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sleeping on your left side

20 replies

whatsmyname · 23/02/2006 15:16

I vaguely remember reading somewhere that by the third trimester (?) you should sleep on your left side rather than on your right. Has anyone else heard this and does it matter if it's sometimes nicer to sleep on my right?!!

OP posts:
Marina · 23/02/2006 15:18

Yes, something to do with where the main arteries supplying the placenta are, but no, honestly it doesn't matter IMO.
But I would say that, because I am left-handed, habitually sleep on my right side, and could not be comfortable any other way.

Mazzystar · 23/02/2006 15:18

i think its ok so long as you don't sleep on your back. left is better because of flow of blood. but its not compulsory

jowen · 23/02/2006 15:19

Oh goodness, we can't sleep on our fronts, backs or our right hand side? I think if you sleep only on your left ou are heading for a lot of hip pain by the time you are 36 weeks pregnant!

RedZuleika · 23/02/2006 15:20

It might also help with foetal positioning as per this idea .

Mazzystar · 23/02/2006 15:23

"the mother's job is to dilate" - lol

not supposed to sleep on back unless propped up as compressing to vena cava wotsit or something. although it didn't in the old days apparently, my mum says.

deblaca · 23/02/2006 17:27

I remember the physio mentioning this in our early bird class. ....... Seemingly sleeping on your left side increases the amount of blood that reaches the placenta, ideally keep your legs and knees bent and a pillow between your legs.

But I think the difference is nominal and better to sleep well if its more comfortable on your right side ... I know it is for me, or on my back (which I know your supposed to avoid because it can cause problems with backaches, digestion and bp/circulatory problems due to your abdomen resting on your intestines and the aorta and vena cava thingy.)

runtus · 24/02/2006 09:09

If I can sleep - I sleep..........sorry but I really can't start worrying aobut sides now!

biglips · 24/02/2006 09:11

i was comfy on my left side as twice i slept on my right and i nearly threw up

heavenis · 24/02/2006 09:22

In hospital they used to get you to lie on your left hand side if your blood pressure was high. (which mine was) Then the next reading wasn't so high.

conni · 24/02/2006 10:52

I was told that sleeping on left hand side would make it more likely that baby gets in optimal foetal position (i.e. LOA). I have been sleeping on left side since 26 weeks and ended up with very very sore left hip (so painful that I have to get up every hour during the night and walk round for a few minutes). And was it worth it? Now 40 weeks and baby is not LOA but ROA, not the end of the world, but if I was pregnant again I don't think I would bother.

chellebelle · 25/02/2006 23:17

My physio said if I give birth on dry land rather than in pool I should be on my left side as apart from the major blood vessels that are on your right side being compressed reducing blood flow to the placenta and your legs apparently your organs and digestive system also settle on your right side so it avoids squishing them too.

I tend to try and spend most of the night on my left side but still spend some of the night on my right side as the hip pain can be horrendous.

stacksy · 08/03/2006 19:19

Hello ppl!
I tend to sleep on my left and right sides, alternately during the night as the hip pain gets unbearable. That's one of the many things i'm looking forward to after the birth, sleeping on my back! :) I am 40 wks +1 today and my baby is in ROA position, midwife is happy with presenation, so i dont see the harm in sleeping on both sides.

purplemonkeydishwasher · 08/03/2006 19:37

No one told me not to sleep on my back!
I slept on my back or left side for most of the last trimester because it was supposed to help reduce heartburn.

IamBlossom · 08/03/2006 19:47

I think the whole sleeping on your back thing is cos it can make you feel sick, cos of all that pressure on your organs. If you can lie on your back and not feel queasy i don't think you are doing any actual harm. With my last pregnancy I would throw up if i lay on my back for longer than ten minutes. It was most unpleasant.

kayzed · 08/03/2006 20:50

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Poppyshed · 09/03/2006 19:45

I was advised by MW to do this when preg with dd. However, sleeping on my left is not natural to me, as I sleep on my right. Like others I was told it was to get dd in optimal position, but tbh by the time of the birth, I couldn't lie down on either side for long as the hip pain was terrible. (She was 8lb 10oz and boy did I tear!) So apart from not lying on your back, I think either side is okay. If you can get comfy and rest that's all that matters, hth xx

nickyp08 · 20/03/2006 12:31

sleeping on your back cause an increase in pressure from the weight of your pregnancy on your abdominal aorta... the main artery that feeds the lower half of your body... avoiding excess pressure on this vessle cuts down on circulatory problems in the lower body which means to your uterus and the placenta... and it also prevents pooling of blood in the veins returning the blood to the heart due to the walls of these vessles being constricted by the pregnancy weight..... That is the theory! C-section mums should note the theatre table is tilted for this reason. Knowing all the facts about how the body works etc still doesn't stop me from laying on my back, sometimes it is the only positoin i can find thats comfy although i find shoving the duvet under one side props you over just enough even though my partner moans he is cold, but it gives me that bit of piece of mind!

KathrynWales · 20/03/2006 18:19

When I had my daughter (now 15) this idea wasn;t invented... to be honest i slept anyway that was comfy! (mind you, was also encouraged to drink guiness and eat liver so make of that what you will Smile )

Now pregnant again, I have tried to move with the times and try the left side thingymajig but end up on my back by the morning anyway Grin

Am grateful at the moment to get any sleep at all, and would quite happily try the "swing from the chandelier" position if it meant I got a proper sleep.

Think, like all these words of wisdom, they are recommendations rather than concrete rules, and are probably not worth stressing too much about. Wink

MummyToToby · 05/04/2006 17:54

apparently feotal positioning is usally determined by the position of your placenta. if the placenta is anterior (at the front) your baby will probably be posterior cos the baby usually likes to face the placenta.
i think the lying on the left thing is something to do with the flow of blood and less pressure etc than to do with positioning the foetus. although they do say not to lie on your back as this will encourage posterior positioning. if the baby is posterior they tell you to lie on your tummy nut i don;t know if you would find it possible to sleep like this!!

lusciouslynda · 06/04/2006 14:41

Lying on my back is uncomfortable and gives me heartburn.

I find lying on my left side makes me burp!!!

Baby is lying along my right side and if I lie on the right he doesn't like it and kicks furiously.

I agree with many of you - I really don't like pregnancy , though the babies are great once they arrive. It's amazing how many of my friends think I am a bit of a psycho when I admit to not liking my body being possessed by a very demanding parasite!!!

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