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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 have been trying to sleep on my sides as well. I've always been a stomach sleeper, but now I feel nauseous when I'm on my belly. When I read that the left side is best, I got so neurotic about staying on my left side, I could hardly sleep at all! My midwife told me not to worry about staying on my left side, as either side is really OK.

KristaSuz |

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

I am pretty sure that you will know when it's not ok to sleep on your back anymore! My first pregnancy I kept waking up on my back through the first and second trimester, but later on I would wake up dizzy and feeling like I was going to faint if I was on my back. I would get this way though very quickly I even had to turn on my sides during my ultrasounds because laying on my back was cutting off circulation and making me faint! Maybe it's not that severe for everyone but that's how it was for me! I wouldn't worry about it too much, your body will let you know what it needs.

jsselyse |

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

I have had a lot of issues sleeping now that I am in my third trimester. Not only is it really uncomfortable for me to sleep on my back but when I try sleeping on either side, thats uncomfortable too Plus when I try to sleep on my left side, I feel like I am not really asleep. Its a wonder I actually get any sleep at all. The hubby bought me a nursing rocking chair with a foot stool and that is where I sleep now. It sucks to sleep sitting up but as long as I get some rest then I am fine with it. I guess its practice for when my little boy comes.

calvin2010 |

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

I had a hard time trying to sleep on my sides as well. It's just way more comfortable being on my back sometimes. I asked the doctor if it was ok to sleep on my back and she said it's fine. She said your body would know if there's a problem and would wake you up to turn over if needed. I've slept so much better now that I know that. I'm about 29 weeks and haven't had any problems being on my back so far.

deiland |

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

It was so uncomfortable to sleep in any position towards the end of my pregnancy that I finally invested in a body pillow. We were lucky enough to come across the Bossom Baby pillow which also works as a nursing pillow after pregnancy. It's very fluffy and never seems to go flat. Plus the outerlayer comes off for washing. We got it here: www.currantbaby.com

peggyweber05 |

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

I am 31 weeks and I still sleep on my back. I try not to, but its the most comfiest position for me to sleep in. When I sleep on my side, my arms fall asleep and my back hurts. I trust my body and my baby to tell me what needs to be done so I will continue to do it.

sarahgosch |

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

you better try to sleep on your side cuz i am 32 weeks pregnant and it is immpossible to sleep anyway. good luck!!!

lilray15 |