Thursday, June 27, 2013

Guest Post: 8 Tips for Sleeping Comfortably During Pregnancy

Today we have a guest post from Scott Smith, a sleep counselor who advises on sleep and mattresses. He provides some tips for getting comfortable in bed during the different stages of pregnancy.

Normally, the human body only makes significant changes to itself about every seven years or so.  The only natural exception to this rule is pregnancy.  Within nine months, body parts change size, the sleeping position that used to be comfortable is no longer possible, and the body is under a different type of stress and strain that may need different support.

While it’s unrealistic to change your mattress at every new stage, there are some things that can make you more comfortable on the bed that you have, through each trimester of pregnancy. 

First Trimester Tips:
  • During the first trimester, the outside of your body isn’t changing much, but the inside is.  This is a great time to prepare your bed for the coming months by adding a waterproof mattress protector.  This will protect your bed against uncontrollable morning sickness, weakening of your bladder control muscles, as well as if your water breaks while in bed.
  • You may notice some breast tenderness that will make stomach sleeping uncomfortable.  Try to sleep on your side, and hug a pillow to your chest to keep your chest open.  Also put a pillow between your knees to keep your hips comfortable.

Second Trimester Tips:
  • As your body starts to change, your sleeping will also.  Sleeping on your stomach, if it was still possible until this point, will now be out of the question.  Similarly, back sleeping will become uncomfortable as your developing baby weighs on your other organs.  Sleep on your left side for optimal blood flow and nutrients to your baby.  Laying on the left can also help your kidneys do their job, which can ease swelling in your extremities.  Follow the pillow tips above for more comfortable sleep.
  • Some women feel increased sensitivity in their ribs and hips, and may be tossing and turning a lot at night.  If this is the case, think about adding a mattress topper to your existing mattress, to make it a little softer and to ease those pressure points.
  • Acid reflux can be problematic starting in the second trimester.  If you don’t have an adjustable bed, consider purchasing a wedge to sleep on at night, to elevate your head and torso.  Also, avoid eating right before bed, as well eating acidic foods such as tomato sauce, spicy food, or citrus.

Third Trimester Tips:
  • Back soreness and pain is par for the course in the third trimester, so you want to make sure that you’re on a mattress that is supportive enough, without being too firm.  Have your partner stand behind you while you’re lying on your side, to make sure that your spine isn’t curved.  Arrange pillows to support your spine, by either placing them under your stomach, along your back, or between your knees.
  • With all that extra blood that’s pumping through you, it’s easy to become overheated.  Instead of one big comforter, consider using layers to keep yourself warm.  That way, you can throw off and put on layers at will to maintain your perfect temperature.
  • It may be difficult to get out of bed if you’re at the end of your pregnancy, especially if the bed is very soft.  Put a heavy piece of furniture next to the bed to help you pull yourself out.  Also, perfect the “pregnancy roll”, and roll yourself out of bed instead of trying to sit up.

Pregnancy is a wonderful time, but it can also be quite uncomfortable.  Your body is not only supporting itself, but is also forming a new person.  You need to treat it well, let it rest, and promote comfort so that it can put its best towards your new baby. 

If you are considering purchasing a new bed before or during pregnancy, really look hard at what you’ll need both during this time, as well as after. 
Scott Smith is the author of DrSnooze and a Sleep Counselor who also advises on sleep and mattresses. Follow him @DrsnoozeMatt and visit his blog at or


Are you finding it difficult to get comfortable in bed as your pregnancy progresses? Try out some of Scott's tips and let us know if they helped you! Do you have anything to add from your own experience?


  1. The third trimester is definitely the hardest. I'm wondering if I could benefit from pregnancy counseling. What have you heard about it?
    Celine |


  2. Many thanks for the amazing essay I really gained a lot of info. That I was searching for

  3. Sleeping was always hard for me during the pregnancy. However, many of the other mothers in my mothers group said that they went to a pregnancy counselor and got advice on how to sleep and so much more. If my husband and I decide to have another I will definitely look into pregnancy counseling to learn more.

  4. Excellent Information related to Pregnancy. I Shared this in my Facebook wall. Really a pregnant lady need to know how to sleep during pregnancy. While searching I found an another link which explains well. Please take your time to read How to sleep healthy during pregnancy?

  5. Good stuff. Pregnancy is a rewarding yet tough journey. One factor that is challenging when pregnant is getting a good night's sleep. Aside from your article, I think this can help as an additional resource to give tips on sleeping better while pregnant

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  7. great info for pregnant and expectant women.i just added few of your resource to my knownledge.

  8. I enjoyed reading your article :) PLease continue publishing helpful topics like this. Regards, from beddingstock.