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Can I still sleep on my back while I'm pregnant?

Can I still sleep on my back while I'm pregnant?
Submitted by Parents.com Team

It's a good idea to start getting used to a new sleep position now, since you shouldn't sleep on your back after 20 weeks. When you lie belly-up, the weight of your uterus can compress a major blood vessel, called the vena cava, disrupting blood flow to your baby and leaving you nauseated, dizzy, and short of breath. The best way to sleep during the second half of pregnancy is on your side. Some doctors recommend the left side over the right because the vena cava is located to right of your spine, so sleeping on your left side allows blood to flow more freely to your baby. However, this shouldn't make a big difference, and it's more important that you pick whichever side feels better. If you need help adjusting to side-sleeping, try slipping pillows between your knees and under your belly to make it more comfortable. Should you wake up on your back in the middle of the night, don't freak out. Your body would let you know if your baby was in any real danger of not getting enough oxygen -- you'd feel nauseated and breathless long before your baby would have a problem. Simply roll to your side and try to fall back asleep.

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The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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I love sleeping on my back, even though I start off on my side just before falling asleep I would lay down flat. Since becoming pregnant its been really hard to stay asleep on my left or right side and have found my self waking up laying on my back. Honestly it's what feels best. But I have found two useful things to do when laying on my side, 1 is that I lean on my fiance or put my body pillow behind me and then lean on that so I'm not totally flat on my back.
Submitted by miss_evk
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Submitted by gargsweta69
-CONTINUED- Amniotic fluid not only nurishes your baby with fluids, but it's also a shock absorber and cushion. Worrying about squishing your baby in the womb is like trying to break a rock inside of hot water bag.
Submitted by snlharris
Well I think that the best way to sleep, is the way thats most comfortable for your body. I'm 34 weeks and I know this may sound crazy but I'm still able to sleep on my stomach. I"ve always been a stomach sleeper and its still the most comfortable position for me. I've even talked to my doctor about it and when it becomes uncomfortable for me is when I should stop. Blows and pressure to the belly don't hurt your baby unless it hurt you and even then your baby might not have been affected.
Submitted by snlharris
i m 7 week i sleep on my side because i try to sleep on my back is make me dizzy is this normal ?
Submitted by nena_love_dorsa
Im only 5 1/2 weeks and slept on my back last night. by 6am this morning i rolled over on my side. i feel a tightness in the middle of my belly...is this normal?
Submitted by sldembowski
To Nydya_3141...I know how you feel. I think we've all been there, but you will do just fine. I'm pregnant with my 3rd and I'm still getting that overwhelming feeling of change and not sure if I can handle it, but I know all will be well, things fall into place, you won't regret a thing.
Submitted by
There's also the issue of women who have Sciatic nerve problems during pregnancy who are told that it's better to sleep on their right side. Like the other suggestions say, it's really what feels comfortable to mom, though. I start out on my left side and within 5 mins usually turn over to my right side. This is the side most comfortable for me, but I do switch sides throughout the night...still ending up on my right when I wake up.
Submitted by bonniertitus
Like the parents.com team is saying, after 20 weeks you really shouldn't. The vena cava is a major vessel that moves blood from your upper body your lower body, and can pinch, tangle, compress and even flop if you move wrong while on your back- which can be very discomforting to you and baby. Since the vena cava is along the right side of your spine, most doctors say you should sleep on your left, BUT, sleeping on your left can compress your heart and make it more difficult to wake up in the night.
Submitted by rotsuoy_wolfen1
i think so your not hurting the baby and its the second place people would think to sleep and when i got pregnant i asked the docter and he said it was the most common place to sleep when your pregnant
Submitted by morganmanes1
I also am a back sleeper, actually I usually sleep on my tummy but of course that is out of the question. I have noticed that if that is the only way I am comfy (sleeping on my back), I will just prop my head up higher. I add an extra pillow and I find that it is less pressure on my back that way. It is almost like sitting in a recliner. At 30 weeks pregnant, I have tried everything to get a few hours of sleep. I have tried sleeping on the left and right side but find myself waking up on my back. The extra pillow propping me up has been the only thing that has helped me go to sleep.
Submitted by atmatic
yes this seems correct because i usually sleep on my back, and around week 20 or so i started getting 'more' short of breath laying on my back.. so swiching to my side has helped the discomfort of shortness of breath tons!
Submitted by daynadorko1
i think when i first found out i was pregnant i started crying with joy.... but i was scared that my life wont be thee same ever again... i feell like my life is a big chaangee and idk what to do anymore
Submitted by nydia_3141
The same happen to me and what I did was helpful!! I took regular tyernol and ate a lot of halls ( cough drops) honey- lemon flavor and put rubbing vise on ur chest, head, and back!!
Submitted by
What can I take for a bad head and chest cold.
Submitted by sheva5
if at all possible, sleep with your back against something so you cant roll on your back. i had to push one side of my bed against the wall, with a pillow right behind me it has worked just fine. cant roll over forward because of the belly and the wall prevents me from rolling backwards.
Submitted by nodoubtgirl5
It's hard to always sleep on your side. Gotta avoid the back and impossible to sleep on the belly! With that said, just try to fall asleep on your side, and I'm sure that you'll wake up on your back at times but don't worry, just roll to your side and you'll be fine. Pillows never helped me, but I've heard that they do help some. Good luck! Check out some birth stories at: www.myrealbirthstory.com
Submitted by jmc911991
yes you can but it might start to get uncomfortable after ahwile but your body will let you know..
Submitted by DhevynsMom
i had my ultersound done and the doctor told me that im having one kid but when i got home to look at the pictures, i could of sware i saw two faces but the doctor just told me that its feeding off its yoke... do you think that the other baby could be hideing?
Submitted by snowballsnowang
i have allways been a back sleeper and even when i want to lay in bed with my husband and relax i like to lay on my back and proped up.. so the whole transition has been akward for me but oh soo worth it for our first baby girl....
Submitted by rachelgibson
Is it ok to have drank bleeding at 7 weeks?
Submitted by aprildill75
Moonstar, I wouldn't worry about it. I can only sleep on my right side and back, but mainly on my back. My left side makes me really sick. No one really knows what is best. At my age of 36, this being my 4th daughter (18,16,& 8), with 17 wks to go. I have heard so many different things, what's good and what's bad. All I can say is whatever is comfortable for you & yr body then so is the baby. Enjoy your Pregnancy. I sure am.
Submitted by tkbear121
I have such an issue with this and have tried everything! I always wake up on my back no matter what, I have the body pillow between my knees, a wedge for my belly and another pillow stuffed against my back to prevent me from rolling on the back, but I still wake up on my back!
Submitted by moonstars321