How to Cope With Lower Back Pain When Sleeping During Pregnancy

With up to 70% of mums-to-be experiencing lower back pain during their pregnancy, it’s no surprise that sleeping can become a challenge – but there are ways you can cope with lower back pain when sleeping so you’re not stuck tossing and turning!

With up to 70% of mums-to-be experiencing lower back pain during their pregnancy, it’s no surprise that sleeping can become a challenge – but there are ways you can cope with lower back pain when sleeping so you’re not stuck tossing and turning!

With all the quirks and changes that come with pregnancy, struggling with back pain is just another hurdle to jump over.

And while it can be worrying for first-time mums, it’s important to remember that lower back pain during pregnancy is certainly not unusual.

To help make your nights more bearable, we’ve put together some helpful tips and techniques to ease lower back pain when sleeping during pregnancy.

Is it Normal to Get Lower Back Pain When You're Pregnant?

Back pain is one of the most common discomforts experienced by pregnant women, with around 2 in 3 women suffering from it at some point during their pregnancy journey.

Your body is going through a lot of physical changes throughout your pregnancy, which can put extra strain on your lower back.

If you think about it, your body is carrying extra weight, so it needs to accommodate to this change, which can lead to mild or severe lower back pain.


Why Does My Lower Back Hurt When I Sleep?

There are a few reasons why you may experience lower back pain when sleeping during pregnancy – your aches may even be a result of a few or all of them.

Some of the most common reasons include:

#1 Increased Weight

Your weight gain during pregnancy can naturally put a strain on your back, especially as your bump grows larger and you adjust to the extra weight.

Your lower back is working hard to support and balance your growing belly, so it’s common for this area to feel discomfort, particularly when lying down.

Also, your centre of gravity shifts forward as your bump grows, putting extra pressure on your lower back.

When it comes to sleeping, the pressure on your lower back can increase, especially if your mattress isn't providing enough support.

#2 Hormonal Changes

During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone called relaxin. This hormone helps to loosen ligaments and joints in preparation for childbirth, but it can also affect the stability of your back, leading to discomfort and pain.

If your lower back isn't strong enough to support the changes happening in your body, it may struggle to cope with the additional strain.

#3 Posture Changes

As your bump grows, your posture naturally changes to accommodate it.

Our spines are naturally curved, but as your baby grows bigger and your abdomen protrudes forward, your spine may become more curved, putting extra pressure on your lower back.

This change in posture can also put added strain on your muscles and joints, leading to pain when you sleep.


#4 Stress & Tension

Pregnancy can be a stressful time for many women, and this stress and tension can manifest itself in physical discomfort.

Stress can cause your muscles to tighten up, leading to tension and soreness in your lower back.

Also, the lack of quality sleep during pregnancy can also contribute to back pain, making it harder for your body to recover from the daily stressors.

Read How to Sleep Better During Pregnancy: 10 Tips for Tired Mum-to-Be’s

#5 Existing Back Issues

If you dealt with lower back pain before pregnancy, then it’s likely that you’ll feel discomfort during your pregnancy as well.

Any pre-existing conditions or injuries can be exacerbated by the changes your body is going through, leading to increased pain and discomfort during sleep.

How to Relieve Lower Back Pain When Sleeping

The discomfort that comes with lower back pain during pregnancy can be frustrating, especially when it affects your sleep. But that's not to say that you can't find some relief and make your nights more comfortable.

The way in which you cope with your lower back pain will differ depending on the cause, and you may find some relief techniques to be more beneficial than others. A combination can also help to provide more significant relief.

We recommend trying out the following methods to find what works best for you:

#1 Use a Pregnancy Pillow

Top of our list is to use a pregnancy support pillow at night – and even for naps during the day. These specially designed pillows can help to support your growing bump and take the pressure off your lower back when sleeping.

We've created the SnüzCurve Pregnancy Support Pillow closely alongside health professionals to provide proven support for pregnancy aches and pains. Its unique shape helps to take the pressure off your lower back while supporting your knees, ankles, pelvis, and growing bump.

It's the first pregnancy pillow that guides you into the right sleeping position to relieve your lower back pain without the need for multiple pillows. It helps you get into a neutral spine position, which significantly reduces the pressure on your lower back.

#2 Try Acupuncture or Chiropractic Care

Acupuncture and chiropractic care are both safe and effective methods to relieve lower back pain during pregnancy.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of small needles at certain points on the body, promoting healing and reducing discomfort, while chiropractic care involves gentle adjustments to the spine and joints to alleviate pain.

While acupuncture is often completely okay during pregnancy, make sure to let your practitioner know that you are pregnant beforehand, and always consult with your midwife if you're worried about chiropractic care.

#3 Practice Prenatal Yoga or Stretching Exercises

Exercising during pregnancy can do wonders for your body, including helping to relieve back pain.

Regular prenatal yoga or stretching can help to improve your flexibility and strengthen your muscles, reducing pain and discomfort.

The NHS has some great exercises for lower back pain, so we recommend checking out their recommendations. But some of our favourites include:

  • Cat-cow stretch
  • Pelvic tilt
  • Child's pose
  • Pigeon pose
  • Squats

#5 Get a More Supportive Mattress

Having a supportive mattress is important even in normal times, but it’s especially crucial for your comfort during pregnancy.

A good quality mattress can help to alleviate the pressure on your lower back and provide more support while you sleep. Look for a medium-firm mattress with good support, and avoid overly soft mattresses that can cause your spine to sink.

This, doubled-up with a pregnancy pillow, can make a huge difference in the quality of your sleep and reducing lower back pain.


#6 Hot & Cold Therapy

Hot and cold therapy can also be helpful. A heat pad or warm compress placed on your lower back can help to relax tight muscles, while a cold compress can reduce inflammation and swelling. You can alternate between the two therapies for added relief.

Back massages can help to provide some pain relief, too, but make sure to let your therapist know that you’re pregnant and avoid lying flat on your back.

#7 Maintain Good Posture

Making sure you maintain good posture throughout the day is also very important.

As we mentioned, your growing belly causes your pelvis to tilt forward, which can put extra strain on your lower back. To prevent the aches and pains, try to be mindful of your posture while standing and sitting.

That means standing up straight with your shoulders back, and when sitting, keep your knees at a 90-degree angle and use a footstool if needed.

Does Lower Back Pain Continue After Pregnancy?

Postpartum back pain is also a common experience for new mums. You might find that your back pain continues as you recover from the physical demands of pregnancy and childbirth.

Your body is still adjusting after giving birth, so it may be weeks or even months before your back pain subsides.

To cope with lower back pain after pregnancy, try the same techniques mentioned above, such as using a supportive pillow, stretching exercises, and hot/cold therapy.

Conclusion: When to Seek Medical Help for Your Pains

Throughout any part of your pregnancy, you shouldn't leave your concerns or discomforts unanswered.

If your lower back pain becomes too much to handle, or if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever or bleeding, you should speak with your healthcare provider right away.

In most cases, however, lower back pain during pregnancy isn't anything to worry about. It's a natural part of the journey and can be managed with some simple remedies like those we've discussed.

For more advice on improving your sleep during pregnancy, we recommend checking out the rest of our Sleep Talk blog, where you'll find a wealth of helpful information to help you get the restorative rest you need.

Get More Pregnancy Sleep Advice


Most of the time, lower back pain isn't a cause for concern during pregnancy. However, if you experience severe and persistent pain, or if it's accompanied by other symptoms such as fever or bleeding, you should speak with your healthcare provider immediately.

You may find your back pain increases at nighttime because of the way you're sleeping. When lying on your back, the weight of your baby can put pressure on your spine and make your discomfort worse. A pregnancy pillow can help to alleviate this pressure and make it more comfortable for you to sleep.

Exercises such as prenatal yoga and stretching can help to strengthen your lower back during pregnancy. It's also essential to maintain good posture when standing and sitting, which will help to lessen the strain on your back.

Yes, sleeping in the fetal position can provide some relief from back pain, but it's essential to make sure you're not curled up too tightly, as this can restrict your breathing and put pressure on your joints.

A pregnancy pillow can help to support your body in the fetal position while keeping your spine aligned.

Latest Articles