Sleeping on your back

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ekcanada's picture
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Sleeping on your back

Sonia's post got me thinking...

I am typically a side sleeper EXCEPT during pregnancy. I find sleeping on my back most comfortable which of course is a no no. BUT if I keep waking up on my back, how is it affecting the baby?

I know you really need to change positions when you feel nauseous or faint (which I have never felt) but how much of the baby's oxygen supply is being compromised by sleeping on my back regularly?

I worry about cerebral palsy and all the other complications associated with lack of oxygen...

Anybody know? Nurses?

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bamsmom's picture
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I can't sleep on my back! I am a side/belly sleeper and I still find myself waking up at times on my belly :eek: I'm gonna squash my babies! LOL

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I'm normally a side sleeper only... but since I've been pregnant this time, it seems that I've been sleeping on my back a lot. Laying on my side has felt uncomfortable.

I'm not concerned about it, but it is very strange for me.
Also, I didn't find laying on my back at all very comfortable last time I was pregnant, and this time it's AMAZING.

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With the help of my body pillow I'm still mostly sleeping on my belly Lol but I do wake up on my back and have for all of my pregnancies. I've always been told that you'll know as it will affect you before it affects baby and so far my kids have been perfectly fine.

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Dh has diabetes so when his bsl crashes in the middle of the night, it wakes him up. I equate back sleeping with that - if it gets bad enough, it'll wake you up. I also can't help but think about most hospitals make you labor on your back, the worst position for baby's health, especially when it needs oxygen the most! That makes no sense to me, but babies do survive it.

I think cerebral palsy and such is more of a concern with umbilical cord problems, placenta detachment, and starved of oxygen at birth. Even when we lay on our back, the baby is still getting some oxygen.

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I am normally a back/side sleeper but I don't sleep on my back when I'm pregnant. I have a snoogle which helps me stay on my side most of the night. Occasionally I wake up on my back but I just turn myself back on my side.

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I'm normally a belly sleeper, so I am sleeping with a body pillow to help keep me more on my side. Good question about the oxygen thing, though, because now that I can't sleep on my stomach, I have been waking up on my back more often.

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I wake up on my back ALL THE TIME and it actually makes me feel guilty, like I just had a glass of wine or something! All the books say it is such a big 'no-no', I feel like I am doing damage to my baby!

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"epiclesis" wrote:

I'm normally a side sleeper only... but since I've been pregnant this time, it seems that I've been sleeping on my back a lot. Laying on my side has felt uncomfortable.

I'm not concerned about it, but it is very strange for me.
Also, I didn't find laying on my back at all very comfortable last time I was pregnant, and this time it's AMAZING.

This is me exactly!

"jonibug" wrote:

Dh has diabetes so when his bsl crashes in the middle of the night, it wakes him up. I equate back sleeping with that - if it gets bad enough, it'll wake you up. I also can't help but think about most hospitals make you labor on your back, the worst position for baby's health, especially when it needs oxygen the most! That makes no sense to me, but babies do survive it.

I think cerebral palsy and such is more of a concern with umbilical cord problems, placenta detachment, and starved of oxygen at birth. Even when we lay on our back, the baby is still getting some oxygen.

I was under that impression but I just wanted to be sure that I was depriving this kid of oxygen!

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Sleeping on your back doesn't cause issues unless there is enough weight to compress your inferior vena cava. THAT will cause extreme shortness of breath and you will turn over even before you wake up.

It will affect you before it affects baby.

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i'm mostly a side/belly sleeper normally. this far into pregnancy i sleep alot more on my back just because of severe hip/pelvic pain i get. if if sleep on my side i wake up and can hardly walk most of the day because my pelvis was so out of wack. sleeping on my back keeps my pelvis centered and helps with the spd pain during the day. as for the no no of sleeping on my back i did the same think with DD for i had the same pains and she is perfect. and the later i get i prob my back up with pillows so i'm almost sitting while sleeping.. all more for to be pain free than a blood flow thing.

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I'm glad y'all brought this up. Because my hips have been aching some if I only sleep on my sides and I have been finding myself waking in the early morning and finding myself on my back and then the whole extreme guilt thing kicks in... DH and I were actually just talkig about this the other day and wondering if this is one of those cultural things that American drs. are more sensitive to than Euro drs. I know there are a lot of things we are told to do/not do during pregnancy, but in other cultures they are told opposite things. Maybe the hyper sensitivity to sleeping on our backs is just one of those cultural things?

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I was actually just asking my FIL (who is an OB) about this today, because I keep falling asleep on my side and waking up on my back. He said that you don't need to be completely on your side, that a very slight tilt to the side is all you need. He also said what Star said- that it will affect you before it affects the baby, and if you get uncomfortable in that position you'll roll over when you wake up to do it or not. I don't think it's a huge concern.

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"katielee83" wrote:

I wake up on my back ALL THE TIME and it actually makes me feel guilty, like I just had a glass of wine or something! All the books say it is such a big 'no-no', I feel like I am doing damage to my baby!

hahahaha.... I will still drink a half a glass of wine very rarely while pregnant...
I'm not phased by much. Blum 3

My best friend is from canada and she says it's pretty normal where she's from that women still drink a half a glass while preggo.... guess I got brainwashed from her. Wink

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My midwife told me not to worry about it because your body naturally prompts you to roll and change positions in the night. Also I have been sleeping mostly on my back because it's the only position my hips can be in that doesn't hurt super bad. I have a bunch of pillows I use to kind of prop myself into various positions so i'm not really flat on my back.

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I have been having the same problem with hip pain which is why I find myself waking up on my back several times each night. I need to find a wedge pillow that I could roll back onto to get the pressue off my hips. Any suggestions on where I might find one?

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I think boppy makes a pregnancy wedge pillow. I saw one online the other day and I really liked it because it was small, a lot of the pregnancy pillows are so huge, they would take up half my bed!!

Heres the boppy one:
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=boppy+wedge&hl=en&prmd=ivns&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=13171914535750569694&sa=X&ei=cbfaTb3MC8jhiAKXkan_Bw&ved=0CFgQ8wIwAA&biw=1333&bih=650#

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I had the exact same concern. I am normally a back sleeper so I have been gravitating to my back, I spoke to my doctor and he said it isn't as much of a concern as it is made out to be. All he said is that if you wake up light head and shakey lay on you left side until the feeling goes away. He stressed that it does not harm the baby.

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"dewittmba" wrote:

I have been having the same problem with hip pain which is why I find myself waking up on my back several times each night. I need to find a wedge pillow that I could roll back onto to get the pressue off my hips. Any suggestions on where I might find one?

Now that I think about it, that might be why I'm sleeping on my back - coz my hips hurt when I lay on them.