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Q&A: When should I change my sleep position?

When should I stop sleeping on my stomach and back?  I find that I wake up in those positions often, but I know it can be dangerous as my belly grows.

Re: When should I stop sleeping on my stomach and back?  I find that I wake up in those positions often, but I know it can be dangerous as my belly grows.

The Bump Expert

You should stop sleeping on your stomach or back by around 20 weeks of pregnancy. By this point, you may notice that sleeping either way -- especially on your stomach -- is pretty uncomfortable. The concern with sleeping on your back is that the enlarging uterus can compress the large veins in the back of your abdomen, which can in turn decrease the amount of blood returning to your heart. As a result, your blood pressure can drop, and you may feel lightheaded or nauseated. If your blood pressure drops, the blood flow to your uterus and baby may decrease. So, in general, after 20 weeks I recommend sleeping on your side.

Dr. Ashley Roman

re: Q: Change sleep position when?

I am 26 weeks now and have been trying to learn to sleep on my left side for quite some time but it doesn't seem to be working. I fall asleep that way but when I wake up through out the night and in the morning I'm always either on my back or my belly. I even bought one of those maternity pillows in hopes that it would help keep me from moving and it ends up on DH side of the bed.

Mrs-J |

re: Q: Change sleep position when?

Same here. I try to sleep on my left side and end up waking up on my back. I've gotten better with sleeping on the left side, but find that I don't get great sleep because I'm consciously keeping myself in this sleep position.

jadabull |

re: Q: Change sleep position when?

is the left side supposed to be better than the right?

aln214 |

re: Q: Change sleep position when?

Yes, the WTEWYE book (aka pregnancy bible), said something to the effect of the left side being better, basically b/c that is the side of your body that your heart is on, thus improving circulation. I tried 2 stay on that side for the most part, but maybe after the 1st trimester, either sides are fine.

bellachic |

re: Q: Change sleep position when?

Also, the body organs on the right side of your body are more hollow that the ones on the left, so it is easier for baby to mold and conform to this side and not push against organs on the right side like your liver that will not conform when he is pressed against it.

greenwheel |

re: Q: Change sleep position when?

I am 14 weeks and I have been working on sleeping on my left side, but it's really hard. I always wake up on my belly. Seems like I have about 6 more weeks to master the art of sleeping correctly!

Mochaqueen |

re: Q: Change sleep position when?

i'm a paramedic and the left side is the absolute best for any pregnant woman. It relieves the pressure on the vena cava and allows blood flow to you and the baby. I know it's hard though cause i'm 21 weeks and cannot stay on my side... my arm falls asleep, my back hurts.. so i end up on my back.. with an extra pillow proppin me up.. and i have high blood pressure so a small dip in bp won't harm too much.. i hope!

msjboof |

re: Q: Change sleep position when?

I'm 25 weeks pregnant, and I've been trying to sleep on my side (either side is really fine according to my doctor) but it's nearly impossible for me to stay that way. I bought a maternity body pillow and it's comfortable, but I keep waking up on my back. I'm really not worried about it though. Women have been sleeping on their back while pregnant for thousands of years, I don't really think it's hurting my baby. And if he was really that uncomfortable, he'd let me know it by kicking I think.

marjpants13 |

re: Q: Change sleep position when?

I am only 12 weeks but have been trying to sleep on my left side since I found out I was pregnant. I bought a body pillow and put the bottom half between my knees and that seems to help. I only gained a couple of pounds so far but already feel uncomforatble laying on my back. Maybe that is all in my head though. I agree with maripants13 in that woman have been having babies forever and their sleeping position was probably the least of their worries.

MarryMeBill |

re: Q: Change sleep position when?

From what I understand, our bodies know what needs doing and when. If you try to sleep on your side, sure that's better for you and the baby, but if you keep waking up on your back or stomach, that's fine: you are waking up BECAUSE your body needs you to move. This happens to me all the time (13wks) - I wake up either on my back or stomach, wiggle around to be on one side or the other, and fall asleep for awhile until I roll over again. :) I think training yourself to sleep in a more "suitable" position certainly doesn't hurt, but your body knows that it's doing and will keep you and your baby pretty safe.

shoshigana@yahoo.com |

re: Q: Change sleep position when?

I have the same issue, always waking up on my back and when I sleep on my side it makes my lower back ache. I'm doing my best but not looking forward to my 20th week because of this...

ericaelaine2 |

Q&A: When should I change my sleep position?

I'm 13 weeks and I've been trying to get into the habit of sleeping on my left side, but for some reason I start to get this annoying numbness down the left side of my thigh and it gets so uncomfortable that I end up rolling over to my right side or on my back. I've never been one to sleep on my stomach so Im alright in that aspect....but UGH I have to find a way to start feeling more comfy sleeping on the left...I have a maternity pillow and it helps sometimes.....but not ALL the time.

shez_stubborn |

Q&A: When should I change my sleep position?

I had an ultrasound a month ago and I noticed my baby's head goes to my left so when I sleep on my left side is that bad for my baby?

Dannyswifey10 |

Q&A: When should I change my sleep position?

Also sleeping on your back near the end of your pregnancy increases your risk of having your baby be born sunny side up aka facing up, which results in very painful back labor. I found that one out the hard way with my ds.

lotsofbustles |

Q&A: When should I change my sleep position?

My OB told me not to worry about waking up on my back. I was waking up a ton of times during the night on my back even though I always went to sleep on my Left side. She said she would rather me worry about getting a good nights sleep, then worry about being on my back....

Shquinn |

Q&A: When should I change my sleep position?

ive done research about laying on your left side and they say it gives better blood flow to you and your baby

hamilcha |

Q&A: When should I change my sleep position?

My Doctoer suggested to put the body pillow under my right side to make me kind of lean to the left side to help me "learn" to sleep on my left side and not my back. It really helps and I feel like I'm still sleeping on my back so I'm not waking up worrying.

localucky |

Q&A: When should I change my sleep position?

I hope my doctor never tells me how to sleep...as little sleep as I already get I would probably let him have it! I am 18 weeks and have the fun predicament of 3 herniated discs. I don't care what position I'm in; if I'm getting sleep at all it's a good night. If something hurts I can just move. I'm not losing precious nocturnal minutes worrying about which organs get molded eaiser...

cottonlily84 |

Q&A: When should I change my sleep position?

Sleeping on the left side also helps with heart burn. Before I got pregnant I had trouble with acid reflux and my doctor told me that the stomach connects to the esophagus at an angle, so sleeping on your left side allows gravity to help keep the acid down in your stomach instead of coming up which causes heartburn.

arj124 |

Q&A: When should I change my sleep position?

My mom told me that she woke up sleeping on her stomach and her entire abdomen was numb and crampy. This is why I worry about sleeping on my stomach, but its the position I am most comfortable now. (I'm 16 w.)

FlickaSings |

Q&A: When should I change my sleep position?

I am having a strange problem - I usually sleep on my side, but now my hips are so sore that I prefer sleeping on my back with a pillow under my knees.

jdk033 |

Q&A: When should I change my sleep position?

I am 18 weeks now and I have taught myself to sleep on my left side. It was hard to get used to but I started putting a pillow between my legs and it keeps my hips and back comfortable.

kristenirby24 |

Q&A: When should I change my sleep position?

What should I do when I cant sleep an always tossing an turning every min or so. An I get really really bad back pains in lower back.

mommykhrissi1 |

Q&A: When should I change my sleep position?

I am 27 weeks and I cant stop sleeping on my stomach, I have a maternity pillow and even use more than that to try and keep me off my stomach, and I cant stop! My husband even sleeps on his side to help me stay on mine, but its like through out the night we both end up on our stomach, I am at a very small angle off of it, but for the most part that's still where I end up. Help! I am nervous

newfamilyof3 |

Q&A: When should I change my sleep position?

I am not pregnant. But this is a question I have often wondered about and have even asked my OBGYN about. She basically blew off this question and told me not to worry about it. The reason I am worrying is b/c I have had a large lump on my left rib under my left breast for 4 years that is constantly painful (I have gotten a CT scan of it, tried acupuncture, massages and gone to a chiropracture all for this problem). Nothing is helping with the pain or making it go away. So, I worried about getting pregnant with this issue and when/if I do get pregnant, how will it affect me and the baby pain-wise, my sleep, etc?? I'm afraid to admit that it is putting off me and my husband wanting to get pregnant later rather than sooner. :( We think it could be a form a Costochondritis, but that's not a for sure diagnosis.

mrswolter |