Is It Safe to Lay in a Hammock While Pregnant?

Written By Matthew Cordero

Hammocks are a great way for pregnant women to relax, both indoors and outdoors. Though hammocks are lauded for their comfort, many women still wonder if it’s safe to lay in one while pregnant?

It’s safe to lay in a hammock while pregnant as long as you are on your side, or on your stomach if you are on the 16-18th week. It is not safe to lay on your back because this position can cause complications and interfere with circulation.

lady holding pregnant stomach

There are other things you can do to relax on a hammock safely while pregnant. Read on to find out all about it.

During pregnancy, it can be difficult to find a comfortable position to relax in. That’s because your body is going through many changes, and your usual laying positions will no longer work. The good news is that hammocks can help you relax and relieve certain pressure points, as long as you follow the right posture.

When you lay down on a hammock, be sure to lay on your side especially if you are in your second and third trimester. This position improves the flow of blood and nutrients that reach your baby. Here are helpful tips to make sure that you’re even more comfortable:

  • Use pillows: Cross your legs, and place a pillow in between your legs. Add another pillow behind your back for added support while relieving stress in this area. If you are prone to heartburn, use soft yoga blocks or more pillows to prop up your head while on the hammock. This position will keep acids in the stomach and prevent heartburn.
  • Get a full body pillow: These pillows are extremely useful in laying down enjoyably on a hammock, especially since both your upper body and lower body can safely relax on it.
  • Try a pregnancy pillow: These pillows are available in C or U shapes, and are meant to wrap around the body while helping you relax as you lay on your side, or sleep.
  • Lay semi-upright: Laying at a 20 to 30 degree angle, or semi-upright, will relieve pressure on the inferior vena cava while ensuring you’re still comfortable. This also helps prevent heartburn.
  • Use a double hammockDouble hammocks are made for two people, and are much wider compared to single hammocks. They provide you with more space to lay comfortably, as well as are more room for your pillows.

Though laying on either your left or right side on a hammock is fine, experts always recommend the left side whenever possible. This position prevents your body weight from pushing on the liver, encourages optimal blood and nutrient flow to the placenta, and improves kidney function which in turn reduces swelling.

Another alternative for safely laying on a hammock is to lay on your stomach until 16 to 18 weeks, but you should observe how big your belly has become. It won’t be comfortable once you have a sizable bump as it will feel like you’re sleeping on top of a watermelon.

Whichever position you choose to lay in, be sure that both you and your baby are safe and comfortable. The most important thing to keep in mind is to listen to your body. If you are laying on the wrong position, you’ll know right away because you’ll feel a pain in your hips or back, light -headed, or malaise. Your baby might even give you a little kick until you have switched to a more suitable position.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why isn’t it safe for me to lay on my back while on a hammock while pregnant?

Laying on your back is only safe during the first trimester because the uterus is still small, and it won’t place pressure on the vena cava. Once you reach 18 weeks and above, laying on your back will place the uterus on top of the vena cava. This blocks circulation and blood flow to yourself and the baby.

Studies show that this can increase the risk for stillbirth, as well as your baby ending up to be less active or suffering from changes in heart-rate patterns. For pregnant women, it can cause you to feel dizzy, nauseated, short of breath, increase the risk for hemorrhoids and backaches, affect digestion, and cause hypotension. But every pregnancy is different; if you are expecting twins or multiples, it may be better to avoid laying on your back much earlier in your pregnancy.

How else can I lay in a hammock safely?

Laying on a hammock occasionally is safe for pregnant women. However, if this is something that you want to do regularly, it’s best to talk to your doctor first. There may be some side effects that could be dangerous for you, especially in terms of posture and back pain, depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy.

Here are tips to ensure you lay safely on a hammock during your pregnancy:

  • Hammocks are always prone to falls if they aren’t securely tied. This could lead to serious injury for both pregnant women and the baby, so always make sure that the hammock is tied properly and securely.
  • You can reduce the risk of falling by hanging the hammock low to the ground. Generally speaking, the sit height (distance between your body and the ground after you’ve laid in the hammock) should be around 18 inches from the ground after you’ve laid in it. For pregnant women, it would be safer to have 3-5 inch sit height from the ground once you’re in the hammock.
  • Inspect the hammock for damage or signs of wear before using. Look out for any fraying, weakness, holes, and tears before using. Patch them up if found, and replace any old, weak equipment.
  • Be sure that the hammock has a proper sag before laying in it. A good sag allows you to lay on your back diagonally across the hammock instead of directly across it; this is the correct way to lay on a hammock and it will be much more comfortable for you.
  • Change positions: If you are planning to lay on a hammock for a few hours to relax, it’s recommended to change positions a few times. Though if you’re the type who doesn’t feel the need to move positions often, staying in the same position for an hour or more won’t do harm to you or the baby.

What happens if lay on a hammock safely, but fall asleep and wake up on my back?

It’s impossible to control our position when we’re asleep, but if you fall asleep while relaxing on a hammock, don’t worry. Keep in mind that most pregnant women don’t stay in the same position while sleeping. All you need to do is simply flip over to the side as soon as you wake up.