Mothering Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,794 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!


I've been waking up at night, realizing I'm sleeping on my back, and then feeling upset/afraid/panicky....

Is anyone else at 21-22 weeks still sleeping on their backs? I try to stay on my sides, but I always wake up a few times during the night on my back. I'm worried about cutting off the baby's blood supply and causing damage because he's not getting enough oxygen.

Does anyone know more about the particulars of that scenario? I mean, would I wake up out of sleep from my body telling me "I need more BLOOD!" before the baby feels any effects?

Part of the reason I worry is because during my last pregnancy (twins), anytime I spent time on my back I would start to black out. Even for brief periods--like an OB or ultrasound exam. It was pretty extreme, and it started around 21 weeks. Obviously, my uterus isn't as big this time (thank goodness!
), but I still worry that it is big enough to constrict that vein/artery that runs along my back.

Any anatomy/science/midwife folks out there that know more about this? Should I put something uncomfortable in the back of my jammies to stop from rolling onto my back, or is it not a big deal?

Your resident worry-wart,
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,858 Posts
Isn't there enough for us to worry about?
I don't know the science behind it, but I also am inclined to think you'd get cues from your body before it became critical. If I *don't* sleep on my back I get congested, because my part of the country has ragweed so bad right now, and I'm so allergic. I decided to just throw that bit of advice out, unless I start feeling uncomfortable. I'm curious to read what other mamas have to say who know more about the reasoning behind it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,517 Posts
Good question. Laying on my back at 21 weeks doesn't make me the least uncomfortable, and the baby can be felt a lot better when I lay on my back. I just have a hard time getting up from there. I actually laid on the floor to talk on the phone and I was like a turtle stuck there trying to roll back over.

If laying on your back accidentally hurt the baby or you, I think there would be a lot more problem pregnancies since how can you help it if you roll over on your back while you're sleeping? Probably later on when you're bigger it will be more uncomfortable maybe?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,464 Posts
tee hee, you're fine sleeping on your back now and then unless you start feeling it affect you. I am a side sleeper,but need to rest on my back once or twice in the night to let my hips settle back into place, etc. I was doing this all the way up until the end with my first boy. I can't imagine with twins, lol. So don't panic if you do it in your sleep.

Probably in another month or two, some of us will start using pillows against our backs and under our bellies and between the knees adn ankles.. we'll feel like we're wedged in a giant marshmellow!

What htat has to do with anything, i don't know. I am babbbbbling. I reallllly need sleep. My son woke me up during EVERY dream last night. DDDdrrrrrrrrrllllllll... what? Yeah. Exactly. OKay, signing off now, before I start talking about the weather! Oh yeah, and I am doing this without glasses or contacts in, so I hope this is understandabel and readable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
779 Posts
Yes, I know what you mean about waking up on my back and worrying. I remember with Meg, one of my pregnancy books (probably What to Expect
) had a clear date by which you should stop sleeping on your back, and I tried like heck to follow it. But I've since read in a reliable place (sorry, can't remember where) that it's not until the very end that you have to worry about cutting off supply to the baby. We all naturally will spend part of the night on our backs and that's okay. If I find the source, I'll post it.

So, what's next on your list, resident worry-wart?


warmly,
Kam, mamamama! to Meg and one more
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,690 Posts
The baby has to get bigger before the oxygen is an issue. It was earlier for you with twins since you had twice as much baby in there.
I also think you'll feel it when you shouldn't be laying that way, it just won't be comfortable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,361 Posts
i keep doing this, too. i try to sleep on my side, prefer the right but try to rotate to the left for at least a couple of hours. i wake up sometimes on my back. i agree that you would know if it was a problem yet. i figure i will soon be uncomfortable on my back, so i just prop one hip up a bit on a pillow to help not be perfectly flat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,457 Posts
Me too! I asked my midwife about it the other day and she said that it usually is most important later in pregnancy (the last month I think?) and that If I was causing distress I would feel numbness and would clearly feel the baby panic and kick a lot.

But of course, laying on my back is the position where baby seems to be most active, and I know I'm not cutting off the blood supply this early.

Even later in the pregnancy I think it's ok if you wake up on yourback- you can't really help it, right? Plus I think we would wake ourselves with the discomfort before it hurt baby.

I try to prop one hip up so all the weight isn't on my spine- but sometimes I just have to lay on my back because my hips get so sore. Point is, I think it's ok, our bodies and babies will let us know when it is bad!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,181 Posts
I wake up on my back a lot. This morning I was up at 5:30 feeling her kick and wondering if something was wrong. I try to turn on my side whenever I think of it. We just bought a pillowtop mattress and it is wonderfully comfortable for side sleeping!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
378 Posts
Here is a tip I just learned yesterday - I am a massage therapist and just trained to do prenatal massage, and the wonderful person that taught me yesterday showed me this: lay on your side, pillow between knees and ankles, pillow under head. Take another pillow, a flattish foam one seems best, and fold it in half lengthwise. Wedge it length wise behind your back, neck to sacrum. Then, voila! You can roll back on it, you feel you are laying on your back, your head can lay back straight more or less, but you are not actually on your back and are safely bolstered for sleeping!! I did this for the first time last night and it was BLISS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,200 Posts
My chiropractor very kindly did some research on this for me because I was really freaked out too. I'm 21 weeks today. What he found for me basically showed the amount of blood that is constricted by the dorsal aorta while lying on your back. It wasn't really enough of a constriction to harm the baby to any great degree. What is affected is the return of blood to your heart from you head and neck before it is filtered back through as good blood to the fetus. I think that we don't have to worry about damaging our babies by accidentally sleeping on our backs. I think that when they get big enough that it becomes any sort of issue, we probably won't be sleeping long enough anyway...we'll wake up so much that we will be tossing and turning all over the place.

I still try to sleep on my stomach, which is o.k., but I feel like I'm crushing the little guy. LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,794 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, Carrin! I bet you're right.


Monkeymimi~ I tried sleeping while laying back on a long pillow, and you're right, it is bliss!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
757 Posts
I really would not worry much about sleeping on you back. When you get big enough to cause any real damage, your baby is going to let you know! I am 22 weeks preggo with #2 and when I was pg with dd she would inmediately let me know if she was uncomfortable,besides like someone else already said by thn you will hardly sleep anyway and if you do get some zzzz lying on your back is so uncomfortable you will not even try to.

sara sahm to Sofy 13 months and
: due in march
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,289 Posts
I ran into one of those Myths of Pregnancy lists online the other day and one of them was that sleeping on your back harms the baby. As much as I usually ignore mainstream advice, the other myths were things like episiotomy is better than tearing. They claimed that the study done showing that being on one's back is harmful was actually about laboring women, not during the rest of pregnancy.

I'd never heard that before, but I'm still totally comfortable on my back, so I'm just not going to feel guilty about sleeping whatever way is possible. I'm fairly sure that our discomfort would stop us from doing anything bad to the baby.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top