I can't breathe when lying on my side - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 03-26-2007, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Is that normal? Just started happening the last couple of days. It's worse when I'm on my right side, which is annoying because I lie on my right side to put my daughter to sleep and sometimes that takes like an hour, but it is also a problem on my left side. It means I'm trying to fall asleep and I feel like someone is strangling me and my head is about to blow off. I know it's normal to feel that way when on one's back at this point, but lying on my left side is supposed to give me relief, right? I also get SUCH sore ribs when I lie on my left side, so have to get to the osteopath, obviously.

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#2 of 10 Old 03-26-2007, 12:00 PM
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I haven't ever heard of this but I know that there are positions that make me feel like I can't breathe. The joys of pregnancy! If you haven't already, try propping yourself up with pillows so your torso is elevated. I know it will affect getting your child to sleep but somethings just have to change. Otherwise I don't know what to do. If you are concerned, bring it up with your caregiver.

Married to DH 7 years and have three fantastic kiddos! DS 6, DD 4, and DS 2 ...... lo and behold another is on the way!

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#3 of 10 Old 03-26-2007, 03:38 PM
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same problem here... sort of. Recently, when I lay down, esp on my back or right side I get a panicked feeling like I'm not getting enough oxygen, even though I am breathing just fine. Last night I was having trouble with my left side too and I was up most of the night, it was awful. I think last night was partly due to me having a cold too and not being able to breathe through my nose

Mom to Kayleigh (05/07) Jacob (05/09) and Ned decluttering 615/2010
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#4 of 10 Old 03-27-2007, 02:12 AM
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It helps me to fold a pillow in half and hug it while lying down. I kind of lean forward onto it. It keeps my torso from sagging inward, hopefully giving my lungs as much room as possible. Don't know if you can do that while putting your daughter to sleep, if not maybe something you can lean back on just to give you some support? I sometimes do that, using my husband's back as support, if I need a change of position.
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#5 of 10 Old 03-27-2007, 02:17 AM
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uh oh!

I'm getting comfortable but no breathing probs, cross fingers.

Left side is the best side to lay on- it will help keep baby in a good position.

My baby is posterior right now and that is one of the things my midwife recommended, along with kneeling, sitting straight or on a birth ball, among other things.

Hoping you get some relief soon!

If you don't have those triangle shape wedge pregnancy pillows, they are great- one goes in front of you, one in back, to keep you laying in a good position while supporting you.

Mama to my spirited J, and L, my homebirth: baby especially DTaP, MMR (family vax injuries)
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#6 of 10 Old 03-27-2007, 02:58 AM
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wow, sounds weird...lying positions are all a bit uncomfy for me, but at least i can breathe...
maybe try some more pillows...bah, have no idea!

Liv, SAHM of 3 kiddos 





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#7 of 10 Old 03-27-2007, 03:05 AM
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I have the same problem, I can only lay on my left side in a certain way, and just now watching a movie, sitting up I felt like my head was going to blow off...

Really scary!
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#8 of 10 Old 03-27-2007, 01:42 PM
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laying on the right side or on the back squishes the vena cave, a major blood vessel that carries the newly oxygenated blood through the body. the uterus is too heavy at this point, so that could be the problem with the asphyxiation feeling. laying on the left side promotes the best blood flow.

as far as laying on the left side and sometimes feeling unable to breathe, i too have had this problem, and have found that it's my arms. if my right arm is hanging over my chest, as opposed to along my side, or if my left arm is in a weird position, then i can't breathe right. i feel like my chest is sort of folding in on itself when my arms are positioned incorrectly.

something that kinda helps is a pillow in front under my belly, one b/w my knees, and another one along my back, so if i roll onto my back i don't suffocate as bad since there is something under my right side.
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#9 of 10 Old 03-27-2007, 06:43 PM
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The same thing happens to me!!! And it's extra frustrating when I lay down b/c I've just done a little too much physically, b/c I feel like I can't catch my breath then... The joys of pregnancy.
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#10 of 10 Old 03-27-2007, 08:00 PM
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Same problem here. It is awful.

I sleep with four pillows and several large and small blankets (receiving blankets work well) that I use to reposition the angle that I am lying and the amount of support I give to my belly. I usually breathe best when my belly is totally unsupported... and if I am having a lot of trouble even then, I build a nest so I can sleep on hands and knees, allowing my belly to hang (this cures heartburn too). I can usually (after 15 or so minutes of wiggling) find an angle that allows me to breathe well. (The rhinitis of pregnancy does not help either! DH and DS have become totally unaware of me blowing my nose loudly while they sleep!) It is extra hard when co-sleeping with a toddler though. I have a latex foam mattress, so it doesn't move too much when I wiggle around. The worst is waking up DS, having him re-latch, and being stuck in some awful position until he falls asleep again. Sometimes that sucks so much I want to (and sometimes do) cry!

aran .......... Mr. aran .......... DS1 .......... DS2
BIL Oct. 1961 - Jun. 2009 taken by cancer
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