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Sleeping During Pregnancy

As your pregnancy progresses and the size of your uterus increases, you may find it increasingly difficult to get comfortable in bed. Early on in pregnancy, women can sleep on their stomachs. Eventually, it can become uncomfortable for some women. But it is OK to sleep on your stomach if it is comfortable. Lying on your back is not recommended due to pressure on the inferior vena cava, a major vein that returns blood from the lower body to the heart. In addition, the increased pressure on the back and intestines can cause discomfort.

The best sleeping position for a pregnant woman is on her side. The left side is especially good because it allows for maximum blood flow to the fetus and improves kidney function in the mother. One option is to place a pillow between your knees as well as 1 under your abdomen. This can create enough of a tilt to help a pregnant woman sleep more comfortably on her side. You might also find it helpful to place a pillow behind your back for extra support. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about sleeping positions during your pregnancy.

Online Medical Reviewer: Burd, Irina, MD, PhD
Online Medical Reviewer: Finke, Amy, RN, BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 8/10/2015
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