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I just can't sleep, at my wits end now - help!

(19 Posts)
Titchypanda Wed 10-Aug-16 09:35:38

I'm really struggling to the point I'm almost in tears every night. I cannot sleep in any position that's not on my back. My midwife just tells me I'm not allowed on my back and to lie on side with lots of cushions. I've tried to sleep on my side but due to previous shoulder and neck injuries, I am in absolute agony lying on my side. My neck and shoulders are so painful all the time now. No cushions or pillows help. I'm at my wits end and really don't know what else to do. I'm permanently exhausted and just need to sleep. Is it bad for the baby to sleep on my back or just me?

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Mummyme87 Wed 10-Aug-16 09:44:18

How many weeks pregnant are you?

Lying flat on your back reduces oxygenated blood going to baby due to compression of the aorta. This will often make you feel light headed also.

I wouldn't worry too much about lying flat unless you are 36weeks plus, you may not tolerate that position by that point. If you are later on in pregnancy can you try propping some pillows underneath you so you aren't flat?

Whatsername17 Wed 10-Aug-16 09:45:38

I slept on my back. I didn't have a huge bump and it didn't hurt. I go from lying on my tummy to my back. My pregnancy pillow helps me to lay so that I don't squash my tummy. My midwife never said anything last time and hasn't so far this time.

NotSoLankyNancy Wed 10-Aug-16 09:47:07

I suffered terribly with insomnia and would get up and plonk with myself on the couch with a book or telly on and eventually drift off for a while anyway. Pregnancy/ breastfeeding pillow is also quite useful.

Laura05 Wed 10-Aug-16 09:50:44

I slept on my back with both of mine but I had really small bumps. I tried sleeping on my side with pillows etc but just couldn't get comfy and always ended up on my back through the night anyway. I didn't have any problems. Fingers crossed you can get some sleep flowers

SeashellHoarder Wed 10-Aug-16 09:59:11

panda that sounds awful, no wonder you're so desperate.
I would prop up on lots of pillows to a half seated position and try that. The midwives wouldn't talk you that you can't sit down!

Titchypanda Wed 10-Aug-16 10:15:13

Mummyme87 I'm 16 weeks. I don't have a big bump, so if I try and alternate positions between back and side would that be ok?

I'm going to try sleeping on back for a few days just to get some sleep I think. We have no midwife permanently at our surgery so every appointment it's a different one with different opinions.

I'll try the half seated position too. Hopefully I will get some sleep!

Titchypanda Wed 10-Aug-16 10:16:58

Thank you for the advice ladies smile

Mummyme87 Wed 10-Aug-16 11:15:53

Don't fret about it at 16weeks. Sleep how you feel comfortable

Pearlman Wed 10-Aug-16 11:24:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EleanorofCastile Wed 10-Aug-16 11:54:29

My midwife had said nothing about not sleeping on your back, and when asked "sleep however you feel comfortable". I would definitely not be worrying about this at 16 weeks.

If you look up the advice on NHS choices it does not tell you that you should not sleep on your back but that you might find it becomes difficult to do so. I'm 31 weeks and often wake up on my back having fallen asleep on my side.

Some advice suggests that if you want to mitigate any possible risks of sleeping on your back you should just prop a pillow under one hip so you aren't completely flat on your back.

isthatpoisontoo Wed 10-Aug-16 11:59:53

Sleep on your back! You'll know if it is becoming a problem. I can't do it because I wake up trying to catch my breath, which happens before the baby would come to harm. Look at this from an evolutionary perspective: why would be develop to need to consciously decide not to roll onto our backs when we aren't conscious?! Your midwife is working with out of date information.

f1ddlesticks Wed 10-Aug-16 18:45:03

Fine at 16 weeks to lie / sleep on your back. As a PP said, you'll knwo when it's not ok - at about 20 weeks I started feeling really out of breath and like my circulation was being cut off (which it was i suppose) when lying on my back. Might be worth investigating some ways to manage side sleeping once you've managed to get some rest though - at some point you'll have to do it so it'd be better not to be caught out...

Pandora2016 Wed 10-Aug-16 19:21:49

I feel your pain - shoulder and hip injuries. Currently 30 weeks.

Maybe try to sleep almost sitting up, with lots of pillows behind your back?

Whatsername17 Wed 10-Aug-16 19:26:43

I'm 16 weeks and still sleeping on my back. Really do not worry about it. At 41 weeks I never had a problem either. I think it depends on the size of your bump and position of the baby.

f1ddlesticks Wed 10-Aug-16 19:31:18

Yes to be fair Whatsername my bump was pretty big!

Mummyme87 Wed 10-Aug-16 21:29:34

It's the weight of the baby compressing on the aorta. More of an issue late on in pregnancy

Thequilltosurvive Wed 10-Aug-16 21:33:30

I'm 22 weeks and although I usually fall asleep on my side I often wake up on my back. Unless your bump feels too heavy I wouldn't worry too much. You need your sleep!

frikadela01 Wed 10-Aug-16 23:55:00

Just sleep on your back. The advice about sleeping on your side is based on a very small scale study hence why you won't find it anywhere as official advice.
I was sleeping on my back the night I was induced at 39 weeks, I usually fell asleep on my back and presumably rolled over during the night because I tended to wake up on my side.

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