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Sleeping on back at 20 weeks

(9 Posts)
Losgann Thu 09-Nov-17 12:31:11

I am 20 weeks pregnant with my first baby and from about 14 weeks have developed bursitis in both hips. This makes it painful to sleep on my side, though I know this is best for the baby so I have been doing it anyway and consequently not sleeping that well! What I am wondering is if it would be OK to sleep raised on my back, with a few pillows behind me? Does this make a difference or is it still bad? I asked my midwife today but she didn't have much advice really. Has anyone else asked mw about this?

Also if anyone else has had bursitis during pregnancy and found a good technique for reducing the discomfort, I'd love to hear it! I have some physio exercises to do but they aren't doing a great deal at the moment. I have a gym ball, did anyone find sitting on one of these helped?

pastabest Thu 09-Nov-17 12:33:55

You can sleep on your back as long as you feel comfortable and not get lightheaded/numb toes or anything.

Just get as much sleep as you can

Wooders09 Thu 09-Nov-17 13:04:32

Sleeping on your back isn't recommended as it can cause you to be light headed etc as the weight of your baby can press on one of the main arteries. It will not harm your baby but you will probably find the bigger you get the more uncomfortable you find it. My midwife recommended putting a few pillows behind me so I was half on my side half on my back if that make sense!?

confused123456 Thu 09-Nov-17 13:09:55

I know it's not recommended but u slept on my back because it's how I was most comfy.
You need some sleep. My baby was fine..

MrsMcW Thu 09-Nov-17 13:16:10

I think sleeping on your back is meant to be bad for mum, rather than bad for the baby, as the growing bump presses on a main vein. As long as you don't find you get lightheaded then you should be fine.

That said, I'm normally a back sleeper and have just had to give up and try side-sleeping instead. Nothing to do with being light headed, but I found it made the muscles around my bump ache painfully - maybe because I'm fully stretched out. I've just ordered a maternity pillow from John Lewis to help me sleep on my sides. It's supposed to prop you up to take the pressure off your hips as well as preventing the sleeper rolling onto their back again. Maybe you could try something similar, might not trigger your bursitis in the same way?

MrsMcW Thu 09-Nov-17 13:17:45

I'm also around the 20 week mark, if that helps (19+5).

mindutopia Thu 09-Nov-17 14:26:09

Yes, it should still be absolutely fine at that point. There is no research to show that sleeping on your back at this point carries any additional risk. There isn't even research to show that doing it in 3rd trimester causes any harm. It's just one small study that showed a correlation between back sleeping and stillbirth, but it equally showed correlations between stillbirth and lots of other mundane things, like how often you wake at night to wee and whether you take naps (on back, side, whatever). But still that was only in mid to late 3rd trimester. Still you don't hear people panicking about taking a nap at 37 weeks though.

I have hip and pelvic pain as well and do lie/sleep on my back sometimes. Sleeping on a well cushioned mattress may help (put a duvet under your fitted sheet or get a mattress topper) as does keeping a pillow between your knees to support your pelvis on your side. I also find seeing a cranial osteopath helped me with my back and hip pain.

Losgann Thu 09-Nov-17 17:50:07

Thanks everyone, I will try and give the half on back/half on side thing a go - I'll also look at a proper maternity pillow I think.

MrsMcW which kind did you go for?

Rach000 Thu 09-Nov-17 20:54:41

I sometimes sleep on my back and I am 33 weeks. Sometimes wake up on my back. If I am in my back and feel uncomfortable I move even I am asleep so think it's fine. Think it is more the weight of the baby and position. I don't seem to get light headed on my back this time but did with my first but can't really remember when that started.
You need your sleep so I would try it. Also would recommend a maternity pillow or an extra pillow to use.

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