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Lying on your back whilst pregnant. is it ok?

(15 Posts)
ohwow Mon 07-Sep-09 15:07:01

Hello all. I'm nearly 13 weeks pregnant with my second. Is this a myth that you can't sleep on your back whilst pregnant as it may affect the placenta?? I remember this being mentioned with DD1 but wanted to check with my fellow MNers. Thanks for answering my silly question blush

Roomfor2 Mon 07-Sep-09 15:13:58

I avoided it with DC1 from 16 weeks as read somewhere that it can put pressure on a blood vessel.

Actually, I used to find that if I did lie on my back, I would start to get breathless, so I took that as proof, and avoided it like the plague until after the birth.

Will do the same with DC2, also. I don't think it is the placenta that is the issue, as this can be in front of the baby, not always behind.

ohwow Mon 07-Sep-09 15:20:15

Thanks Roomfor2, I wonder what blood vessel it affects. I think I best avoid! Thanks x

ErikaMaye Mon 07-Sep-09 15:20:17

Its the blood vessels it pushes on. I'm struggling laying on my side, very uncomfortable, am much better on my back... Find that as long as I keep switching between my left, right and back, baby is active as ever, quite happily bopping around.

MrsBadger Mon 07-Sep-09 15:21:26

as with many things in pg, once you find it uncomfortable, don;t do it any more

LondonNinja Mon 07-Sep-09 16:40:35

Apparently, if you lie on your back once you get bigger (I've heard various time frames inc 12 weeks, 24 weeks and 30 weeks!), the weight presses on the inferior vena cava, which is a major blood vessel that supplies mum and placenta.

It may well make you feel breathless and dizzy, so is best avoided.

ohnelly Mon 07-Sep-09 16:49:36

I hope not as ive just got home from hospital with a broken ankle and i have to sleep on my back with my leg in the air for the next 6weeks! Im 10 wks pregnant

LondonNinja Mon 07-Sep-09 16:55:29

Wouldn't worry. You're still early! My (pregnancy) yoga teacher would only insist that women 25-30+ weeks avoided lying on their backs and you are well out of that range.

Stokey Mon 07-Sep-09 18:02:39

It is the vena cavia - and for this reason it is better to sleep on your left side than right side.

But think getting some sleep is more important! If you want to sleep on your back - my yoga teacher says use bolsters under your knees and under the small of your back to relieve the pressure.

ohwow Mon 07-Sep-09 18:36:26

Thanks all for the feedback, I've got one of those special cushions that I'll use in the later months.

Ohnelly - poor you with your broken ankle, hope you're feeling ok.

Take care all and thanks again xx

alana39 Mon 07-Sep-09 20:07:45

Everything I've read said you only need to think about it from 20 weeks at earliest, and more like 25 weeks as LondonNinja says. Once you're bigger you'll probably find lying on your side more comfortable anyway.

ErikaMaye Mon 07-Sep-09 22:16:16

Guess I'm just a freak being more comfortable on my back then grin

Ohnelly sorry to hear about your ankle, hope it heals soon!

maniacbug Tue 08-Sep-09 07:45:16

Hi - I'm a back sleeper too and it has been frustrating having to stick to my side - have woken on more than one occasion in middle of the night, out of breath, to find myself on my back (I'm 32w). BUT some (random and prob fairly useless) advice: if you really can't help it, use an airbed! Just got back from a 10-day camping holiday and actually slept better on the airbed than I do at home - it's quite a deep one and was so cushioned it was like being on a waterbed, so I slept on my back every night and didn't get the usual symptoms (breathlessness, dizziness, which are def not a myth!). Also, as this is not a v. practical solution, you could always book yourself in for a couple of floatation sessions (if you have a centre anywhere near you) in the 2nd/3rd trimester as a treat? It's BLISS, takes all the weight off your back and if it works for you, you come out in a really serene state, like you've had a full night's sleep (impossible otherwise by the time you get to that stage!). Good luck!

xkyliex Tue 08-Sep-09 15:43:43

Ive heard you can't lie on your right side, belly and now your back hmm surely theres another way other than your left side you can lie. I only seem to be comfortable on my back.

Reallytired Tue 08-Sep-09 15:45:42

I believe the reason for avoiding lying on your back is that it increases the chance of a posterior baby. (more painful and longer labour than an anterior baby.)

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