Sleeping on your back during pregnancy?: So I'm aware I... - NCT


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Sleeping on your back during pregnancy?

Toffeelady123 profile image

So I'm aware I should start to avoid sleeping on my back once baby gets bigger and as a back sleeper I bought a pregnancy pillow at 14 weeks to try and help get used to sleeping on my sides. I've realised I wriggle around so much that I manage to move the pillow so I can still sleep on my back!

I'm suffering with a terribly sore back and hips (currently 18 weeks pregnant) so sometimes the most comfortable position is to resort to sleeping on my back.

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. I spoke to my friend who had kids 10 years ago and she said she wasn't even aware of it as a wondering how crucial is really is.

17 Replies

Good morning,

Congratulations on your pregnancy 😊 have you tried propping a pillow under your back & between your legs when sleeping on your side? As baby gets bigger you may find lying on your back naturally becomes uncomfortable for you (I found this out when one day just relaxing on the bed on my back I suddenly felt sick & stopped me doing it automatically)

I used to love to sleep sleeping on my front & when I couldn't I had to practise side sleeping, I find now having a pillow behind me, under my belly & between my legs is now the new norm lol

Good luck x

Toffeelady123 profile image
Toffeelady123 in reply to

Good Morning

Thank you for your reply. I've got a 'U' shaped pregnancy pillow so thought this would mean I'd have to sleep on my side but I have found a way to push the side bits away and get on to my back haha. I think maybe an additional pillow near my back might help - I'll try this thank you.

My bump isn't big yet so perhaps it will be a case of it just becoming uncomfortable when baby gets bigger :)


The issue is when baby gets bigger as it presses on your veins if you're very flat. Saying that at 38+5 there is no way I can turn in bed without noticing as need a crane to turn me around. 😂

Also being in your back becomes pretty uncomfortable so you don't tend turn as much.

Hey there, I can totally relate to you. I am currently 20 weeks and I am a sleeper on my back. It is not uncomfortable yet as my bump is not that big yet but I am trying to get used now to sleep on my side before the bump gets really big. I have a u shaped pillow too, sometimes I put one side of the pillow behind my back so I won't roll over on my back but I am still not completely on my side. Not sure you can see what I mean lol. This helps a little as I feel I am flat on my back but I am not actually, as I am slightly bended on my side. I think it will help when the bump gets bigger. Or perhaps it will be so uncomfortable that I will automatically avoid sleeping on my back


Sorry to hear you're having a problem with it too! I've also started doing this, ensuring that it's shoved under my back a bit so I'm kind of on my back but on an angle. I just hope like you said it gets easier and more comfortable sleeping on my side long term. We can only try to do our best! xx

Hey sweets, it is good to try sleep on your side but its more of an issue the further along you get and honestly- your body will tell you to move by either moving automatically or waking you up because you'll feel the effects of lying on your back sooner than baby. Just having a scan at 36 weeks made me lightheaded and I had to take a break

Toffeelady123 profile image
Toffeelady123 in reply to bms12

Hi thank you for this! Super reassuring. I think I'm overthinking it, as all expecting mums do!x

bms12 profile image
bms12 in reply to Toffeelady123

Totally normal to he anxious. I'm 38 weeks now and still occasionally wake up on my back. Just roll back yo my side and go back to sleep

I’m 23 weeks pregnant, I’m a side sleeper anyways but have noticed the last few days if I lie on my back when in bed just relaxing it gets very uncomfortable after a few minutes, so I think you will naturally end up on your side as you get further along 😊

Toffeelady123 profile image
Toffeelady123 in reply to Gilm87

Great to hear, hope your pregnancy is going well xx

I asked my consultant about this early on, and he said it’s nothing to worry about until around 34 weeks when baby would then be heavy enough to squash the vein. Until then you’re ok to sleep on your back if that’s more comfortable. I was the same as you earlier in my pregnancy and had painful hips when I slept on my side, but I’m 31wks now and am now finding that’s more comfortable than on my back anyway now. So like someone said a bit earlier your body will probably adjust later down the line

Thank you Flora631 this is really good to know - so things are just going to get far more uncomfortable haha! Hope you're doing ok x

Also if you don’t have one yet get a yoga ball to sit on in the daytime, really helped my hip pain. They’re only about a tenner (we got ours from sports direct) x

Not got one but I'll get one :) Thanks!

I’m 28 weeks pregnant and I had these same thoughts and worries in earlier pregnancy but everything just starts happens naturally so don’t fret too much.

The further along you get, the more uncomfortable sleeping on your back becomes so you’ll just stop doing it as much.

You even start to find that sleeping on your right side isn’t ideal because of things like heartburn. I pretty much always sleep on my left side now without even meaning to, which is very different to how I slept pre-pregnancy.

Just try to relax. The most important thing is that you are stress free and sleeping. Your body isn’t going to let you do something you shouldn’t. If you’re putting pressure on anything, you’ll feel uncomfortable and naturally move or you’ll wake up.

Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to be sleeping the right way, just sleep and let your body and natural instincts do the rest.

Thank you BetteridgeL for your kind words and reassurance. Our bodies really are amazing and I think back to the olden days where plenty of children were born without this knowledge, I think the ample information can sometimes scare us a bit! Last night I slept without overthinking how I was sleeping and I slept much better which is surely better for me and baby :) so I'll keep doing this and hopefully, like you say, things adjust naturally anyway.

Thanks x

I was under consultant care and he said it's fine in first and second trimester but to try a limit it in third. Obviously if you move in your sleep theres not really much you can do about it but your sleep gets pretty crap in third trimester anyway and you're always shuffling around.

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