(Closed) Sleeping on your back in early pregnancy.

posted 5 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
1018 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@lovelyrose:  Hi There!

I’m currently 12w2d and just had a doctors appointment– I actually asked him that as well and he said its no big deal at the current time. Said as long as I’m getting sleep, he’s not worried what way i’m lying.

Don’t fret, your body will wakel you up if you’re doing something you’re not supposed to.

Post # 4
1304 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

My doctor said I was fine on my back til 20 weeks, and after that I just need to be at least a little bit reclined.  I am 39w2d today, and I rotate between sleeping on my sides (til my hips hurt) and sleeping on my back but propped up on pillows.

Post # 5
1811 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

You’re fine!! I’m 14 weeks and I still occasionally sleep on my back. The doctor said that it will start to feel uncomfortable to lay on your back and that is when you need to switch.

Post # 6
1141 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

My Dr said it’s very rare that a pregnant woman can’t/shouldn’t sleep on their back throughout their entire pregnancy. If you do and you wake up with your legs asleep or in pain, then you shouldn’t. That means that your weight is resting on your vena cava vein and is cutting off blood flow to your legs. But this is actually very rare, and most women can sleep on their backs with no problem. The most important thing is that you’re comfortable and well rested. Your body will tell you when something is wrong.

Post # 7
861 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

It’s totally fine in early pregnancy. When it starts to not be recommended, you can tell because it doesn’t feel good anymore! I felt a bit like I was drowning. 

Post # 8
9687 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

You can sleep on your back early in pregnancy, your uterus isn’t even out of your pelvis yet.  Usually sometime around mid-pregnancy (20 weeks) people quit/recommend quitting.  You’ll definitely quit once it becomes uncomfortable.

Post # 9
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@lovelyrose:  you’re fine on your back as long as it doesn’t hurt/you can still breathe.  You’ll know when you can’t lie on it anymore.

I’d recommend trying to get used to sleeping on your side though, since at some point you likely will have to.  I’m 37 weeks and still do some back sleeping when it’s comfortable – but I make sure I am propped up at a good angle.

Another thing to try – I bought a snoogle body pillow and put that, along with another pillow against my back and kind of sleep on my side but roll my back onto the pillow, so i’m half on my side, half on my back. I find it to be pretty comfortable.  You’ll have to try some interesting configurations, but you’ll find things that work for you down the line.  For now, enjoy sleeping however you want to sleep, though!

Post # 10
1021 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@lovelyrose:  PPs are correct, it’s definitely OK during early pregnancy. The issue is that the weight of the baby will put pressure on a major vein which will limit blood flow through your body and to the baby. Since baby is so small and weighs so little at the beginning, that’s not a concern. My doctors said I would know when it was time to stop laying on my back, and boy were they right. It was towards the end of my pregnancy, sometime in the third tri, when I noticed that after laying on my back for a few minutes I would start to feel light-headed and nauseous. I’d flip to my side and be fine. You’ll know when (and if!) it’s time to stop laying on your back.

Post # 11
1031 posts
Bumble bee

I was such a back-sleeper, whe I asked my OBGYN about it he said he didn’t care how I slept, just make sure that I slept. I slept on my back until about 23 weeks, now at 28, it’s just too uncomfortable.

Post # 12
732 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I am definitely a back sleeper. It is definitely safe to sleep on your back until the middle/end of your second trimester. I am 34 weeks and I still wake up on my back sometimes. I try not too, but I can’t help it. My midwife said not to worry about it too much. Your body will wake you up and let you know that you need to turn over.

Post # 14
190 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

No back sleeping after 20 weeks is what I heard at EVERY doctor’s appointment until I was past that point.

For the record, I have a friend who slept on her back her whole pregnancy and has a perfectly healthy 6 month old daughter.

Your body will let you know what you can and cannot handle. I will be 30 weeks on Thursday and I am still sleeping almost completely on my stomach with just an extra pillow between half my tummy and the bed and have had zero issue.

Laying on my back in bed is too uncomfortable at this point but when I want to watch TV or read and am sick of being on my side I will stick a pillow on one side of my back or the other and find it really comfortable. As I said, your body will tell you when it’s time to move to a different position.

Post # 15
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park

You’ll probably wake up on your back and roll over anyway. If your uterus starts compressing your descending aorta or vena cava, your body will start to be uncomfortable and you’ll move. It takes some minutes to feel it, and some minutes more for it to even affect your placental blood flow. Honestly, if sleeping on your back is comfortable, you’re probably not having a problem with it. When it starts not being comfortable, you’ll naturally stop doing it. 

There are also safe and comfortable ways to sleep on the back with an elevated torso and knees. I’m of the mindset that you can trust your body to say “uh-uh” when it’s time. 

Right now I’m 28 weeks and I typically fall asleep side-sleeping and then wake up more or less on my back to roll to the other side. When I side sleep I get some SI join pain and arm numbness from thoracic outlet syndrome (fun times!), so a bit of time on my back with my knees up is a nice reprieve. 


Post # 16
665 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I was a back sleeper right up until about 28 weeks when it became uncomfortable. I asked my OB about it and he said he would rather I was just getting good sleep while I could instead of worrying about which position I was sleeping in. He did mention that a bit later on it would become too uncomfortable to sleep on my back and he was right, at 36 weeks I cant even lie on my back for more than about 10 mins before I feel short of breath. 

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