Pregnancy & Sleep: What To Expect And The Best Positions For You

You’ll find that during your pregnancy you’ll experience myriad exciting and new changes—from your growing bump to doctor’s visits galore, one of the things that sometimes gets forgotten about is: sleep. Metabolic changes, hormone shifts, and new aches and pains can lead to an increase in fatigue, but finding the right sleeping position during pregnancy can help get you the rest you need to support you and your growing baby.


The Best Sleep Position During Pregnancy

The best sleep position during pregnancy is to sleep on your side, and even better—try to sleep on your left side (right side sleepers or back sleepers, we’re sorry!) The reason? Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby.


What To Expect During Each Trimester


The First Trimester

During the first trimester of pregnancy you may not have any issues sleeping (lucky you!). Your belly and baby are still small enough that you can comfortably lay on your stomach, and move around rather easily. Despite not having the big belly to contend with, morning sickness, heartburn and fatigue can really interrupt your sleep, so focusing on being as comfortable as possible is important.


The Second Trimester

The second trimester is an exciting time—you can feel the baby’s movements and you might have even decided to discover its gender. Called the “honeymoon trimester” for good reason, this should be the time where you feel your best. However, now that your belly is expanding, getting comfortable at night might be more of a challenge. When sleeping, lie on your side with your knees and hips bent. Place pillows between your knees, under your abdomen and behind your back.


The Third Trimester

During the third trimester many women begin to feel more tired and fatigued and their bodies need more rest. This is also when your belly is headed towards its biggest—at once a good thing for your pending new arrival but a not so great thing for good rest. If your belly is too big and you’re too uncomfortable to sleep on your side, try to sleep sitting up in a recliner or large arm chair with plenty of pillows for support.


Tips for Getting Comfortable During Pregnancy


  • If you have back pain during any of your trimesters, use the side sleep position, and try placing a pillow under your abdomen as well.
  • If you are experiencing heartburn, try propping your upper body up with pillows.
  • In late pregnancy, you may experience shortness of breath. Try lying on your side or propped up with pillows.
  • If you can’t sleep laying down, invest in a large arm chair or recliner that can serve as a cozy place to breastfeed later!