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Sleeping positions

(16 Posts)
Pinkrach Mon 29-Dec-14 07:15:42


I have a question about sleeping positions. I know it's advisable to sleep on left side, but I find that I start on my left side, wake up with pain, switch to my right, wake up with leg pain, then usually prop myself up at an angle on my back until my legs recover, then start again!

However, is it ok to be on your back as long as you're propped semi upright??

Any thoughts would be appreciated smile

applecore0317 Mon 29-Dec-14 07:39:33

I'm looking at investing in a pregnancy pillow and a thick mattress protector as I am pretty much struggling with the same thing, I sleep on my left at the moment propped up with three sloped pillows, which seems to lessen the hip pain, I only go on my back propped up for short spells

Cirsium Mon 29-Dec-14 07:51:43

I have been told by a physio, midwife and consultant obstetrician that it really doesn't matter how you sleep. Left side is preferable but your body is designed to protect the baby and you would wake up feeling ill if you were putting pressure on any nerves/blood vessels/etc well before it would affect the baby. I have slept so much better since taking that on board.

Physio suggested pillow between knees and under bump, soft mattress topper and core strengthening/pelvic floor exercises for hip pain.

Pinkrach Mon 29-Dec-14 08:56:23

Ah well that makes me feel a bit better. I miss my un-disturbed sleep! Suppose it's good that I am getting used to it xx

WingsClipped Mon 29-Dec-14 16:44:21

With my first pregnancy I really really tried to stay on my left side. Second pregnancy now and with the toddler still co-sleeping I'm just trying to get sleep however I can- lying left, right, on back, sitting up (in the car- not driving obviously!), lying down. The important thing is to get enough rest, regardless of positions grin

TotleighTowers Mon 29-Dec-14 17:11:31

I had a midwife appointment today and asked about this - I try to sleep on my left side but keep waking up on my back. The midwife said as long as I'm not flat on my back (i.e. as long as my head/shoulders are propped up on pillows/cushions) it is fine, and it is best to sleep however I am most comfortable.

I have a Theraline V-shaped maternity pillow but it seems to end up on the floor most nights. However, one of my friends swore by it.

catsofa Mon 29-Dec-14 17:29:04

I feel very sceptical about the whole "Don't lie on your back from 16 weeks!" thing. I'm nearly 23 weeks and can lie on my back for ages without feeling remotely dizzy or strange - all I feel is that my lungs are pushed upwards a bit by the bump, and that's what eventually makes me roll over.

How many babies can possibly have been injured by this in the zillions of years of human evolution before this instruction came along? How can any risk possibly be big enough to be worth the massive discomfort and worry of such strict instructions not to lie in the one position that's helpful for back ache?

I've never heard any examples of a baby being hurt by this or a woman fainting etc because of it, but also have no idea where to look to gather any other evidence that it is good advice, so I'm not sure what to do and just feel guilty or worried if I lie on my back for a few minutes.

Does anyone know of any actual evidence or research about it?

caravela Mon 29-Dec-14 17:49:15

I asked my midwife about this and she said that the 'don't sleep on your back' thing was based on a simplification/misunderstanding of a piece of research. According to her, the research was on women with compromised pregnancies where there was reason to think there were issues with blood flow and there was some indication that lying on the left helped. She said it had been taken out of context to advise all women never to lie on their backs but there was no justification for this in a normal healthy pregnancy, as long as you feel comfortable, and are careful not to get up too fast in case of feeling faint. She had two midwifery students sitting in with her at the time so she went into some detail about it as she wanted to make sure they had the full picture so they didn't pass on wrong information in the future. So it seems to be like a lot of the pieces of advice that get given to pregnant women and new mums - misinterpretations based on not reading the full context of a research study.

Pinkrach Mon 29-Dec-14 17:59:08

Thanks for taking the time to reply everyone- I love this site because now I feel much better about it all after worrying this morning. To be honest when I am on my back I am propped up a fair bit anyway, almost sitting up, so I won't feel guilty in future smile xxx

RL20 Mon 29-Dec-14 18:20:26

I'm glad I read this! I'm 24 weeks and remember reading a while ago about not lying on your back, which scared me! Never read into it properly though, and also read that it's advisable to sleep on your left, so every night I've been trying my best to only sleep on my left! It's difficult when you're a first time mum to be, as you read and hear so many conflicting things! I still don't have a very big bump so it's not the actual bump that's making me uncomfortable but just the feelings of baby pressing on my lungs etc (that's what it feels like anyway?). So with having palpitations at night, I think i'll just sleep in a position that's most comfortable for me! X

leanne963 Mon 29-Dec-14 18:49:28

I've been trying to sleep on my left side for the past 2 months to try and get accustomed to this position as I am normally a belly sleeper. But the past few nights I cannot fall asleep unless it's on my back as I suffer from rhinitis and struggle to breath clearly. This information is very much appreciated!!

WrappedInABlankie Mon 29-Dec-14 18:54:54

I slept on my front with my DS, all the way through even in hospital in my induction.

You'll be uncomfortable before damage is done

catsofa Mon 29-Dec-14 19:47:04

I've also wondered if I should feel bad about squashing the bump a bit in some positions, e.g. if spooning with DP and he has an arm around me and he falls asleep with the arm sort of mildly uncomfortably resting on the bump.

If it's only the sort of mild discomfort which I might normally just ignore and fall asleep with myself, is it really necessary to wake DP and move him off the bump, or is it fine if it's not too uncomfortable for me to get to sleep myself?

I guess I keep imagining his big arm crushing a breathing little baby, but a) it's not breathing yet, and b) it has a hell of a lot of padding in there, it is mostly me being squashed. What do people think?

TheScenicRoute Mon 29-Dec-14 21:51:05

My bump kicks off big time if I'm squashing the wrong bit which causes me to move pretty quickly out if sheer guilt. I'd say just listen to your bump and your own comfort levels and find some sort of Middle ground.

comeagainforbigfudge Mon 29-Dec-14 22:03:14

I fall asleep on my side. But find more often than not, I wake up flat on my back. Also been advised to have pillow btwn legs. (From knees to ankles) that's normally on floor when I awake grin and I feel like I expect slept well.

I'm just worried incase I'm snoring! Mainly cos DH snores when he's on his back he's not said if I am though!

catsofa Mon 29-Dec-14 22:39:53

I don't care if I snore since I already have to wear earplugs to block out the horrific noise of DP snoring. I'm sure I snore much more with the earplugs in because I can't hear myself, but I just enjoy sweet revenge while I am pregnant and therefore entitled to fidget, snore and drool as much as I like with no complaints grin.

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