3rd Trimester

How bad is sleeping on your back really???

So, I'm still worried since I keep waking up on my back.  My doc never mentioned to me that I shouldn't and to be honest, I think on this board is probably the only place I've seen it!  But anyways, I'm wondering what kind of damage does it actually do?  With my first pregnancy I was super conscious of not sleeping on my back and I think every time i rolled over onto it I would wake up....this time I think I'm so sleep deprived that who knows how long I've been on my back before I wake up!
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Re: How bad is sleeping on your back really???

  • I wake up on my back regularly each night and roll back to one side.  I am not concerned.  I started off very aware of it and would stick to the left side, now I just want to be comfortable and get some shut eye!
  • I do this too, I don't worry about it too much.  I just move back to my side when I am awake enough to know better.  :)
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  • Its not a big deal. It's just uncomfortable and wakes me up (at least for me).
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  • When you wake up it's time to roll over.  I keep a pillow on each side, one to hold and the other to tilt me to the side a bit when I end up rolling on my back.
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  • I try and stick to sleeping on my side but I usually end up on my back at least once each night.  I wasn't all that worried about it until one night I woke up to my husband trying to push me over on my side.  I got mad and said "Jeeze, it's really not that big of a deal.  Are you afraid I'm going to kill the baby or something?"  He said he wasn't concerned about that but he was scared b/c my breathing was really labored.  He thought I was going to pass out (and also figured if I was having problems, the baby probably was too).  I guess it was so loud that I actually woke him up.  That scared me enough to actually try and stay on my side all the time.  I'm guessing (hoping!) that I was about to wake myself up anyway but who knows.  Better safe than sorry.
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  • I spend about 95% of the night on my back.  My MW told me to sleep however I'm comfortable.  My body will tell me if I'm doing something wrong.

    Oscar born October 2011

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  • I've woke up on my back a few times. I've even rolled onto my back to try to get comfortable. I'm due any day now and so far baby has been okay, even with me on my back.

    Women have been pregnant and sleeping on their backs for thousands of years. I wouldn't worry about it. 

  • It hurts so bad to sleep on my sides but I do as best as I can.  My doctor told me to prop pillows behind me and lean against those while I sleep.  I actually found that DH works better.  I lean all over him when I am sleeping! lol.

    Also, when I really try hard to sleep on my side, I usually wake up half on my belly.  I wake up to lo squirming around like 'mom! get off of me!' scares me!

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  • I sleep on my back all the time. I'm a little more propped up with pillows now than I usually am to help with heartburn, but I'm always on my back.

    As long as you aren't seeing stars or having a difficult time breathing, you're fine. Some woman can and some woman just can't.

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  • image rkrichey:
    I try and stick to sleeping on my side but I usually end up on my back at least once each night.  I wasn't all that worried about it until one night I woke up to my husband trying to push me over on my side.  I got mad and said "Jeeze, it's really not that big of a deal.  Are you afraid I'm going to kill the baby or something?"  He said he wasn't concerned about that but he was scared b/c my breathing was really labored.  He thought I was going to pass out (and also figured if I was having problems, the baby probably was too).  I guess it was so loud that I actually woke him up.  That scared me enough to actually try and stay on my side all the time.  I'm guessing (hoping!) that I was about to wake myself up anyway but who knows.  Better safe than sorry.

    This.  I can't get enough air while I am on my back, even awake, just laying back.  I start to get lightheaded and my breathing becomes labored.  I guess massive boobs and a belly are a lot for little lungs to push up everytime I have to breathe. 

     

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  • I've woken up on my back many times over the past 2 months--I just roll over to my side when I wake up--your body will give you signs (like PP mentioned above) if something is wrong

     

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  • I asked my doctor and here's what she told me...  Do you really think that tribe women in Africa know this?!? 

    She's kinda funny I guess!  Plus, I sleep so much better now that I don't wake myself up to turn on my left side.

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  • image mabst196:
    Its not a big deal. It's just uncomfortable and wakes me up (at least for me).
    If you notice discomfort, that is your body's way of telling you that something is not right. This does put pressure on the vessels that help supply your baby with oxygen and cutting that off doesn't really seem like no biggie to me. I make sure to sleep with a "bumper" like a sturdy pillow behind me so that I know i won't roll over on to my back.
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  • I asked the doctor because I was concerned as I kept waking up on my back as well. She asked if when I woke up, was it because I couldn't breathe? I told her no and she said not to worry then. If I can breathe, the baby was fine.  

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  • Sleep is such a luxury these days that I say if you aren't suffering healthwise from it, then just sleep however is comfortable for you.  Personally, I shove a pillow under one side so I'm always tilted if I end up on my back but with my first 2 pregnancies, I knew nothing about this left side thing and both of my kids are normal and healthy!  DH says I snore like a train now and sometimes sleeping on my side makes my shoulders hurt so I'm to the point that if it's comfortable, I'm out!! REST WELL!
  • image Crash Into Me:

    image AmyLaurel89:
    image mabst196:
    Its not a big deal. It's just uncomfortable and wakes me up (at least for me).
    If you notice discomfort, that is your body's way of telling you that something is not right. This does put pressure on the vessels that help supply your baby with oxygen and cutting that off doesn't really seem like no biggie to me. I make sure to sleep with a "bumper" like a sturdy pillow behind me so that I know i won't roll over on to my back.

    I purposely roll onto my back for a while to help ease the pressure off my hips.

    To the PP who said boobs and belly must be too much for the lungs to handle...you need to go do a little more research.  The vena cava runs along the back of your body, a little to your right.  This is responsible for carrying blood from the lower half of your body back to your heart to get refreshed with oxygen.  If you are laying on your back, the weight of your uterus can pinch it, causing the supply to return to your heart much more slowly.  This creates a lack of oxygen to the lower half of your body, including your uterus and your placenta.  Because this runs down the right side of your body, this is why it's suggested that you lay on your left side while sleeping.

    However, as another PP said, do you really think tribal women in Africa know this? If you are uncomfortable, move. 

    Hi.  That's me.  I obviously was joking, but thanks!  lol  :)

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  • I'm sorry, but this whole tribal women in Africa comment bothers me.    Just because you're "primitive" doesn't mean you're not smart.  I'll bet they know a whole lot more than we do regarding prenatal and infant care.  Just cause they aren't paranoid and don't have Dr. Google doesn't mean they aren't informed.

    Oscar born October 2011

    Miscarriage at 8 weeks (August 2013)

    DD due September 1, 2014

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  • I sleep on my side but sometimes I wake up and I'm laying on my back so then I move to my side again. My Dr never told me not to sleep on my back.

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  • My chiropractor told me to avoid "reclining" on my back because gravity then causes LO's spine to kind of aline with your spine and that can cause really bad back labor and a more difficult birth.  If you sleep on your side, their spine tends to curve to one side or the other and that is much a much better position leading into birth.  You *probably* don't have to worry about that though until you get fairly close to your due date.
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  • Im 40 weeks today and around 37 weeks I couldn't sleep on my back anymore because it pushed on my blatter in a way that made me feel like I had to pee even if I didn't!
  • My doctor explained that sleeping on the back puts pressure on the vena cava, the vessel that carries blood from the top half to the bottom half of the body. I think you'd have to spend a really long time in the same position for it to really cause any harm. I don't know about you, but I can't stay in the same position for more than an hour!
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  • I asked the doctor this the one day. HIs response was "have you heard of anyone whos baby had problems because they laid on their back?" It is very rare and your body will start to tell u if something isn't right.
  • I do this too! I asked my doctor and she said as long as you're comfortable then do it. They suggest not sleeping on your back because the baby puts pressure on your spine, and I guess there is a nerve that the baby rests on which can make you pass out/black out. I always wake up on my back and just roll over and my doctor said that's fine, if you're not waking up with a backache I don't think it's a big concern. 
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  • image sytom:

    I asked my doctor and here's what she told me...  Do you really think that tribe women in Africa know this?!? 

    She's kinda funny I guess!  Plus, I sleep so much better now that I don't wake myself up to turn on my left side.

    HAhA thats funny, and thats what Iv been thinking to :) I do end up on my back and once in awhile it makes me so uncomfortable that I have to turn but other than that, I dont worry as long as i feel fine Ill stay that way
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  • image Ceridwen21:
    I'm sorry, but this whole tribal women in Africa comment bothers me.    Just because you're "primitive" doesn't mean you're not smart.  I'll bet they know a whole lot more than we do regarding prenatal and infant care.  Just cause they aren't paranoid and don't have Dr. Google doesn't mean they aren't informed.
    image
    Oh, that is fantastic. This...this is wine. Yeah. Look what all these idiots are drinking. Look at these dicks!
    Obviously it's not really delicious, like hot chocolate or Coke, but for wine...brilliant.
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  • image Ceridwen21:
    I'm sorry, but this whole tribal women in Africa comment bothers me.    Just because you're "primitive" doesn't mean you're not smart.  I'll bet they know a whole lot more than we do regarding prenatal and infant care.  Just cause they aren't paranoid and don't have Dr. Google doesn't mean they aren't informed.

    I think the point of the "women in Africa comment" is that if they DON"T know the rule, it's because the rule is bollocks.

     

    image
    Oh, that is fantastic. This...this is wine. Yeah. Look what all these idiots are drinking. Look at these dicks!
    Obviously it's not really delicious, like hot chocolate or Coke, but for wine...brilliant.
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  • I also stay on my back for a few minutes every time I switch sides... my hips are so sore after I've lied on each side a few times and used to doze off on my back.  I only really stopped because it started hurting and making it hard to breathe so I would wake up sooner to roll off my back.
  • I was told with my first pregnancy (9 1/2 years ago) to sleep on my left side. This pregnancy my Dr. (same Dr. I had with my first) told me I can sleep in any position, except stomach, of course. LOL. I was actually having a hard time sleeping on my left side b/c my left hip would tingle. I am now 30 1/2 weeks and I need to sleep on an incline b/c sleeping on my sides and/or straight on my back causes me to be short of breath, kind of like when you lay on your bed and hang your head off the side. LOL...
  • I don't end up on my back much.  My stomach?  That's another story.  I'm a stomach sleeper and sleeping on my side is killing me!!  I wake up every hour or so because whatever side I'm on hurts, so I roll over onto the other side.  Lately, I wake up just about on my stomach or half on it.  I feel my little girl squirming big time when that happens; it's her way of saying, "Hey mama, you're squishing me!!"  Once I'm aware of it, I roll onto my side again.  *sigh*

    I asked my OB and she explained about the whole vena cava situation.  But she said that if I really want/need to lay on my back a 45 degree angle or more is best.  The problem?  I can't sleep on my back like that, even before pregnancy.  And if I keep my pillows like that and end up sleeping on my side, my back will be in pain for days.

    My solution was to tell my DH to wake me up if he ever sees me on my belly or back so that I can roll my butt back over to the side (and he's had to a few times).  In any case, other than the belly squirming, I haven't had any probs.

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