Sleeping on Right Side While Pregnant

Discomfort can often occur during pregnancy because various changes your body is going through tend to affect your sleeping pattern. The normal sleeping positions are no longer comfortable. To have a good night’s sleep, you should try some of the recommended sleeping positions during pregnancy. Here are some discussions concerning sleeping on right side during pregnancy.

Sleeping on Right Side While Pregnant: Is It Ok?

Yes, you can. During the final weeks of your pregnancy, sleeping on your back is not advisable due to the weight of the uterus compressing blood vessels and decreasing blood flow to the heart. Sleeping on the left side is mostly recommended as it takes off this excess pressure on the aorta and vena cava. With time, soreness may occur so there will be the need to flip over to the opposite side, which makes sleeping on the right side OK, but if you experience discomfort, just switch to the left side!

Precaution: During the last phase of your pregnancy, sleeping on the right side is fine but not the best choice due to the enlarged size of the uterus. When you sleep on the right hand side, you exert pressure on your liver. This could affect its working. 

Proper Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy

Best Position

Side sleeping is the best position during pregnancy, both for you and your baby. Sleeping on right side while pregnant is ok, but left is the better choice due to improved circulation necessary to get required nutrients to your baby and also because it prevents excessive weight being exerted on your liver.

Positions to Avoid

  • Sleeping on your back - as your pregnancy progresses, this is not comfortable as your abdomen puts extra pressure on major blood vessels, resulting in the decrease of blood circulation for you and your baby. More so, sleeping on your back is also associated with problems in breathing, digestive system conditions, hemorrhoids, and backaches.
  • Sleeping on your stomach - lying face down is also problematic since your abdomen undergoes various physical changes and presses on your stomach making it difficult to sleep in this position. 

Extra Tips

Here are more tips concerning sleeping positions during pregnancy to add to your comfort:

  • For shortness of breath experienced in late pregnancy, lie on your side while propped up with pillows to keep your chest raised.
  • If you’re experiencing back pains, try sleeping on your right or left side and place a pillow under your abdomen or between your knees.
  • If you suffer heartburns during the night, you may want to try propping your upper body with something to prevent the rush of acids up from your stomach.
  • If you roll from side to back or front, do not panic. Sometimes it is best to let your body move to where it is most comfortable instead of waking up every few minutes to get back on your side.

To learn more about sleeping positions during pregnancy, please watch this video:

Other Discomfort You May Experience When Sleeping While Pregnant

Besides questions about sleeping on right side while pregnant, there are some other issues you may bother you. Don’t worry though; here are the solutions:

Leg Cramps

This is common during the last five months of pregnancy experienced especially at night. It is presumed to be caused by the pressure on the blood vessels in the legs resulting from extra pregnancy weight.

To deal with this, you are advised to drink lots of water, and exercise the legs during the day.Eating foods rich in both calcium and magnesium, and wearing a support hose may also help. Should theserecommendations not work, seek professional medical advice to remove possible existence of a blood clot.

Restless Leg Syndrome

This is common in the third trimester. Though the cause is not known, it manifests as a sleep-sapping and uncomfortablesensation of tingling or crawling in your legs, accompanied by an urge to move them.

To deal with this condition, you should go through medical tests first. Iron and folate supplements may be required. Alternatively, you can get the nutrients from eating foods rich in them. It is also important to exercise daily and avoid beverages rich in caffeine


This can happen at any time, but is more common at night while one is lying down. Pregnancy hormones lead to the relaxation of stomach muscles, which causes the stomach acids to move up the esophagus.

To deal with this, avoid foods that can trigger heartburn such as spicy or greasy foods, caffeine and alcohol. Also, make sure to eat your meals early while sitting upright to give enough time for digestion. Thoroughly chew your food to avoid overworking your stomach. Make sure to take your fluids before and after your meals and not while you're eating as too much food mixed with excess fluid can distend the stomach, making the heartburn worse. Ensure sleeping on right side while pregnant or on left side, and keep your head propped to ensure that the stomach juices do not rush back up.

Nasal Congestion

This can also occur at any time. An increase in the levels of pregnancy hormones such as estrogen causes an increase in the blood flow to the membranes of your nose and other parts of the body. This causes them to swell and feel congested.

To relieve the discomfort, try sleeping with the head elevated. The application of nose strips and saline nasal sprays is also recommended. If these symptoms persist, further medical attention should be sought to get alternative treatment.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

This can also happen at any time during the pregnancy especially when the weight gain starts becoming noticeable. Nasal congestion brought about by the elevated hormone levels is perpetuated by the increase in weight as your baby grows. This nasal congestion is what causes snoring and sometimes indicative of sleep apnea where your breathing stops momentarily due to your airways collapsing for a moment.

For those suffering from sleep apnea, it is important to seek medical attention.  It can be treated with continuous positive airway pressure, decongestants and saline nose sprays.

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