Sleeping on your back during pregnancy??

Discussion in 'Second Trimester' started by jo jo, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. jo jo

    jo jo Well-Known Member

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    Hi Everyone

    Hope you are all ok..

    Just a quick question, i have heard that it is not good to sleep on your back during pregnancy as it can afffect the blood supply to the baby.

    After hearing this i have been trying not to sleep on my back. I never used to want to sleep on my back but when you cant do something you always want to dont you. I always now sleep on my side but when i wake up in the night im always on my back. Could this cause the baby to die?

    Is there anything you have been doing to try and stop yourself turning on to your back while you are asleep?

    Please help, very scared.
     
  2. minikins

    minikins Well-Known Member

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    Got this info off the web on this as I have read about it and found it hard first as I kept going onto my back;

    What position is safest to sleep in while pregnant?
    By : Sophia Levis


    Sleeping on your back while pregnant can create pressure on a major vein called the inferior vena cava. This vein returns blood from the lower body to your heart. This may lead to lightheadedness and/or numbness. In addition this may cause pressure on your back and intestines, leading to discomfort.

    Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended because it can cause pressure on the fetus.

    Most physicians recommend that a woman sleep on her left side while pregnant. this allows for the maximum blood flow to the baby, and it will also improve kidney function for the mother. The improved kidney flow will help to reduce swelling. Because your liver is on the right side of your body, sleeping on your left will keep the pressure off your liver.

    Early in pregnancy, you should attempt to get into the habit of side sleeping. Typically the most comfortable position is with your knees bent. You may wish to place a pillow between your knees to sleep more comfortably.

    The best sleeping position for a pregnant woman is on her side, especially the left side, because it allows for maximum blood flow to the fetus and improves kidney function in the mother. Improved kidney flow helps to reduce any swelling. Placing a pillow between the knees can help a pregnant woman sleep more comfortably on her side. Also, using a bunched-up pillow or rolled-up blanket at the small of your back may help to relieve some pressure.

    It is not uncommon to roll onto your back during the night. Shifting positions is a perfectly natural part of sleep. If you do shift it is possible that the baby's weight may press on the inferior vena cava, causing discomfort and waking you up.
     
  3. jo jo

    jo jo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks minikins

    Wow you only have 2 weeks to go now!!!

    Good luck i bet your really excited
     
  4. Rosebay

    Rosebay Well-Known Member

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    Hi there,

    this has been one of my major worries and problems too so my sympathies! Basically I did loads of research on this a few weeks ago (there's a thread somewhere below about it) and then phoned my midwife as I was finding it impossible to sleep totally on my sides all night due to hip pain and leg cramps no matter how many pillows I tried and I was getting all worried, paranoid and wound up about it. She said that after 20 weeks it's not a good idea to sleep or lie on your back but that sleeping raised up on your back (kind of sitting up- you can use a V pillow to help- they are very cheap in Argos) won't cause problems and sleeping slightly tilted won't hurt either. It's flat on your back you have to avoid. Even then it's not going to cause death so don't panic if you wake up in the night on your back! This advice is relatively new anyway so think of all the millions of women who have slept on their backs through pregnancy in the past!!

    Since phoning her I have found that putting a rolled up blanket under my left side- tilting me by about an inch- has made it more comfortable to sleep. I checked with the midwife and she said an inch would be fine!! Last week I got myself a full body pillow and so now it looks like there's a third body in the bed! It's nice and squidgy so it makes the tilted sleeping more comfortable and also the sleeping on the side better too as I can kind of sleep half on it- taking some strain off my hip. I've got bigger in the last fortnight and it is actually now uncomfortable to sleep on my back anyway- it makes me feel a bit breathless and I did wake up last night feeling queasy after being asleep on my back so I'm pretty sure that if you're accidentally asleep on your back and it's not good for you you will know about it and wake up naturally anyway. As one site put it if it were that dangerous then mother nature would have helped us to grow humps during pregnancy to protect the baby!

    Hope this helps. If you're still worried then speak to your midwife, mine was very nice about it even though I felt that it was a small worry to her and didn't really want to phone her about it for a while when I did she immediately realised that I'd got myself in a fret about it and was not sleeping easily etc and was very helpful!

    +++
     
  5. EmmaD

    EmmaD Member

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    Just a quick reply, my midwife said it's only when the baby is much bigger and you can feel the pressure of it that you should aviod sleeping on your back.

    As your about 15 weeks I wouldn't worry just yet, then when you're big enough you'll know because it'll feel really uncomfortable!

    I hope this helps.

    Love
    Emma & Little Pip
    xxx
     
  6. jo jo

    jo jo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks very much for the advise. I feel abit better now.

    I have never worried so much than i am at the moment. I was scared there would be no baby when i had my first scan, now im worried the baby could die inside me and i wont know untill my next scan and after my first scan i was so amazed i just said to everyone i cant wait for my next scan but i think this one is going to be even more scary because its the anormality scan. Any pain in my stomach and i think im having a miscarraige. Im like a nervous wreck. I thought this would stop at 12 weeks but its got worse.
     
  7. EmmaD

    EmmaD Member

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    Oh Jo Jo, I really feel for you. I know it's easy to say but try you best to enjoy your pregnancy! It's such a wonderful thing and think I'm going to miss it when it's over!

    I haven't worried too much apart from at the start when I had some bleeding, but that turned out to be normal spotting and I relaxed after that.

    Perhaps when you start to feel it moving around you'll feel better.

    Chin up !!

    Love
    Emma & Little Pip
    xxx
     

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