Is It Safe? Sleeping on Your Back While Pregnant

sleeping on your back while pregnant

Some women are natural tummy-sleepers -- I'm not one of them. I like to sleep on my back and I always have. So when I got pregant and heard that maybe I wasn't supposed to, I was bummed. Lots of pregnant moms around here are discussing whether or not it's safe to sleep on your back, too. Here's a compilation of what women have to say.


"My doctor told me you're not hurting anything when you sleep on your back -- unless it's uncomfortable for you. She said whatever makes you comfortable." -- rlemde

"I sleep on my back if I have a pillow underneath for support." -- AireaISBuchanan

And as for sleeping on your back possibly limiting oxygen supply to the baby....

"You'll know if there's any issue with it being unsafe for the baby because YOU will feel like you're not getting enough oxygen." -- YoungTwinMommy

"However you want to sleep is fine. The vena cava is the artery than runs down your back. The weight from your uterus can compress it, and make you feel short of breath, but you aren't hurting anything. Sleep is more important than fretting about the position." -- kristichristen

Still, experts generally agree it's preferable to sleep on your side while pregnant -- What to Expect says it's not so important which side you choose, but the left side allows for optimum blood flow due to less pressure on the vena cava. 

WebMD also encourages women to skip tummy or back sleep and to opt instead for a side-lying position. But don't worry if you wake up on your back -- everyone naturally shifts positions while sleeping, and you aren't harming your baby.

Talk to your doctor to get his opinion about the safest positions for sleep.

What about you? How do you sleep? And do you use a pillow for additional support?

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