sleeping on your back... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 04:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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maybe I'm the only one, but I can't sleep on my side.  Well sometimes I can, but more often than not, I will lie awake for hours literally, going from side to side, til I'm so exhausted that I can't think so I roll over on my back and instantly fall asleep.  I know it's not going to be fatal for the baby or anything..but I still feel bad I can't do the "right" thing and be sleeping on my side...


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#2 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 05:55 AM
 
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I start off lying on my left side, but always prefer my right side so I switch and then I end up waking up lying on my back.  So I try the 'best' positions first but most nights end up in the 'worst' position.    Maybe it's a case of since we aren't supposed to lie on ours backs thats why its so comfortable to do so.  IDK.

 


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#3 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 07:59 AM
 
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i've been thinking about this lately.  i always fall asleep on my side (usually my left), but every night i wake up flat on my back.  i usually will lie there for a while (because it feels so good) and then move back to my side before i fall back to sleep.

 

it used to freak me out a bit (thinking it was bad for baby), but if it was bad for me (or baby) it wouldn't be so comfortable, right?


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#4 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 09:54 AM
 
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My midwife said that you can sleep on your back for as long as it's comfortable for you. The reason that it's listed as 'not safe' is because the weight of the baby presses on an artery and can restrict blood flow. However, she told me that the baby gets priority for the blood flow, so it will become a problem for you long before it's a problem for the baby. You will wake up before the baby is affected, so not to stress about it. I was freaking out every time I woke up on my back before she told me. :)

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#5 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 10:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reelgeek View Post...she told me that the baby gets priority for the blood flow, so it will become a problem for you long before it's a problem for the baby. You will wake up before the baby is affected, so not to stress about it.


good to know.


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#6 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 10:32 AM
 
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I usually prefer side to fall asleep but often find I navigate to my back during the night. I worry about it, too but if you don't decide to do it and it just happens there's not much that can be done. I do wonder, however just how bad it is? I know it does make me wake with back pain, but I mean for the baby and all.

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#7 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 10:42 AM
 
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I've never been told to not sleep on my back. I either sleep on my back or on my right side. When I try my left side baby gets really active and my muscles start to twitch, making me think that something not good is happening.

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#8 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 10:53 AM
 
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i get pretty uncomfortable fairly quickly on my back. even in the short amount of time it takes with the midwife, for example. so, for me, i avoid being on my back for long. i do sometimes find a sleep position that is almost on my back, but with my body pillow kind of under one side, so that i'm not fully on my back.

 

i'd agree that it will get uncomfy when blood flow is restricted. i'd bet even when you're asleep, your body will respond and you will move.


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#9 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SallyNichole View Post

I've never been told to not sleep on my back. I either sleep on my back or on my right side. When I try my left side baby gets really active and my muscles start to twitch, making me think that something not good is happening.



Sleeping on your left side is supposed to be the best for blood circulation for the baby, it likely gets a good pump of blood when you first switch. Same thing happens to me in terms of the baby becoming very active when I switch to that side, but he calms down after a few minutes. Not sure about the muscle twitching. That could just be the baby rolling on your nerves though.

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#10 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 12:09 PM
 
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Someone posted an article about a Canadian study of the whole "don't sleep on your back or right side" phenomenon either here or on the main pregnancy forum.

Cliff Notes: Many ObGYns have no idea why this has suddenly become such popular advice. There is a small percentage of women where the weight of the baby and uterus can restrict blood flow and cause the mother to loose consciousness before being able to move, HOWEVER, there would be other symptoms that would occur with that and the majority of women will move positions without ever waking up before any harm would ever happen to the baby. We're smart enough to know when something is comfortable or not and adjust accordingly and the majority of the time our bodies will tell us if something is wrong. If at any time you feel faint or dizzy from lying in a certain position, this is a sign this actually might be an issue and is worth talking to your provider about.

 

I think I have the abstract somewhere on my other computer and I'll post it if I find it, but like I typed about it was basically, "Don't worry about it"


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#11 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 02:34 PM
 
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in all my pregnancies i've only ever been able to sleep on my back or right side

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#12 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 04:57 PM
 
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I prefer my right side and I know I should ly on my left side especially since I seem to be dealing with some circulation issues.  However, I usually spend several hours trying to get comfortable on my left side before I give and go to sleep on my right side.  I figure that I need sleep  just as much as good circulation.

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#13 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 05:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camprunner View Post

I prefer my right side and I know I should ly on my left side especially since I seem to be dealing with some circulation issues.  However, I usually spend several hours trying to get comfortable on my left side before I give and go to sleep on my right side.  I figure that I need sleep  just as much as good circulation.



I'm pretty sure it's all good in terms of circulation. They just say that the 'best' circulation is on the left side. I sleep on my back as much as possible because that's how I can actually get any rest. Both of my sides end up killing my hips after a short time, so at this stage, if hanging upside down would actually result in sleep - I'd do it! :)

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#14 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 06:03 PM
 
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My husband pushes me onto my side when he sees my lying on by back. But, to be fair, I do the same to him when his snoring wakes me up. smile.gif I wake up on my back several times a night, but I'm not too worried about it. 


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#15 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 06:32 PM
 
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I always attempt to sleep on my left side but will often wake up and find myself on my back or even somtimes- eeh-gad- on my stomach.  The stomach is a very rare event now but I am still suffering from a load of leg cramps and so I tend to move around a lot.  I agree that if there is a blood flow issue you would feel uncomfortable and wake up.

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#16 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 07:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reelgeek View Post

My midwife said that you can sleep on your back for as long as it's comfortable for you. The reason that it's listed as 'not safe' is because the weight of the baby presses on an artery and can restrict blood flow. However, she told me that the baby gets priority for the blood flow, so it will become a problem for you long before it's a problem for the baby. You will wake up before the baby is affected, so not to stress about it.



That's pretty much word-for-word what my midwife told me too.  She said also that I would wake up feeling dizzy/lightheaded etc if it was a problem.

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#17 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 08:12 PM
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with dd i tried not to sleep on my back just because of that same medical advice...but that was back in the day when i was trying to do everything right.

 

this time i really do notice dizziness and shortness of breath when i lie on my back so i guess there can be something to it.

 

one of my favorite parts of giving birth is that first brief sleep afterwards when you can lie on your back, stomach...wharever!


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#18 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 09:25 PM
 
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I sleep 100% of the time on my back, through all of my pregnancies. It's the only way I'm comfortable.


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#19 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 11:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenMT View Post

I always attempt to sleep on my left side but will often wake up and find myself on my back or even somtimes- eeh-gad- on my stomach.  The stomach is a very rare event now but I am still suffering from a load of leg cramps and so I tend to move around a lot.  I agree that if there is a blood flow issue you would feel uncomfortable and wake up.



Try taking liquid calcium right before bed for the leg cramps...helps mine a ton!

 

I sleep in whatever position is most comfortable...I wake up multiple times a night to move positions(I don't think I move while sleeping due to the pain in my pubic bone from turning over)...my right side has always been most comfortable, but I will also sleep on my left side and on my back, slightly propped up(for me it's more comfortable then directly on my back).


S, mama to L(DD)-12/04, K(DS1)-12/06, C(DS2)-03/09 & B(DS3)-05/11

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#20 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 04:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tzs View Post

 

one of my favorite parts of giving birth is that first brief sleep afterwards when you can lie on your back, stomach...wharever!



i can't wait to lie on my stomach again!!

 

i never used to sleep on my back until i was pregnant with dd... then i started waking up on my back all the time.  i don't worry about it all during the first part of pregnancy but as i'm entering 3rd trimester i make a little more effort to fall asleep on my sides.  but if i wake in at night on my back and i'm comfortable, i usually just stay there :)


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#21 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 07:46 AM
 
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Thanks. My right leg is doing strange things like swelling (when the other one is fine) and turning purple and such. It seems better when I sleep on my left side....it's just not always possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reelgeek View Post





I'm pretty sure it's all good in terms of circulation. They just say that the 'best' circulation is on the left side. I sleep on my back as much as possible because that's how I can actually get any rest. Both of my sides end up killing my hips after a short time, so at this stage, if hanging upside down would actually result in sleep - I'd do it! :)



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#22 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 08:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camprunner View Post

Thanks. My right leg is doing strange things like swelling (when the other one is fine) and turning purple and such. It seems better when I sleep on my left side....it's just not always possible.

 

Please get that checked out by your midwife or a medical professional, if you haven't already...swelling/color change in one leg like that can be a sign of a blood clot (which is very bad).

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#23 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 10:09 AM
 
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I've always been a side sleeper

 

pre-pregnancy, sleeping on my back was comfortable, but I'd snore A LOT, so I rarely actually slept that way.

 

I noticed that sleeping on my back during 2nd/3rd trimester (so far) results in waking up with strange leg cramps... ones that are different from normal charlie horses... it took me awhile to connect the dots, but I noticed I don't get leg cramps when I don't sleep on my back... I think perhaps cutting off the blood flow was causing the strange sensations!? 

 

I've also noticed that my hips/lower back are VERY uncomfortable when rolling from my right side to my left - which I do a few times during the night.

 

My midwife suggested switching sides when I get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night - she said that sleeping on both sides evenly will help position the baby properly.

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#24 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 12:11 PM
 
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I fell off playground equipment from about ten feet up when I was 13 and landed on my left hip... who knew that would haunt me into my thirties, and throughout every pg?! I'm most comfortable on my left side *until* that hip starts to flail. I get the most annoying sort of burning, stinging, numbness and I have to move. I also have to keep a pillow between my legs on either side to seemingly relieve the pressure regardless of which side I'm on.

 

I SO wish I could sleep on my back! But I guess I'm one of the sad few that really can't sleep comfortably on my back. I do wake up feeling out of breath, short of breath, whatever and really weird. Sometimes I can prop myself up just right while on my back so I can sleep like that for awhile, but it's so comfy I tend to slide down too far and wake up out of breath again! Those few hours of sleep I'll be getting after the baby comes will definitely be flat on my back.


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#25 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 06:26 PM
 
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Yeah. My dad had those so I'm familiar with them. It isn't really like that. The swelling does go down when I lie on my left side and rather than being like a bruise, the coloring change seems to come from standing up too long. They aren't happening at the same time and come and go. I do have an appointment on Tuesday.

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