The Importance of Sleep Positioning During Pregnancy

Talk to any pregnant lady and she will tell you that especially from 20 weeks onwards, it can prove extremely hard to find a comfortable position to sleep in, especially with a big bump, so often Healthcare Professionals recommend to use either a bespoke pregnancy pillow or use a number of household pillows to support your back, bump and knees and stop you rolling onto your back while sleeping.

However, using household pillows often proves impractical as it can take up all the room in the bed, meaning your partner isn’t very happy! Following countless uncomfortable night’s sleep this is when many mums-to-be look to purchase a specifically designed pregnancy support pillow – a restful night’s sleep outweighs the cost!

Ironically frequently it’s the partner that purchases a pregnancy pillow for their partner, so they have adequate space in bed to sleep too!

Sleeping on your left side is also strongly recommended by medical professionals as this has been shown to help achieve optimise foetal positioning for baby by encouraging maximum blood flow between mother and baby.

It is well documented that sleeping on your back can cause the pregnant uterus to compress the inferior vena cava and so inhibit blood supply to baby.


Also new research shows that sleeping on your side in the third trimester helps prevent stillbirth, so the most important thing for a mum-to-be to remember is to go to sleep on your side, but if you wake up on your back, don’t worry, just roll back onto your side. The Tommy’s charity has been running a “Sleep on the Side” campaign –

There is a patented pregnancy pillow on the market which has a back support to stop you rolling onto your back. Going to sleep on your side means you’re sleeping safely for your baby. Same applies if you are likely to nap during the day, so it’s important to pay the same attention to sleep position during the day as you would during the night.

Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP), formerly known as Symphis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD), is a condition that can affect one in five women in the UK during or after pregnancy.

PGP is caused when the pelvic joints become misaligned, causing pain and stiffness when walking, climbing stairs or simply turning over in bed.

Physiotherapy is a safe effective treatment, both during and after pregnancy, and most cases of PGP will be resolved after two sessions. The sooner PGP can be diagnosed the better, to ensure effective treatment is given to resolve the symptoms. Without treatment, after birth long-term pain and dysfunction can persist for up to two years. The Pelvic Partnership charity supports pregnant women with information about PGP –

There are a number of specifically designed sleep positioning pillows on the market, but it can be confusing which ones to buy. Choosing a pregnancy pillow that boasts a unique design to stop you rolling onto your back, at the same times supporting your bump and knees is advisable and of course one which can be used as a feeding pillow once baby arrives is a cost-effective bonus!

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