the baby to explore the pelvic landscape better. A wealth of research shows that left side sleeping is the best sleeping position for you and the fetus in later pregnancy. This means more room to function properly, helping with swelling issues in your hands, ankles, and feet. Consider what is the evidence supporting that recommendation.". Sleeping on your left side is often referred to as the “ideal” scenario during pregnancy. Soak in all the sleep you can before your baby is born. Silver said the study didn't include women past 30 weeks, so researchers can't make any definitive statements about the last weeks of pregnancy. Stomach sleeping is OK until you reach about weeks 16 to 18. Other…. Here are a few other positioning tips to help you get more comfortable and protect your baby while you sleep during pregnancy: Related: 11 foods and beverages to avoid during pregnancy. This study found that not sleeping on the left side during the last night of pregnancy was associated with a higher risk of stillbirth.The researchers used an appropriate study design to investigate their theory. It is believed that during throughout your pregnancy, sleeping on your left side is probably the best. Some doctors specifically recommend that pregnant women sleep on the left side. Understanding Best Sleeping Positions During Third Trimester. "We can reassure women that through 30 weeks of pregnancy, different sleep positions are safe," said study lead author Dr. Robert Silver, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Doctors generally recommend sleeping on your side during pregnancy, especially as time goes on. But if you sleep on your left side, it will allow blood flow to the baby to be swift. Researchers looked for a number of adverse pregnancy outcomes, including stillbirth, high blood pressure disorders, and having a baby small for its gestational age. Sleeping in the same position during the whole night will not be comfortable, so need to change the position from this side to the other, but more left side lying is still the best way to have good health for both mother and baby. In the end, not sleeping on your back may lower your risk of stillbirth after 28 weeks by 5.8 percent. You’ll probably find side sleeping is most comfortable when you bend your knees and place a pillow in between them. You may also want to look into pregnancy pillows. Here’s some help wading through the myths and facts related to sleep positions during pregnancy and how the way you rest affects the health of your baby and you. TUESDAY, Sept. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women are often told to sleep on their left side to reduce the risk of stillbirth, but new research … Why have women been encouraged to sleep on their left sides, particularly since sleeping during pregnancy can already be uncomfortable and difficult? That could lead to decreased circulation and a drop in the baby's heart rate. The evidence for this connection is mounting. In a few short weeks, your little one will finally be here. "A number of studies have suggested that sleeping on one's back during late pregnancy may be associated with a higher risk for stillbirth," Pien said. Some of the symptoms during the third…, Dry mouth during pregnancy is a common complaint. ... but how to fall asleep if there are a number of factors that prevent sleeping in search of comfortable pregnancy sleeping positions. Although sleeping on your back while pregnant is generally safe, the position can feel uncomfortable and may cause avoidable health problems. Leg cramps, heartburn, back pain, frequent need to urinate, insomnia and the increase size of the belly make sleeping uncomfortable. Although your … But the good news is that a 2019 review of medical studies found that either side is fine — really. If you have an otherwise healthy pregnancy and absolutely can’t sleep on your left, rolling over to the right is probably nothing to worry about, Pien said. Related: Can belly shape in pregnancy predict you’re having a boy? Lie on your left side with your knees bent and put a pillow between your knees. Past researchers suspected that maybe a similar thing happens in women who have stillbirth, when a fetus dies in the womb. I can't sleep on my left - my baby is breech and he keeps sticking his head out from under my ribs on the left, so I sleep on my right to avoid squashing the poor little chap. For more pregnancy guidance and weekly tips tailored to your due date, sign up for our I’m Expecting newsletter. Dr. Miller: So it sounds like women that are pregnant beyond 20 weeks should start out lying on their side, try to sleep on their side, but if they wake up and they're on their back, don't worry about it. Sleeping on the left side during pregnancy – uncomfortable or not? Get comfy on your left side by placing a pillow between your legs, a pillow under your belly, and a pillow or a rolled up towel behind your back. Know the symptoms and how to get help. There are many websites that tell you that the left side is best to sleep on during pregnancy. This is for the following reasons: One of the smaller research studies, from Auckland, New Zealand, showed that women who sleep on their left side on the last night of pregnancy halved their risk of stillbirth compared to those who slept on their right. If your left hip becomes too uncomfortable, it is OK to switch to your right side for a while. Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the best sleeping position during pregnancy is known as "SOS", or "sleep on side." Some are inflatable and some are more like a firm pillow with a large cutout for your belly. You sure can — at least for a while. And consult with your doctor if you have other questions about which position is best. The egg fails to make the trip into the uterus, becomes fertilized in the tube, implants in the tube and begins to grow. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. On the other side, doctors also suggest that, if you find it uncomfortable to sleep on your left throughout the night, you can roll over and sleep on your back or right side for sometime. To counteract this, women are positioned slightly to the side, said Fox, who coauthored an editorial published with the study. There are no studies to suggest that sleep position has any correlation to the sex of your baby. Sleeping on your back is generally considered safe throughout the first trimester. Many women experience insomnia during the first and last trimester of pregnancy. I believe sleeping on the left is slightly better due to how the blood flows to the placenta. At the same time, this position also keeps you from feeling all the undesirable symptoms of pregnancy. From steering clear of your favorite contact sports to shunning certain foods, the do’s and don’ts list of pregnancy can be a bit overwhelming. During pregnancy, it is important to avoid any kind of stress. Likely not — but it’s a good idea to try another position. Sleeping on your left side is often referred to as the “ideal” scenario during pregnancy. Plus, there are some other issues with sleeping on your back. This may not always be true, but doctors recommend all pregnant women to start sleeping on their left after first trimester to avoid the risk. This boils down to the fact that a left-side sleeping position allows for optimal blood flow from the inferior vena cava (IVC), which is a large vein that runs parallel to your spine on the right side. Sleeping on the left side also improves blood flow among the heart, fetus, uterus, and kidneys. This position may contribute to back pain, hemorrhoids, digestive issues, and poor circulation. Positioning yourself on the left side of your body allows for optimal blood flow from the inferior vena cava (IVC), which is a large vein that runs parallel to your spine on the right side.