In my last post, I mentioned a friend who was literally losing sleep because she was a lifelong belly sleeper and worried about squishing her baby.
Spoiler alert: you CAN’T squish your baby by laying on your belly. But there are definitely some things you need to know, so please keep reading!
Can you squish your baby in the womb while sleeping?
No, you can’t squish your baby by sleeping on your belly. Or laying on your belly while reading.
However, it may be too difficult or uncomfortable for you as your belly gets bigger. Just know that if you are pregnant and somehow roll over onto your stomach and sleep that way, the baby will be totally safe!
Unlike laying on your back, it’s not a forbidden move to lay on your stomach. Much of the advice about not laying on your stomach comes about because of your own comfort. According to research, there are no negative effects found on babies through the first 28 weeks of pregnancy in this stomach-laying position.
What about after?
Well, no harm can come to the baby if you’re on your belly, but it may be too difficult a position for you to manage.
When you lie on your back, there are definitely risks as you move further along in your pregnancy. They also say that lying on the right side is bad after 28 weeks, something I didn’t realize until now. See? Even I am still learning!
But of course, ask your doctor about it too, and see what they have to say. And if you’re worried about sleeping on your belly, your doctor can assure you that you will not squish that baby!
Stomach-lying benefits you in pregnancy
Believe it or not, you may feel more comfortable laying on your stomach while pregnant, at least initially. You can get better sleep, especially now that you know stomach-sleeping is safe for your baby.
However, it may be quite uncomfortable the larger that bump gets. You may want to try a breastfeeding pillow which can help put you in a more comfortable position.
When you lay on your stomach, you avoid going into other positions that could harm the baby, such as lying on your back. This is the biggest one to avoid as it may restrict that major vein (called the inferior vena cava). I’ve learned that it could compress your aorta later in pregnancy on your right side! Yikes!
Both those scenarios could restrict blood flow to the baby. Not to give you more to keep you up worrying at night, but that stomach sleeping position might be a great idea to try right about now.
Plus, it could help your muscles and bring relief to your back and hips.
However, remember that it’s best to lay in another way if you lay on your belly and feel uncomfortable or hurt. Talk to your doctor about your discomforts, too, as we’re all a bit different, and they may have the perfect and safe suggestion for you.
As for squishing baby, no worries here! You can’t squish baby by sleeping on your belly!
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs. She loves eating too much sushi, exercise, and jamming out on her Fender.