image of pregnant mother

Finding comfortable sleeping positions when pregnant can be quite a difficult task. Many women may experience fatigue during the first and third trimester. Sleep during the third trimester often becomes a struggle due to rising progesterone levels and having to carry around extra weight with you everywhere you go. Every pregnant body is different, so it is important to try different methods and tips to find what works best for you. 

During the first trimester your baby bump is not large enough to interfere with your usual sleeping positions, but hormonal changes, nighttime hunger, nausea, and other pregnancy symptoms may interfere. 

During the second and third trimester your baby bump is growing larger every week and sleeping may become more difficult. 

  • Sleeping on your left side can maximize blood flow to the uterus without putting pressure on the liver 
  • Placing a pillow(s) between the knees or bending your knees can help provide relief for hip or back pain 
  • Using pillows to raise the upper body can help reduce heartburn 
  • Elevating legs with pillows can help with swelling and leg pain 
  • For back support using a body pillow or pregnancy pillow to cradle the body may help 

Other ways to improve your sleep include: 

  • Drinking lots of fluids during the day but stopping before bedtime 
  • Avoiding heartburn by not eating large amounts of spicy or fried foods 
  • Exercising regularly to improve circulation and reduce leg cramps 
  • If you experience nausea a lot, eating bland crackers throughout the day can help relieve this by keeping your stomach full 
  • Taking naps when possible 
  • Practicing breathing techniques 
  • Taking a warm bath or shower before bed
  • Avoid sleeping flat on your back once you are in your third trimester, as sleeping on your back puts pressure on the main blood vessels that deliver blood to the uterus which can decrease oxygen flow to the fetus 

If sleeping trouble persists talk to your doctor.