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Could somebody explain wht i should only sleep on my side please.....

(28 Posts)
nobodysfool Fri 11-Jul-08 14:24:03

I am 12 weeks pg and am already having pain in my hips.
I am most comfortable slleping on my back or tummy at the moment bit was told by a well meaning lady at mother and toddler group that i should only lay on my side during pregnancy.
I remember with my 1st pregnancy i slept on my side towards the end.
Does anybody know why i should only sleep on my side?

silvermum Fri 11-Jul-08 14:26:55

it's to do with oxygen/blood supply to the baby i think. if you lie on your back it puts pressure on some vein which delivers blood or oxygen to the baby. sorry to sound vague! but i know there's a sound biological reason for it. someone will come along soon who has a proper medical explanation i'm sure! i don't think it's vital - ie a night on your back isn't going to badly harm your baby. as your bump gets bigger you won't want to lie on your stomach anyway, i'm sure.

jenniebee Fri 11-Jul-08 14:30:06

i was told off by midwife for sleeping on back as it can sometimes starve oxygen to the baby but this was when i was about 30 weeks, didnt think it would be a problem at 12 as there is nowhere near the amount of pressure

nobodysfool Fri 11-Jul-08 14:30:38

Thanks silver mum.
Your right i remember last time it was so uncomfortable to lie on my back towards the end.
Started feeling guilty that i was sleeping on my back or tummy.

MrsTittleMouse Fri 11-Jul-08 14:32:47

I'm just envy that you can sleep on your tummy at 12 weeks with your second pregnancy! My enormous norks wouldn't let me do that, let alone my enormous tummy.

MissusH Fri 11-Jul-08 14:33:52

Right - this is what my mw told me (am currently 29wks with 2nd dc)

As you are only 12wks at the mo sleeping on your back is still okay. As your baby gets bigger the weight of it will press on major blood vessels restricting blood supply both to baby & yourself (you may feel lightheaded etc). Also you may find it just too uncomfortable to lay on you back for too long due to the pressure.

Later on, they reckon laying on your left side helps get baby in the best position for birth...

I sympathise with you though - my hips are killing me too!!

Not very medical explanation, just passing on what I was told smile

hattyyellow Fri 11-Jul-08 14:35:54

I looked this up earlier today funnily enough - as I keep rolling onto my back and couldn't remember the details of the back sleeping issues..

"Getting -- and staying -- comfortable in bed may be one of your greatest challenges during pregnancy, particularly if you're used to sleeping on your stomach or your back. Both positions present problems during pregnancy. During your first trimester, tender breasts may prevent you from sleeping on your stomach, and as your belly grows, lying face-down will become increasingly uncomfortable.

Sleeping on your back puts the full weight of your uterus on your back, intestines, and the inferior vena cava (the vein that transports blood from your lower body to your heart). Lying on your back can also increase the risk of you developing backaches and haemorrhoids, poor digestion, impaired breathing and circulation, and even low blood pressure."

nobodysfool Fri 11-Jul-08 14:38:08

Thanks everyone.
I'm used to my boobs getting in the way when i lie on my tummy-where did you get your maternity bras from?Can't find any supportive bras that do my size (32E pre pregnancy-have a thread running at mo re bras!)
What is it with the hip pain? I had it much later on in the pregnancy last time so wasn't expecting so early on.At least it's only on my left size this time-so far!

nobodysfool Fri 11-Jul-08 14:39:54

Hattyellow-thanks for that.Cheerful reading isn't it![smlie]

nobodysfool Fri 11-Jul-08 14:40:20

or even smile

EBenes Fri 11-Jul-08 14:43:56

I'm still lying on my tummy and back at nearly 20 weeks. I've read (here and elsewhere) that it's fine to sleep any way you want and that you'll flip to your side for comfort before it gets dangerous. But I can't help thinking, what if I'm weird, what if I do it longer than you're supposed to? I don't care about the risks to me - am I hurting the baby by alternating back and front? Should I be switching to the side?

nobodysfool Fri 11-Jul-08 14:45:14

Ebenes- maybe we should sew drawing pins in the front and back of our pyjammas!grin

SqueakyPop Fri 11-Jul-08 14:46:40

It's really only an issue in late pregnancy - when the weight of your pregnancy presses on your vena cava.

nobodysfool Fri 11-Jul-08 14:48:05

Oh thats good.
I can go back to sleeping on my back without any guilt tonight!

poorbuthappy Fri 11-Jul-08 14:50:16

I always start off on my side and wake up on my back...

gosh does that sound rude!?? wink

nobodysfool Fri 11-Jul-08 14:52:12

Poorbut happy-ooeeerrr!grin

EBenes Fri 11-Jul-08 14:58:19

Why is the left better for getting the baby in position than the right? Aren't we basically symmetrical apart from the heart? (tbh I don't know what goes on inside)

mrsboogie Fri 11-Jul-08 15:12:52

I find it very hard to believe that you could do much harm to baby whichever way you lie. If lying on your back or whatever was that bad surely nature would have found a way to stop us doing it (like the heightened sense of smell is intended to stop you eating anything bad). Until we knew about this blood flow business women woud have lain any way they wanted.

I am 30 weeks and can still lie on my back or tummy.

TheProvincialLady Fri 11-Jul-08 15:14:21

EBenes it is because the ideal position for the baby to be in when you go into labour is head down and to your left hand side. Don't ask me why but it means the baby has to travel less far in labour....which can only be a good thing!

MiniMarmite Fri 11-Jul-08 18:05:54

EBenes - my NCT instructor said not to worry too much if you wake up to find yourself sleeping on your back - apparently you kind of wake yourself up if you are in any danger. I agree with mrsboogie that risks must be pretty small.

NCT lady also said try to sleep on the left though as the optimum delivery position is from slightly over to the left side but MW said over to right is ok too - just want to avoid back to back etc if possible.

Nobodysfool - I'm also pre-preg 32E and found Bravissimo bras the best for me. Bought 34DD to give room for back expansion and still fitting pretty well at 35 weeks.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 11-Jul-08 18:14:50

Message withdrawn

FrannyandZooey Fri 11-Jul-08 18:18:26

I thought left hand side is to do with blood supply to the placenta - our hearts are slightly to the left?

hip pain sounds like SPD - get advice asap on managing this - and sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees

MiniMarmite Fri 11-Jul-08 18:22:35

StarlightMcKenzie, I'm so jealous you can sleep on your front still - my favourite way of sleeping!!! And thanks for saying re sleeping how you like until avoiding the back at 30 weeks as I forgot nobodysfool was 12 weeks.

I made the mistake of trying to sleep on my side from early on (15 weeks) and now I am thoroughly sick of it especially as, like nobodysfool, I have hip pain (sciatica in my case)...enjoy sleeping how you want for as long as you can!!!!

TinkerBellesMum Fri 11-Jul-08 18:27:15

Not read the replies, so sorry if I'm repeating anyone.

Lying on your right side puts your stomach high so it can drain and give your heartburn.

Lying on your back can put pressure on the Vena Cava, which is the major blood vessel supplying your legs, which can cut the supply off to your legs.

Lying on your front is obviously going to be difficult because of there being a ball under you!

Real terms?

If you are uncomfortable you will wake up and move before you do any "damage" so don't worry about how you lie.

If you are having problems with your pelvis then ask to be referred to an obstetric physio for advice (they don't do physio in pregnancy anymore).

FrannyandZooey Fri 11-Jul-08 18:28:21

I could still sleep on my front if it wasn't for spd
you need a very supportive bed and then you have your legs quite far apart, lift one leg and make a kind of bridge for your belly to hang under
it worked with ds, but I can't spread my legs like that in this pg

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