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When Should Pregnant Woman Stop Sleeping On Her Stomach?

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A pregnant woman sleeping on her back

The question of when a pregnant woman should stop sleeping on her stomach cannot be ignored. If you’re in the early stages of pregnancy, sleeping on your stomach is okay until you reach 18 weeks. 

As the belly grows, you start to feel discomfort when lying on your stomach. Some women feel the discomfort as early as 16 weeks, and some go up to 18 weeks. 

And so the question is, when should a woman stop sleeping on her stomach? Kindly read on to find out. 

Best Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy

During the first three months of pregnancy, you can feel comfortable sleeping in any position. 

As the days go by, you feel uncomfortable sleeping in some positions. Here are some of the best sleeping positions for pregnant women:

1. Sleeping On The Left Side

A pregnant woman sleeping on her side

You can sleep on your left or right side. It’s safe. According to experts, sleeping on your left side improves blood circulation. This helps your unborn get nutrient-packed easier through the placenta. 

Sleeping on the left is more comfortable as the tummy grows, and most women prefer the left side. 

2. Sleeping On The Right Side

Sleeping on the right side during the early pregnancy days is entirely safe. However, a study shows that sleeping on the right side in the last days of pregnancy is linked to late stillbirth. 

During the late stages of your pregnancy, when you sleep on the right side, you compress the Inferior Vena Cava, reducing the placental blood flow. 

Sleeping on the right side is considered safe, but as your pregnancy advances, you might want to change your sleeping position to reduce complications and improve your comfort. 

3. Sleeping On The Stomach

Sleeping on your tummy during the first three months of pregnancy is not wrong. At this stage, your belly is still small, and there is no discomfort when lying with your tummy down. 

 As the baby starts growing, this position becomes uncomfortable, and you might have to stop, too, even if it does feel comfortable when you go past 18 weeks.

Sleeping Positions To Avoid When Pregnant

We have discussed the best sleeping positions, and now it’s good we look at the sleeping positions you need to avoid when pregnant. 

Sleeping On Your Back

A pregnant woman sleeping on her back

Sleeping on your back facing up is not recommended during pregnancy, especially in the second and third trimesters. 

According to experts, lying on your back compresses a major blood vessel that ferries blood to the uterus, reducing blood flow to your unborn child. You might feel dizzy when sleeping on your back too. 

Sleeping on Your Stomach In Third Trimester

Even though you might think you’re comfortable, you must stop sleeping on your stomach to reduce the risks associated with the sleeping position, especially in your third trimester. At this point, you have to consider changing positions.

Special Tips For Better Sleep During Pregnancy

At this point, you already know the ideal sleeping position during pregnancy. At this point, sleep is crucial, and you want to make sure you get the best out of it. Below we share tips that will help you get better sleep during pregnancy.

Use Pregnancy Pillows

Sometimes you might find it hard sleeping on either side. You can solve this puzzle by getting yourself a good pregnancy pillow. 

A pregnancy pillow helps reduce the pressure caused on your back and hips by your baby bump. There are several types of pregnancy pillows, which also help in different ways. 

Light Exercises

A pregnant woman exercising

Try taking a walk or yoga sessions to help calm your nerves and improve blood circulation. Apart from that, exercises help reduce fatigue and backache problems. All you have to do is ensure that you carry out safe exercises. 

Eat Healthy Foods

The foundation of healthy sleep is a healthy diet. However, you should stick to nutrient-filled smaller portions to avoid discomfort when sleeping. Ensure that you include enough fruits, vegetables, and vitamins but keep the portions smaller. 

Avoid Taking Too Much Water Before Bed

Avoid taking too much water and fluids to reduce the number of times you go to the bathroom at night. During pregnancy, the urge to visit the bathrooms typically heightens, but you can reduce the times you wake up by reducing your fluid intake. 


Sleeping on your stomach is safe in the first trimester until you feel uncomfortable. You often get neck and back pain when you try to force yourself to lie with your tummy down. To avoid such discomfort, you will need to change your sleeping position. Hopefully, the tips above will help you settle on the most comfortable sleeping position. 

Gloriah Mnyaki
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