How to sleep in pregnancy: positions and advice

Although our rest is put to the test after the birth of the baby, already in pregnancy, sleeping well can be difficult. Here’s what the gynecologist suggests.

How to sleep in pregnancy, and after the birth of our child, will become the beginning of many dialogues between mothers. To find out which positions to take, for a more effective refreshment, we are ready to listen to any advice. Although it is known that our rest is severely compromised with the birth of the baby, even during pregnancy, sleeping is no joke. With the growth of the belly, therefore with the succession of months of gestation, finding a comfortable position, which does not hurt our back, will be a real challenge.

We asked doctor Elsa Viora, gynecologist, to give us some advice on how to sleep during pregnancy and if there are any recommended or not recommended positions. Often, in fact, in addition to a mere comfort factor, we are worried that our positions, while we sleep, could harm the health of the fetus.


  • How to sleep in pregnancy: positions and advice
  • How many hours to sleep during pregnancy
  • Positions not recommended, dangerous for the child
  • How to sleep in case of back pain

How to sleep in pregnancy: positions and advice

How to sleep in pregnancy and if there are positions and advice to follow, depending on the trimester, are questions that we commonly ask ourselves. Let’s do some clarity, thanks to the gynecologist Viora.

It must be said, before going into the merits, that not all of us have problems in falling asleep and sleeping well during pregnancy, except perhaps the last few weeks, also thanks to the emotional load. Some women, on the other hand, suffer from real insomnia in pregnancy, obviously, as always, it is important, if the situation was not occasional, to speak with the trusted professional, for specific advice for our individual case.

The growing belly becomes an obstacle to sleeping in our usual positions. Heat, humidity or excessive cold can also become accomplices, depending on the season, and sleeping during pregnancy becomes a long-standing issue, fueling the debate between mothers.

We asked Dr. Viora, if there are advisable positions, also based on the three months of gestation and if there are valid advice, which can be taken in most cases.

“The first piece of advice is to sleep in the position in which the woman is best. In this case, the principle “if the mother is well, the fetus is fine” applies. There are no positions to respect, the mother must be comfortable and sleep in the position that she likes best. As the fetus grows, there will be a time when she will no longer be able to sleep on her back, belly up, because the uterus weighs on her back, more precisely on the vena cava, hindering the return of venous blood to the heart. This will induce a feeling of discomfort in the woman, as if she were about to faint (hot sensation, spinning head and the like): it is our body that speaks, causing us to change her position. When this starts to happen, the woman, no longer able to sleep on her back, will naturally assume the position on her side. There is no difference between right or left side, so any side will do. ”.

How many hours to sleep during pregnancy

A bit like for feeding during pregnancy, for which, erroneously, the idea has been handed down that the expectant woman should eat twice as much, one could fall into the same error about rest. Although, inevitably, we can be more tired during pregnancy, even more so when we have other very young children to look after, we discover if indeed all of us need more hours of sleep than normal.

“The advice I can give, speaking in general terms and without attention situations, is no different from what is suggested outside of pregnancy: you need to sleep 7-8 hours and not go to bed too late. Each of us has our own biorhythm: there are those who like to go to sleep early in the evening, there are those who prefer to stay awake longer. In any case, it is advisable not to go to bed after midnight, to maintain a regular sleep-wake rhythm and sleep an adequate amount of hours. Physical activity during pregnancy is useful in promoting the quality of sleep, so if there are no impediments, and based on the trimester, it is also recommended in order to sleep better “.

Moreover, it deserves to be remembered that the same sex in pregnancy is by no means advised against, and can be practiced until the end of gestation. Obviously, it will be our gynecologist or our trusted gynecologist, who will be able to tell us when and if there are any impediments. The dialogue with the professional who follows us must always remain open, also for asking this type of question, because what is valid as a general rule needs to be deepened in individual cases.

Positions not recommended, dangerous for the child

Our concern about the health of the fetus grows with the passage of time, and does not leave us even when we sleep. The fear of many of us is whether certain positions will compromise his well-being. For this reason, we asked Viora if there are positions, when we sleep, to be avoided, as they are considered dangerous.

“Generally speaking, no. There are no dangerous positions for the fetus, which is well protected by the maternal abdominal wall and amniotic fluid. Obviously, what has been said previously remains valid with respect to the supine position. It is important to listen to your body. “.

Sleeping in pregnancy

How to sleep in case of back pain

In pregnancy, especially as the date of delivery approaches, and with the weight of the belly increasing, many of us suffer from sciatica or back pain. In these cases, it will not be easy to fall asleep, because any position can be a source of more pain. Whether it’s a refreshing micro rest in the afternoon, on the sofa at home, or a long night in a king size, we could suffer, even at the simple change of position. So how do you go about it?

“Some women find it beneficial with the famous pregnancy pillow. It is very subjective, if the woman is comfortable with the pillow she can use it but it is neither recommended nor advised against or obligatory. Some of these have multiple uses and can subsequently become breastfeeding pillows, but this is a completely subjective preference. In women suffering from back pain or pelvic pain, it may be useful to use a wedge-shaped pillow, to be placed under the abdomen to improve the quality of sleep and to relieve symptoms. Acupuncture and stabilization exercises have been shown to be effective in reducing pain in women with pelvic pain, which occurs when turning over in bed ”.

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