Q: I'm a stomach sleeper. How can I make myself more comfortable sleeping on my side?
When you’re pregnant, it’s impossible to sleep on your belly, and you should avoid sleeping on your back after the first trimester. When you lie on your back, the weight of your uterus presses on the vein that returns blood from your lower body to your heart. This slows the blood supply to the placenta, which could inhibit oxygen and nutrients on their way to your baby.
There is no one way to make side-sleeping comfortable.
Try supporting different parts of your body with a variety of pillows. One pillow between your knees and another below your hips can help you balance on your side more easily. Try sleeping with a full-body pillow placed behind your back or in front of you, or experiment with a wedge- shaped pillow, propping it under your side or chest.
If you’re waking up with aches, a firmer mattress might be the answer; a memory foam mattress supports your torso and limbs, and could make it easier to sleep in a position that is new to you.
When you finally find your comfort zone, sleeping on your side should relieve stress on your back. It’s also recommended you lie on your left side, which allows more blood flow to the uterus and kidneys. And, if you awaken in the night on your back, don’t panic—just shift to your side.