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Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I am having a hard time sleeping. What’s the best position, and what about those body pillows?

Re: I am having a hard time sleeping. What’s the best position, and what about those body pillows?

The Bump Expert

In the third trimester, you should be sleeping on your side. Lying on your back puts too much pressure on your vena cava (the vein that transports blood from the lower body to the heart), and lying on your belly is obviously out of the question. Lie on whichever side feels best (and switch throughout the night), though experts recommend lying on the left side to allows optimal blood flow to the placenta.

You’ll probably find side sleeping is most comfortable when you bend your knees and place a pillow in between them. You might also want to place a pillow between the side of your belly and the bed, and behind your back for support. A body pillow (or just a collection of strategically placed head pillows) can also help you find a comfortable position. Tip: If you want to try out a body pillow before investing, ask around to see if a friend has one to lend for a night or two.

The Bump Editors

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I figured all of this out before reading this article - glad I am doing the right thing! I have a very flat pillow that goes between my belly and the bed (you'll be amazed at how big of a difference that makes) and also, a body pillow that I hug throughout. I bought my body pillow from Wal-Mart for either $10 or $15. The worst part of all of this is you get very comfortable with all of these pillows, and when you have to turn over, you have to take all of your pillows with you! This seems to happen while I am almost still asleep - as in, I barely recall doing it during the night. My sweet husband sometimes gets smashed with a pillow to the face during my turns, but this seems to be working out well otherwise!

haleybell19 |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I bought a belly wedge pillow from Babies R Us and it helps although not too much. I've entered the sleep-is-not-my-friend phase of it all. You're right though, when it's time to turn over or go to the bathroom it's a pain to have to move the pillow.

malcivar |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

the Snoogle is worth every penny. I do not know what I would be doing without it. My DH even trys to steal it!

nealbl |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I have a Snoogle and a regular body pillow. I was worried about the cost of it all, but my DH stated there was no price on a good night's sleep. Also, with one on each side of me, the turning thing isn't an issue.

REDWOOD |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I have a very fluffy extra down comforter, and it works wonderfully for a little extra support wherever I need it. I just bunch it up a bit and sleep through the night. My kitties were right--it is about the most comfortable thing in the world!

ubermoose |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

the body pillow is and has been my best friend in the world for several months now (im a back/front-sleeper and this turning from side to side is not working for me at all), and im getting my zz´s comfortably wedged in between the bodypillow, several other pillows + a helpful husband, so if i were you i would buy a nice big one! besides, after the little´un arrives you can use it to prop him/her up, as well as when ur breastfeeding

hisnhers |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

Every night is differnet for me(31 weeks)..sometimes I have a whole bunch of pillows other nights I have just one...I turn during the night from the left to right side...but now my left shoulder is starting to hurt at night and when I get up it is very sore..any ideas on what to do with that??

Christyscows |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

The best position that I have found was sleeping on the couch in an upright/slightly reclined position. My six year old daughter gave me her neck pillow and that has worked wonders for me for that much needed neck support.

MrsSongbird27 |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I am getting induced today and for the last month or two, I have been using the Boppy I bought for feeding baby and placing my shoulder in the middle and curling up on the sides. I have also been using a normal pillow between my knees. It works great unless my little monster decides that he isn't very comfortable.

klaulis |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

My Doctor told me it was safe to sleep any way that is comfortable. You would wake up long before your vena cava cut off your circulation.

icequeen32 |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

If you can afford it, I have the best solution: SLEEP NUMBER BED! My husband & I got one for Christmas this year after finding out I was pregnant. I haven't needed pillows or anything extra because I can adjust the bed anytime I am uncomfortable!

foxie626 |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I have found that sleeping on an air mattress is most comfortable for me... Until I tried this I had used extra pillows and body pillow waking up at least every half hour with major back pain! Since moving to air mattress I am able to sleep through the night and haven't had to see the chiropractor for an adjustment (I was getting adjusted at least every 2 week prior to this)

jcmh80 |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I've become a night-time wanderer. I start out in bed, and use my boppy body pillow. When my hips start to hurt and I just can't stand it, I head downstairs and zonk out in our recliner. That usually lasts about five or six hours, and then I go back to bed and sleep for a couple more hours. I guess I figure that if I end up getting 6-8 hours somewhere in the house, I am doing okay. My doctor also said I could take benadryl a couple times a week to help me sleep, which I usually do when I feel like I just can't sleep at all.

SLFMSR |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I'm almost 32 weeks preggo and finally gave in to buying a body pillow. I bought the Boppy Total Body Pillow and so far I'm much more comfortable. I can't say I didn't wake up at all, but definitely less aches and pains when I woke up. I can't really take the pillow from side to side wtih me because it's so large, but I can switch from sleeping on my side, to sleeping on my back (since I'm resting on the Boppy as opposed to lying flat). I recommend it, even if you are in your last trimester. You really can't put a price on comfort and pain relief, especially when sleep is involved.

doclaray |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

the best is on my side

kland23 |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I got the Comfort U Total Body Pillow from amazon.com. Gives you support on both sides so you don't have to move pillows from one side to the other. Then I use a lofty down pillow on the inside to go between my belly and the bed. This seems to keep me pretty comfy throughout the night and has grown with me since week 14 - shouldn't need any other accommodations. This pillow is quite pricey, but the hubby bought it for me so I would be comfortable.

mrsmomeil2 |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I have completely surrounded myself with pillows. I have a body pillow between my legs and one wedged behind my back. I also make sure to put an extra pillow under my head. It helps keep my shoulders from hurting in the morning. Unfortunately turning over has become such a process that I still wake up every few hours.

kaylow |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

This is my second baby, my first is 5 now. Sleeping sucks big time. I can hardly sleep comfortablly. I don't have the body pillow and dont want it, it's too thick for me. I sleep with lots of head pillows forcing my DH to have NO pillow. I am also mega hot, and need the fan blowing on me. He gets hottish too, but no fan for him! My 5 year old has decided to sleep with us again, so between my pillows, her thrashing, my hip and pelvic pain and constant baby thoughts, and my husband being hottish and flat to the bed, sleep is bad. I will be going to the couch soon like I did with my DD's pregnancy. We had a nice recliner sofa back then, I wish we still had it now, but the couch seems to be the best quality sleep for me.

dezinediva |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

i dont think the body pillow works for everyone. and for me, if i sleep on the side, i get a cramp on the bottom leg and when i use a pillow, my arm loses circulation. the doc advised to put a pillow on your back side when you're sleeping sideways to prevent you from going back on your back. so i think it all varies with the weight of baby and how much pressure u have on your back. so far at 6 months, my belly is kinda small so it really depends. reclining chairs are also helpful but not many ppl are ok with that type of position for sleep. it's best to figure out a few SAFE positions for sleep to know your body and what's comfortable. i mean if i hAVE to as the weight increases, then i'll have to sleep on the side for the sake of preserving the health of the blood vessels and to endure any back pains or whatever pains as a result of it.

newbieberri |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I've been propping myself up on pillows on my side, and then using an extra rolled up blanket or towel between my knees (I find it's more supportive than a pillow there). Also, it's really helpful to keep water by my bed, even though it sucks to get up to pee a lot, I figure it'll happen anyway at this point (32 weeks) and it helps prevent those evil leg cramps! Warm milk about an hour before bed has been helpful too :)

SarahDouble26 |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I've been sleeping in my livingroom chair for the past 2 months (currently 32 weeks). At night I pull the ottoman to the foot of the chair and surround my body with the body pillow. this is the only way I can sleep.

gelindas |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

My awesome husband bought me the Leachco Snoogle pillow- I cannot sleep without it! It really hugs all the right places. I think it's definitely worth the money- I'll probably sleep with it after Baby Boy is born!

kestewart7 |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

OK, what about people with bad heartburn? Being propped up on my back is virtually the only way to sleep. I try to sleep on my left side and sometimes I can but due to the severe acid reflux it's difficult. Any advice?

sonicpixie417 |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I LOVED the Snoogle at first but I found myself waking up to turn in the middle of the night and taking the snoogle with my was turning into a chore... and now as i'm starting to grow there is not much room in the bed for me, hubby and snoogle... I've been more comfortable with pillows. I put two on each side and the one in between my legs magically turns in my sleep with me .... '62' days and counting! now if only i wasn't so short of breath!

Katelyniovino |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

For me it works best not to eat 2 to 3hrs before going to bed - then it's no problem to sleep on the back and/or the side(s). Sometimes that means I have to get up at around 4am for some bites of bread or some spoons of yoghurt, but it's worth it! And OF COURSE the body pillow, I'm using the brand DOOMOO (I live in Europe). No reflux, no acid, no heartburn.

KatziWien |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

sleep? what sleep im lucky if i get an hour that is solid. if i do get to sleep for more than an hour im up and moving after only 2 to 4 hours of sleep and then im right back to falling a sleep.... i wish i could sleep im at 32 week and wish i could get the much needed sleep.....miserable sleeper.

msexymommy |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

Sleep is definitely not my best friend, wow, I don't even know where to begin. I'm approaching 32 weeks and whether I lie on my right side, my left, or even prop up on pillows for my back, nothing really works. Not too mention I have asthma and sleep apnea, this is clearly not a good thing for me. I'm trying not to complain but God help me, and my almost-3yr-old daughter, god bless her little heart, she's my heart. She notices I tend to struggle out of bed at times and up the 10-12 steps to use the restroom wow, she comes and rubs my back and says "Mommy, it's ok, I'll help you"....my little sweetheart, she's going to be such a great help when her sister is born. I just wish I could sleep peacefully....ahh, I'm counting down the weeks!!!!!

cherokiiRedd |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I got a Boppy body pillow as a gift and it works great for me, but it's on the thin side. I also received a Snoogle a bit later into pregnancy and thought it might provide a bit more support. There was just one problem: I'm too short for the Snoogle. It is physically impossible to get the contours of that pillow to hit where I need the support. So, if you're vertically challenged I would recommend just buying some cheap pillows, or raiding any spare beds you have, and sticking regular pillows where you need the support. Right now, I use one under my belly and one between my legs and I'm sleeping much better! But I have to agree with everyone else - rolling over with all the pillows is quite a task. I haven't found a way around that yet.

AvalonsRose |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I started sleeping with my Snoogle early in my pregnancy with no issues. During my 3rd trimester, it was becoming harder to sleep even with the pillow. It took a couple of days to figure out just how to rearrange my snoogle configuration to make sleep my best friend again. I'm short and it does seem to work best with those taller But the snoogle allows you to manipulate the ends- I have mine set up like odd rectangle shaped donut. For my head I place a couple of larger pillows in between the snoogle to form a wedge. It's almost like sleeping in a Comfy hospital bed and I can get in and out of bed easily.

Mylittleboy |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

my wedge pillow has done NOTHING for my sleeplessness. I'm beginning to think that the whole thing is a crock of shit and that i won't sleep again until my baby is at least 2 years old.

SteffM0521 |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I have a Boppy Total Body pillow, and although it's $50, it was so worth it! It solves the problem of trying to take the pillows with you when you turn over. I just detached the head of the pillow from the rest of it and turn over as I need to. The only drawback is that I have to straighten the belly portion out a bit, but at least I don't have to turn the whole thing over.

keriannethebride |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I have the Snoogle, and I may continue to use it even after I've given birth! It is comfortable and supportive in a variety of positions. I have found that no matter what I try, I always end up on my back. I suspect that eventually this will become impossible, but at 6.5 months pregnant, I still wake up on my back, even with the Snoogle pillow. However, with this pillow, even on my back it offers support for my upper body and legs, taking a lot of the pressure off and allowing blood flow to continue (picture someone floating in a swimming pool in an inner tube). It was expensive, but worth it.

perezsilverman@stanfordalumni.org |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

one word a comfortable( recliner)

redhair1969 |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I love my Snoogle. I can't say enough good things about it. One little drawback is that it has flattened out a little at the top, but I have been using it for 5 months now. I just put a thin pillow under it, and it's still amazingly comfortable. I will be sad to say goodbye to it, but I can't wait to sleep on my stomach again some day.

spetro83 |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

The Snoogle is a GODSEND. I have resisted buying all the pregnancy things (I am frugal and against the pregnancy/baby-consumerism-complex ;)), but the snuggle was worth every penny. $40 on diapers.com. I'm able to turn from one side to the other during the night, without having to rearrange anything (like I had to previously with pillows). I put a pillow or two underneath the top part to tilt me up when I have heartburn. I also lay or sit on it in bed with the curly side curled up underneath my bottom when I have hemorrhoids. Amazing!!

mcdana22 |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I have sever Carpel Tunnel in both arms, so I can sleep on my sides. My husband bought me a pregnancy body pillow but I still have to sleep on my back because of my hands..... This is the hardest trimester I have had to deal with thus far.... the first and second were a breeze for me..... ugh I hate not sleeping well especially since I will be working up until I deliver.

maimala |

Q&A: Sleeping comfortably late in pregnancy?

I'm nearly 32 weeks and found that a feather bed, snoogle, and assortment of other pillows either behind my back or propping me up slightly work the best. Biggest problem is rolling out of bed when the leg cramps hit!

kffcvt |