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Sleeping on Back During Late Pregnancy?

When should I stop sleeping on my stomach and back?  I find that I wake up in those positions often, but I know it can be dangerous as my belly grows.
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profile picture of Ashley Roman, MD
Updated
March 2, 2017
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You should stop sleeping on your stomach or back by around 20 weeks of pregnancy. By this point, you may notice that sleeping either way — especially on your stomach — is pretty uncomfortable. The concern with sleeping on your back is that the enlarging uterus can compress the large veins in the back of your abdomen, which can in turn decrease the amount of blood returning to your heart. As a result, your blood pressure can drop, and you may feel lightheaded or nauseated. If your blood pressure drops, the blood flow to your uterus and baby may decrease. So, in general, after 20  weeks I recommend sleeping on your side.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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