Why You Should Sleep On Your Left Side During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, you may find yourself tossing and turning trying to find a comfortable sleep position to accommodate your new belly. Check out our tips to help you sleep on your side (even better, your left side) during pregnancy.

Pregnant woman sleeping on left side

SOS

According to the American Pregnancy website, "the best sleep position during pregnancy is 'SOS' (sleep on side)." But why is the left side even better than sleeping on the right? "Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby."

Left side sleep tips

If you struggle with this position at first, bend your knees slightly and use a pillow between your legs. Sleeping in this position can also help decrease back pain during pregnancy, especially if you use a pillow underneath your belly. American Pregnancy also suggests propping your upper body up to decrease nighttime heartburn as well as shortness of breath late in your pregnancy. To help you relax and get comfortable in your new position, make sure your room is cool (some pregnant women tend to get hot at night), dark and quiet.

Don’t sleep on your back or tummy

Expectant moms who are used to sleeping flat on their backs or on their tummies – you will eventually need to adjust your sleep position during pregnancy to the side, preferably the left. Sleeping on your back during pregnancy can actually decrease circulation flow to your heart as well as to baby because of your abdomen settling on your intestines and the aorta and vena cava blood vessels. Sleeping on your stomach is not suggested either, especially as your belly gets bigger later in your pregnancy.

Try and try again

Even if you start out on your side, it’s very likely that you’ll end up in your usual sleep position come the morning, especially at first. Don’t freak out! Switching positions in the night is common and totally normal. But don’t give up. The more you try out the advised sleep position, the easier it will be to fall – and stay – asleep in that position.

More on pregnancy sleep

Sleeping in your right side while pregnant slightly increases risk of stillbirth
How to get better pregnancy sleep
5 Gadgets to maximize sleep during pregnancy

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