This article is from the General Pregnancy FAQ, by swnymph@FensEnde.com (Sabrina Cuddy) with numerous contributions by others.
This is a common question because we have all heard that it is best
to sleep on our left sides. The reason is that the vena cava, a
large vein which returns blood from the legs to the uterus, runs
along the right side of the spine. Blood flow may be improved by
staying off the back or lying on the left side.
Low blood pressure symptoms, such as dizziness and nausea may result
from lying on your back after the first trimester. If they don't, you
are probably fine! Back pain may also result from sleeping on your
back, because of the weight of your uterus.
Here are some suggestions from the net:
> I almost always sleep on my back. My doctor said not to worry about
> it because if I were compressing an artery, there would be symptoms
> (like legs getting numb) that would warn me to roll over. I do,
> however, sleep propped up on pillows because I usually read myself to
> sleep in a semi-sitting position, so I'm not really flat on my back.
I sleep on my back and both sides as well. I haven't gained that much
weight and am at 21 weeks, so I figure the back-sleeping position is
still OK, and I would feel something bad if it wasn't. I have heard
that the left side is "best," so I try to use that as much as possible
- with a pillow between my knees. However, now I've been getting a
cramp in my left leg which makes it uncomfortable to sleep on that
I say, doing whatever is most comfortable for you is probably best.
>Are there any other back sleepers out there?
>I have always preferred to sleep on my back, and I can't
>seem to get comfortable on my side. I have beend sleeping
>with a pillow between my legs, and it helps somewhat, but
>my shoulder always feels like it's in the way.
Hi! I was a back & side-sleeper before getting pregnant. I now try to
limit myself to largely sleeping on my left side, as suggested as being
the good thing to do for my baby & my body. I do miss sleeping on my
back but have found that sleeping on my left side with the aid of a
body pillow has really helped me to sleep comfortably.
I'd recommend that you try a body pillow. I bought mind from a
bed/bath speciality shop. They carried both down-filled and
polyester-filled pillows. I thought I'd prefer the down but the poly
pillow was actually softer and squishier so I opted for it. BTW, it
was around $20 and came with a pillow case.
The answer is pillows! Prop her up. I sleep with one leg hooked over a
pillow, a pillow cushioning my belly and a pillow behind my back,
supporting it. also, a pillow under my head. It all gets a little
annoying when you have to get up four times in the night to go to the
bathroom, but it's worth it, and I've slept pretty comfortably. These
are big, firm King-sized pillows bought especially for this purpose.
> Are there any other back sleepers out there?
> I have always preferred to sleep on my back, and I can't
> seem to get comfortable on my side. I have beend sleeping
> with a pillow between my legs, and it helps somewhat, but
> my shoulder always feels like it's in the way.
> Any suggestions? Please! :)
One easy one for the shoulder thing, try putting your regular pillow on
between your shoulder and your head; it makes the shoulder less
noticable. I have seen, but have not ordered, a pillow in the Speigel
catalog called the prega-puff that is really two pillows (fairly small)
velcroed (so theyr'e adjustable together, you sleep between the two and
they support you from both sides.