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What's the deal with sleeping on your right hand side in late pregnancy??

(17 Posts)
whereisthesun Fri 14-Aug-09 07:55:55

I have heard that your supposed to sleep on your left not your right as this makes it easier for the blood supply to get to the baby from your placenta, is this right? Just had the worst nights sleep trying to sleep on my left when the only way I can get to sleep is my right?

juuule Fri 14-Aug-09 08:06:46

I thought that sleeping on your left was to reduce the strain on your own heart. Not heard about it being related to blood flow to the placenta. I know that sleeping on your back in later pregnancy can restrict blood flow to the baby.

However, if it was me and I slept better on my right side then that's what I would do. Much better than getting a bad night's sleep.

FlamingoBingo Fri 14-Aug-09 08:08:22

You sleep on your side to reduce strain on your heart. You sleep on your left hand side towards the end to encourage your baby to lie in the right position.

MrsHappy Fri 14-Aug-09 08:08:41

Sleep however you can.

Some books suggest avoiding sleeping on your back because the weight of the uterus can compress one of your major blood vessels and make you feel light-headed. The reality though is that the human race has managed to survive in spite of being in mortal peril from women who sleep on their backs! I rather suspect you would wake up or move in your sleep if anything was wrong.

I've not read anything that says not to sleep on your right - it is just that left is the side the books (written by people who clearly haven't considered how hard it is to change how you sleep) recommend.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Fri 14-Aug-09 08:15:49

I have also heard that left is preferable for increasing flow to placenta, as well as to stop pressure on your own heart/arteries etc.

But I also think while preferable, some quality sleep on the right side is signifiantly better than no sleep on the left side.

I would not worry at all about it, sleep however you feel comfortable.

mogend77 Fri 14-Aug-09 09:37:09

Sleep however you are comfortable! Left is considered ideal - but it is also best to swop sides (which most of us naturally do throughout the night).

Neither is unsafe anyway. The most important thing is to get any sleep that you can!

ceebie Fri 14-Aug-09 10:25:26

Sleeping on your right is perfectly fine. Left is considered even better, but I'm guessing most of us need vary between both anyway.

mears Fri 14-Aug-09 10:27:20

You can sleep whatever way you like.

YanknCock Fri 14-Aug-09 14:42:34

Just heard this on a podcast from an obstetrician in the U.S. where the original studies that led to this 'left side' advice were done. Apparently in the study, they were measuring cardiac function of pregnant women in different positions, and there was only a very slight difference between lying on the left or right. Left was just slightly better, and it seems all the books jumped on it as 'you must sleep on your left'. FWIW, this obstetrician said don't worry about it, you can't stop yourself moving around at night, and if you were really having a problem with blood flow/cardiac function, you'd automatically move yourself!

KatyS36 Fri 14-Aug-09 16:39:23

I'd read the same, but there is no way I could spend all night sleeping on my left side.

I'm trying to avoid back sleeping, but I'm treating left and right as equal.

Toppy Fri 14-Aug-09 19:03:44

My NCT lady said that it encouraged the baby to lie with its back curled to the left which is optimal for labour. When the baby engages, the baby feels the cervix on its head a twisitng reflex is triggered. Apparently babies can only twist one way and lying with their spine on your LHS means they only have to do a little twist rather than all the way round so it is less tiring for them. Could be mumbo jumbo but she was very convincing.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Fri 14-Aug-09 19:56:21

yank grin how are you btw?

BexJ78 Fri 14-Aug-09 21:39:02

i have just had some notes today from my midwife about things you can do to help encourage your baby to get into the right position for labour and delivery and one of those things is to sleep on your left. no idea why though!

YanknCock Fri 14-Aug-09 22:02:59

Hi Pavlov! I'm 11 days off my due date, and grumpy as hell. Feet are swollen to Shrek size, in and out of day unit for BP monitoring. Braxton Hicks leaving me breathless, and several more complaints I won't bore you with. But I am NOT throwing up! (Well, once last week, but it was the first time since 30 weeks so am not going to moan too much).

ErikaMaye Fri 14-Aug-09 23:26:24

So its not going to hurt baby if I sleep on my right a little? He wiggles so much more when I sleep on my left - actually wakes me up, he's kicking so hard! We both seem more comfortable on my right...

Though saying that, any night I don't have an uninteruprted sleep is a miricle. Don't think I've had one for two months... * grumbles *

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Sat 15-Aug-09 08:18:45

ooooh yank it could be any time now then! How exciting - I gave birth to DD 10 days earlier than my due date! I shall keep my fingers crossed for you and look out for some posts to say you are in labour or that you are introducing your new addition - good luck!

op no really it is fine to sleep on your right, you will not harm the baby or you.

lisianthus Sat 15-Aug-09 08:27:15

This was something I'd heard about too (i.e. sleeping on the left). I asked my GP about it and he said that if this was something that was was going to cause problems for me, I'd definitely know about it, as I would actually be too uncomfortable to lie in the "wrong" way for more than a very short time. So if you CAN comfortably sleep in that way, it seems that it is OK to do so.

Good luck with the sleeping!

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