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Sleep position

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Anyone have helpful thoughts about sleeping positions? I have an email out to my midwife but in the meantime ... I've been trying to stay on my left or right side, and have been getting terrible sleep the past few nights. I didn't realize that I spent a lot of time on my back while sleeping but when I'm trying to avoid it, I have very wakeful sleep, lots of switching from side to side, and waking up with sore/stiff hips. I'm going to try some extra pillows tonight.


I tried looking up "aortocaval compression syndrome" as it's called, the reason they say not to lie on your back. Seems well-established that at or near term it can have a deleterious effect on blood flow to the fetus, but it's not clear to me a) when in pregnancy this starts to be a concern and b) if anyone has studied meaningful outcomes (vs e.g. transient decreases in fetal heartrate or whatever).


If you use pillows or have a magical sleep solution, share! :)

post #2 of 18

Can you "fake" sleeping on your back?  I do this by putting a pillow really close to my back, then rolling back onto it.  So my weight is more on my back on the pillow than on my hips, but my body is at an angle (not flat on my back, but angled with one hip higher than the other).  It makes you feel more like you are lying on your back without actually, and takes some pressure/weight off your hips.


A matress topper seriously helps too.  My hips were SO sore last pg and this time so far they are not sore at all.  We have a memory foam matress topper and last time had nothing.

post #3 of 18

The biggest risk of sleeping on your back at this point is not to your baby, but to you from having the weight of your uterus on your vena cava, causing dizziness, etc. That said, I have always heard (from many sources, midwives, docs) that your body will wake you up if it becomes a problem, and you will naturally change positions. I would not worry about problems to the baby until after 30 weeks, and by then, you would likely not be wanting to sleep completely flat for your own comfort. If you are really concerned, try keeping a flattish pillow nearby to put under one hip when you are on your back, so that you are not completely flat, but at a very mild tilt (this is what is done at term, during ceserean sections when a mom has to be flat for surgery). A pillow between your legs/knees can also be more comfortable for your hips when lying on your side.

post #4 of 18
Yup, berrymama is right on. The danger is to you and every source I've read or talked to has said you will wake up or change positions while asleep, I know I always wake up when I've rolled onto my back. And yeah, a pillow between the legs or putting your legs in a bicycle position with a pillow or two under the top leg will help make side-lying more comfortable.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks all! My midwife emailed back and also said a) probably not a big concern at 17 wks and b) on my back with a little cushion underneath - tilted, like nstewart and berrymama suggested, would probably keep it from being a problem anyway.


I brought a bunch of pillows to bed last night and other than annoying me (and DH) all night, I woke up with sore calves - no idea on that one, maybe I was really clenching the pillow between my legs or something?! Too weird. Tonight I'll try just one and back on my back. I like that better anyway because I can hold my belly and think lovey thoughts at my fetus while I'm going to sleep!




post #6 of 18
I just wanted to add that with my last pregnancy I had so much hip pain and tried all the pillows I could, but I was always uncomfortable. I always went from side to side just wanting to sleep on my back!
This time I found the "snoogle" pillow. If you google it, it is the most amazing sleep pillow ever!!! Pretty expensive.. But soo worth it in my eyes. I've had no hip pain this time.. So far. And I sleep way better. It's a long c shape. And I can easily fake sleeping on my back with it. I just stick it right close to my back.thought I would put my two cents in!
post #7 of 18
This is something I've been mulling over as well. Before I was pregnant with my son, I slept in all sorts of weird positions. Side, stomach, halfway off the bed, you name it. Now, the ONLY way I'm comfortable is sleeping flat on my back. I've been sleeping that way for almost 5 years now and hardly move at all. I just read on one of those week by week countdowns that I should start sleeping on my side now. :/ I've tried the last couple nights, but I hate it! It seems to me that if it was so bad to sleep on your back, your body would somehow tell you, right? I mean, what did cave mamas do before they had people telling them all the things that were not "allowed" while pregnant? They listened to their instincts. Blah, it just stinks that the only time I'm comfortable in bed, I'm also thinking "Is my baby getting enough oxygen? Crap. Better roll on to my side, just in case!"
post #8 of 18
AND the side you are supposed to sleep on is your left--not your right--in order to help with blood flow. My wife is a paramedic and makes comments to me if I am not feeling well and "sleeping on the wrong side". I am huge and not really paying a ton of attention to how I am sleeping--I figure that if I start to feel tingly or weird, I will move.
post #9 of 18

ugh, sleep has been elusive for me, too. I finally bought the snoogle pillow and it's helped some. I got it at Babies R Us for $50 (they were having a sale, I think it's normally $65). I push the top part away and sleep with my head on my regular pillow, and the length of the pillow behind my back so I can fake sleep on my back. The lower part of the pillow goes between my knees. It's a little cumbersome but it's helped some. I am still waking up with hip pain that feels like a pinched nerve. I guess I should call a chiropractor. :/

post #10 of 18

Just a head's up, I saw the Snoogle at Burlington Coat Factory for considerably cheaper than anywhere else so if you want one, check there.

post #11 of 18
Originally Posted by AmandaLynnH View Post

Just a head's up, I saw the Snoogle at Burlington Coat Factory for considerably cheaper than anywhere else so if you want one, check there.
Ooo, thanks for this, I may have to head over there tomorrow as I've been really wanting to buy a big pillow, but most of them are so pricey!
post #12 of 18
I'm thinking about the snoogle. Looks like it might even provide protection from wiggly co-sleepers? Any thoughts?
post #13 of 18
Originally Posted by FarmerMomma View Post

I'm thinking about the snoogle. Looks like it might even provide protection from wiggly co-sleepers? Any thoughts?

Definitely helps from wriggly co-sleepers. My son will come close and reach for me with his arm sometimes, but he would have to be half awake to get past it. My husband is also a mover in the night.. Must be where my son gets it from. Haha.. It basically gives me my own space. One thing that worries me is getting kicked in the belly while my son was sleeping (he loves to kick the blankets off) or something like that, but with how I have my pillow, it would be impossible for my son to do that! I honestly love my snoogle!!
post #14 of 18
Originally Posted by FarmerMomma View Post

I'm thinking about the snoogle. Looks like it might even provide protection from wiggly co-sleepers? Any thoughts?

I would suggest putting a pillow between you and your co-sleeping LO, it's worked for me.


As for pregnant sleep positions, i'm still sleeping halfway on my belly. This baby already has a predictable sleeping schedule, up at 6am-9am, then up again from 6pm-9pm, then he sleeps in a little ball, just like hubby. When i'm on my feet past 9pm he'll get super crabby and start kicking me, it's sometimes painful, but I'm hopeful this baby will sleep more than my DD did as a newborn, from pregnancy to 4 months post pregnancy, DD was up every 2 hours. 

post #15 of 18

I'm curious if anyone is having sleep problems like this:


When I sleep on my side, I am woken up to the most excruciating pain in my hip, and a sense of burning/tingling/not-quite-numbness down my leg. It feels very much like a pinched nerve. It happens no matter what side I sleep on, and it usually goes away when I get up and walk around, although lately it's been lingering a bit, along with a general soreness in my hips.


I'm only 20 weeks right now, and I'm waking up every 2 hours or so in terrible pain, and because I have quite the sleeping operation (pillows and belly and all), I have to fully wake up and heave myself over to get into a new position, only to be woken again in two hours. I have a snoogle pillow and I have a thin pillow I put under my belly. I've read that a flat surface can help - my mattress has a sewn-on pillow top but we do have another bed in the house that is firm I could try out. I don't know what else to do - maybe see a chiropractor? sleep in a chair? It's really bad - sometimes in the middle of the night I'm reduced to tears through the combination of exhaustion, frustration, and pain.

post #16 of 18

jessmn- having this same problem... last night i was able to get propped up enough in bed and put my body pillow under my knees.  but i awoke with a crick in my neck.  Other pregnancies i have ended up sleeping in a chair. i have found that hip openers but not too open during yoga help and keeping up with a good massage therapist.

good luck and let us know how it goes.

post #17 of 18

Yep, I'm in the same boat as well.  The back/hip pain has been bad enough to wake me up at times.  Sometimes it's seemed like the pillow between my knees has helped, but not always.  There have been mornings where I wake up and can barely walk.  Fingers crossed for massage gift certificates for Christmas!

post #18 of 18
Yay snoogle off brand! Each co. It says on the tag. There was no literature/ picture in the package. $40. Score. Burlington coat factory. I tried the boppy preggo pillow system but it wasn't round enough in the middle for belly protection from co-sleeper or back support. So I took it back and got some inexpensive maternity clothes to boot. The snoogle type rocks. It really lays out your sleeping territory and so very cuddly for side sleeping.
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