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What is the Best Sleeping Position for Pregnant Women?

Pregnancy impacts so many aspects of your life and one of the most commonly reported are feelings of exhaustion. This happens for many complicated reasons that have to do with your metabolism and changes in hormone levels, but regardless of why it happens, one thing is clear: you need to get some sleep. 

However, this need for rest is impeded by various factors that result in common sleep problems, some of which are outside your control. There is one factor that is within your control, however: your sleeping position. Everyone has different sleep patterns and preferred positions for snoozing, but if you want to clock in as much sleep as possible before the due date, as is recommended by doctors, then read on. 

The Best Sleep Position for Pregnant Women

So, what is the best position for sleeping during pregnancy? 

Research has shown that the best and safest position for pregnant women to sleep on is their side, especially during the third trimester. The reason for this is that sleeping on your side is safer for the baby and all around offers the most comfort. If you tend to roll around during sleep and worry that you might fall onto your back, try putting a pillow behind you to keep from turning over. If you'd like to enjoy a night of even more comfortable rest, consider using a pregnancy pillow. They're designed in such a way that helps maintain good blood circulation, provides body support, and due to their overall comfort, encourage better sleep. 

What about the other sleeping positions? 

  • Sleeping on your back is generally OK for the first trimester, but after that, it's best for you and the baby if you make sleeping on your side a habit. When you sleep with your belly up, pressure goes down and compresses the IVC (inferior vena cava). It also constricts the aorta. This could cause some unnecessary unpleasantries, like nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, and heartburn--so best to just keep to your side. If you suddenly wake up to find yourself on your back, don’t worry. It’s likely that you haven’t been there long. The best thing to do is to just move back onto your side and get comfortable. If you’re worried about it happening again, ask your partner to make an effort to check on you and, if they discover you on your back, to kindly move you onto your side. You can also put a pillow against your back to help you keep from rolling over.
  • Sleeping on your stomach is safe for the baby in the initial stages of pregnancy, but once the bump starts to get bigger, you might find this position difficult to maintain, if not outright uncomfortable. After 16 to 18 weeks, sleeping on your stomach begins to have the same drawbacks of sleeping on your back.

The Best Mattress for Pregnant Women

Here is a list of qualities to look out for in a mattress for during pregnancy:

  • Memory Foam mattresses compress under pressure to fit the contours of your body, thus supporting your body's pressure points. This makes them especially great for side sleeping, and they’re also just much softer than traditional coil mattresses, thus being ideal for getting a dreamlike rest. 
  • Cooling features in a mattress are a serious plus to pregnant women, since many tend to sleep hot. With all the other things pregnant women have to deal with, sweating in bed shouldn’t have to be one of them.
  • Medium Firmness is the way to go. A soft mattress is good, but if it's too soft, it can be difficult to comfortably get out of bed. A common symptom of pregnancy, especially in the later stages, is frequent urination, so there's likely to be lots of trips to the restroom. A mattress with medium firmness will help make that aspect of pregnancy a bit easier. 
  • Motion Isolation is another important quality to look for. Many pregnant women have trouble sleeping and tend to wake up unexpectedly throughout the night, especially if they sleep next to a partner who shifts position a lot in bed. Motion isolation helps to mitigate this issue so that you can focus on catching zzz’s. 

Finding a mattress that checks all these boxes can be difficult, but truly, it doesn't have to be. Marpac's YogaBed is the ideal medium-firm mattress. It uses advanced Dynamic-Support Memory Foam which quickly reacts to pressure from your body, making it perfect for side sleeping and isolating movement on the bed. The top layer is made of YogaGel, Marpac's patented cooling gel memory foam and the three memory foam layers underneath are made from thermo-regulating YogaFoam, so you can kiss hot sleeping goodbye. (Need more info? Sleep Advisor has a comprehensive guide to sleeping for two!)

But don't just take our word for it. Experience a better sleep during your pregnancy with our 101-Night Comfort Trial. If the 101 nights go by and you still aren't sleeping better, send it back. We offer free delivery and returns, so the only thing you'll have to concern yourself with is getting comfortable sleep for you and your baby.