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Sleeping on the left

(14 Posts)
SharpInTheWoods Fri 16-Sep-11 15:47:01

Hi everyone, I was hoping for a little advise/reassurance.

I'm 30 wks with my first & have had it 'drilled' into me about the importance of sleeping on your left hand side, since day one. I know the whys and wherefores. However, it's not practical. At all. I am currently in an 'aching' faze, my hips ache, my back aches, I may as well sleep on the toilet for all the time I visit it during the night! Not to mention, I can't physically stop my body from facing the right when I'm asleep!?! And I think my mattress is made out of broken glass.

What I want to know is (and since my bump isn't actually too big right now), would it be the 'be all and end all' if I sleep on my right hand side or my back as well as the left?? I mean, people can't be that regimented can they? What about laying on the couch which means I'm on the right - is this a big no, no too....? Is my child going to arrive in the world holding a sign saying 'Bad Mummy' because I'm not following a Rule....?

Please help, my Midwife will only spout text book at me!

ladyintheradiator Fri 16-Sep-11 15:47:55

This is ridiculous. Sleep any way you are comfy. If you feel dizzy or feint then move! smile

ladyintheradiator Fri 16-Sep-11 15:49:36

Just to clarify I do not mean YOU are ridiculous. I'd hope that was obvious but just in case! I mean wtf, are you supposed to get NO SLEEP and just be PERMANENTLY uncomfortable? Ridiculous. I spent my entire second pregnancy sleeping on my tummy, to the left. No one ever asked me about it. Actually I was probably more comfy then, than I can get now hmm

Bartimaeus Fri 16-Sep-11 15:51:46

Sleep anyway you feel comfortable.

I've never once been told by a doctor/midwife to sleep on my left.

I tend to switch over left to right to left several times in the night - only way I can sleep atm, if I stay too long on one side I hurt and wake up.

SharpInTheWoods Fri 16-Sep-11 15:55:45

Thanks Ladyintheradiator - I am usually quite level headed about these things but when I try asking my midwife I get what I call 'The Look' as though to not follow her professional advise is like playing with fire, on a motorway, in rush hour traffic, blind-folded. I think the further on I am getting the more ridiculous my thoughts/worrys become. I am finding that I wake up facing the 'wrong' way and then spend time (wishing I was alseep) because I'm too busy weighing up pros and cons of sleeping on my left and if the advise is correct!

booberella Fri 16-Sep-11 15:58:08

I slept on my right nearly the whole way through my pregnancy- nothing wrong with my LO!! Sleep any way you are comfortable, and get as much as possible ;-)

whackamole Fri 16-Sep-11 16:05:40

Sleep however you feel comfortable. It is really the smallest of things.

pruney1977 Fri 16-Sep-11 16:45:17

No-one has ever told me to sleep on my left but I read that they do in America and the reasons why seemed reasonable to me (particularly as I'm so overweight so any pressure will be greater) so I tried to train myself from day 1. I'm now 26+2 and I sort of sleep half on my left side and half on my back. I have a long feather bolster pillow which supports my back (hence the half and half) and 2 feather pillows which stay either between my knees or supporting my right leg. I do adjust through the night and if I really can't sleep, I can still sleep on my stomach (I was a stomach sleeper before I got pregnant). When did your midwife start telling you to sleep on your left? Maybe I will be told eventually.

spannermary Fri 16-Sep-11 16:59:29

This is a new one on me. Why are we meant to sleep on the left? I sleep on my back or my boobs kill me!

banana87 Fri 16-Sep-11 19:31:13

Don't worry about it. In theory, if you can help it, sleep on your left. If you end up on your right, it's fine. Chances are your body will alert you before anything happens. I often end up on my back in the middle of the night because its so sore and sometimes it is the only comfortable position. Several times now I have been woken by a pain telling me to roll over, so your body does know.

Thirstysomething Fri 16-Sep-11 20:19:52

Midwife told me yesterday, when I was asking her about this, that sleeping on your left side is one theoretical way of getting the baby into the ultimately perfect position for labour - but it isn't remotely essential and doesn't always work even if you are religious about sleeping on your left throughout the nine (ten) months. Sleeping on your back in the third trimester CAN restrict blood flow to the placenta and/or put pressure on the major vein that carries blood to your heart or something (someone please correct me here) but apparently your body usually realises and makes it uncomfortable for you, so you roll over in your sleep.
I was worried because I keep waking up on my back, but she told me not to sweat it and to sleep however I can before the baby arrives!

seaweed74 Fri 16-Sep-11 20:20:48

I read a few days ago that the theory that it's better to sleep on the left hasn't been sufficiently proven yet so it isn't supposed to be best practice. The problem with sleeping on your back is that the weight of the baby may press too much on the major vein/artery (not sure which) running down the back and you may feel faint.

With this pregnancy I definitely struggle on my back, even at MW appts! However very little hip pain at night. Opposite with DD1.

Thirstysomething Fri 16-Sep-11 20:22:06

Sorry, just re-read that and realised I didn't say that she said blood flow could be restricted because of the weight of the uterus in the 2nd/3rd trimester

acatcalledfelix Fri 16-Sep-11 20:38:31

I try and sleep on my left but am much more comfy on my right so during the many times that I get up to go to the loo in the night, I tend to swap over as a compromise. I quite often wake up on my back too, but can't consciously lie on my back, it's far too uncomfortable.
There was something on the BBC website recently about sleeping on your left reducing the risk of cot death, so it looks as though there is more research coming through about the benefits. But, when it comes down to it we need to be able to sleep, and we also can't really influence what we do when we are actually asleep, so don't sweat it smile

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