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  1. #1

    Sleeping comfortably whilst pregnant

    Hi everyone,

    I'm now a little over 20 weeks pregnant and I am finding it more difficult to get comfortable whilst sleeping. Before I was pregnant I would naturally fall asleep on my back but the advice (from my midwife) is that I should now be sleeping on my left hand side (this will help to get the baby in a good position for the labour).

    I've tried surrounding myself with pillows but these tend to move during the night and then I wake up feeling uncomfortable. I'm keen to be getting good sleep as I am aware of research which shows that the average labour time is longer for women who are not having enough sleep.

    How did you sleep when you were pregnant? Do you have any tips? Also, has anyone tried a Holo Lilo as this looks like a good way to sleep on your front.

    Many thanks,


  2. #2
    Hi Laura-Jane,

    This is the first I've heard of the Holo Lilo, so, needless to say, I didn't use it. I, too, would be curious to find out if anyone has used this and if they found it helpful.

    Once concern I have is that it looks like it's made of vinyl, and vinyl outgasses/offgasses a lot. So if I were using this, I would be sure to let it air out for a few weeks before bringing it in the house. I'd also try to cover it with a fabric cloth like a bed sheet, to avoid skin contact with the chemicals in the vinyl. The skin is the largest organ of the body, and it absorbs elements from everything it comes in contact with - both good, and bad. Contact with vinyl could cause the kidneys and liver to have to work harder to move toxins out of the body - toxins that your developing baby will be exposed to.

    If you're a back sleeper, you may just find it hard to get used to sleeping on your side. I slept on my side with all of my pregnancies, but I'm naturally a side sleeper. I place one hand under my pillow when I'm sleeping on my side (if I'm laying on my left side, it would be the left hand under the pillow).

    One thing that we have had on our bed ever since we had our first child is a body pillow. It was a really inexpensive one but I'm sure you could find more expensive ones too - depending upon what you want. I remember grabbing that body pillow at times in order to find a comfortable position, and at times during my pregnancies it definitely helped.

    Here's a fabulous video by a woman who is 32 weeks pregnant. I think that what she shows you here will definitely help you to sleep comfortably on your side. If you do try it, please let me know how it works for you.

  3. #3
    I am a stomach sleeper. I slept on my stomach until it became uncomfortable and then switched to my left side, with a body pillow for support. It's hard. I would still wake up at times and find that I had rolled over. The Holo Lilo has a great shape, I've never seen one before now. I am concerned that it would not be so comfortable to sleep on though. I cannot sleep on vinyl, I can't even sleep on a bare mattress. It drives me crazy. I would have to make some sort of cover for it.

  4. #4
    Ooooh this video is really helpful - I see how well supported this lady is and the method she has used should mean she stays in this position throughout the night. I will try it tonight!

    I guess something which sometimes makes it more difficult for me is that my toddler is sometimes co-sleeping still (he does really well with starting off sleeping in his cot and then comes into our bed in the early hours). But we are helping him to spend longer in his cot each night (lots of singing and shushing going on!). Although I think this is for the best, I am also sad because I love snuggling up to him at night-time. But I need to make sure we are both getting lots of good quality sleep (especially as I read a study which showed labours are more likely to be longer if the woman is consistently not getting enough sleep) and we have started to disturb each other too much in bed. That said, I think co-sleeping was absolutely wonderful for the first 12-14 months and if my next bubba is keen I will be happy to co-sleep with them also.

    Thank you both for your comments on the Holo Lilo - I think if I do go with one of these I would make a cotton cover for it.

    Best wishes,


  5. #5
    Hi Laura-Jane,

    I've definitely had a bub in bed during my later pregnancies but I just taught them to snuggle up to Papa, as I had my back turned to them and was sleeping on my left side. Of course they could snuggle up to my back if they wanted to, but I think you're wise to try to teach your little one to sleep in his own cot.

    When I had a newborn in bed, I always had her between me and my husband. But if you're going to use a side sleeper then your toddler could still climb up in bed, next to Papa (between you and your husband) and he wouldn't disturb you or the baby.

    I love hearing how you are all transitioning and I especially like the insight that if a mum isn't getting enough good quality sleep, labour can be longer. Makes sense to me! Quality sleep is SO important for every bodily function.

    Warm regards,


  6. #6
    Thanks Kate, you are very encouraging!

    Your experience of co-sleeping is useful to me as, even though I am hoping and planning to have my toddler in his cot for most of the night by the time the new baby comes, I can imagine that there will still be times when it will be useful to co-sleep with two (e.g. if my toddler is teething or unsettled for some reason). We do have a side sleeper cot to help with co-sleeping (it's the Arm's Reach one).

    The new sleeping technique worked well over the weekend: comfortable for me and bump!

    Best wishes,


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