sleeping on left side during pregnancy uncomfortable

Sleeping on your left side is often referred to as the “ideal” scenario during pregnancy. TUESDAY, Sept. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women are often told to sleep on their left side to reduce the risk of stillbirth, but new research … Specially designed pillows are so coveted by pregnant women because as your belly grows, there are fewer ideal positions to sleep in. Taking ibuprofen in pregnancy isn't a good idea. Regular pillows may work just fine for you, or try one of the many pillows that are made specifically for pregnant women. You can also hug a full length body pillow for extra comfort. All rights reserved. However, I have been sleeping on both sides as I find I get achey sleeping on one side for too long (am currently 30 weeks pregnant) and I only find sleeping on my back is bad as it makes me feel a bit sick. Here’s our process. Just over 8,700 women were asked at several points during pregnancy about their sleep positions. Sleeping on your back is generally considered safe throughout the first trimester. Soak in all the sleep you can before your baby is born. One of the biggest complaints pregnant women suffer from is having a good night sleep. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This position may contribute to back pain, hemorrhoids, digestive issues, and poor circulation. You’ll probably find side sleeping is most comfortable when you bend your knees and place a pillow in between them. There are many websites that tell you that the left side is best to sleep on during pregnancy. Consider what is the evidence supporting that recommendation.". To counteract this, women are positioned slightly to the side, said Fox, who coauthored an editorial published with the study. The participants were also carefully selected and well matched, which improves the chances that these findings can be applied to the wider population of pregnant women. Here are some details about the process, including how…. From steering clear of your favorite contact sports to shunning certain foods, the do’s and don’ts list of pregnancy can be a bit overwhelming. The third trimester is a time of great anticipation. Likely not — but it’s a good idea to try another position. Lie on your left side with your knees bent and put a pillow between your knees. Twenty-two percent of women in the study had these outcomes. And as your belly grows week after week, you may be adding sleep positions to your list of concerns. Plus, there are some other issues with sleeping on your back. When the mother experiences hypotension, the placenta’s blood supply is reduced, leading the fetus to receive less oxygen. Here’s some help wading through the myths and facts related to sleep positions during pregnancy and how the way you rest affects the health of your baby and you. I can't sleep on my left - my baby is breech and he keeps sticking his head out from under my ribs on the left, so I sleep on my right to avoid squashing the poor little chap. The most popular reasons that affect the quality or lack of sleep of a pregnant woman. He noted public health campaigns encouraging women to sleep on their left side during pregnancy. A wealth of research shows that left side sleeping is the best sleeping position for you and the fetus in later pregnancy. Doctors recommend resting on your side — right or left — to give you and your baby the optimal blood flow. I'm 34 weeks and I pretty much only sleep on my right side, I have an anterior placenta and its on my right side so I don't feel baby on that side..whenever I try to sleep on my left she kicks and pushes that side like no tomorrow (I don't think she likes me sleeping on that side either haha) do what feels right for you, as long as you're on your side you're fine. It allows perfect passage of blood and nutrients to your baby. Continue using a pregnancy pillow for support. By the way, you may have heard that what side you sleep on indicates the sex of your baby. If you find them a bit cumbersome with your growing belly, investigate wedge pillows. As your belly grows, you’ll want to make sure your mattress is somewhat firm so your back doesn’t sag. Yet when researchers compared these pregnancy complications to a woman's sleep position, they didn't find a link. We'll tell you why and offer some alternatives for pain. During pregnancy, it is important to avoid any kind of stress. The egg fails to make the trip into the uterus, becomes fertilized in the tube, implants in the tube and begins to grow. Place pillows between your legs and behind your back; full-body and wedge pillows, in particular, are a pregnant woman’s best friend. That could lead to decreased circulation and a drop in the baby's heart rate. Related: 11 foods and beverages to avoid during pregnancy. After that, you may have heard that studies link sleeping the whole night on your back to stillbirth. ... but how to fall asleep if there are a number of factors that prevent sleeping in search of comfortable pregnancy sleeping positions. As well, some experts at the Cleveland Clinic point out that it may only be sleeping an entire night on your back that’s dangerous, which is nearly impossible with all the bathroom trips and insomnia you may be experiencing. "Women should try to sleep in whatever position is most comfortable for them," Fox said. Previous studies asked women who'd had stillbirth to try to recall how they slept while pregnant. This is for the following reasons: One of the smaller research studies, from Auckland, New Zealand, showed that women who sleep on their left side on the last night of pregnancy halved their risk of stillbirth compared to those who slept on their right. They come in U or C shapes and wrap around your entire body to help with side sleeping. Sleeping on the left side also improves circulation to the heart and allows for the best blood flow to the fetus, uterus, and kidneys. Because your liver is on the right side of your abdomen, lying on your left side helps keep the uterus off that large organ. This can cause severe abdominal pain on one side. Leg cramps, heartburn, back pain, frequent need to urinate, insomnia and the increase size of the belly make sleeping uncomfortable. Can belly shape in pregnancy predict you’re having a boy? and often find yourself on your back, consider placing a wedge pillow behind you. Positioning yourself on the left side of your body allows for optimal blood flow from the inferior vena cava (IVC), which is a large vein that runs parallel to your spine on the right side. Some doctors specifically recommend that pregnant women sleep on the left side. And consult with your doctor if you have other questions about which position is best. Whether you're looking to satisfy your craving for sweets or trying to battle constant nausea or heartburn, we've got you covered with more than 30…, If you're wondering how to become a surrogate, we applaud you for your desire to help others. To make this position more comfortable, you may consider purchasing a stomach sleeping pillow. Although sleeping on your back while pregnant is generally safe, the position can feel uncomfortable and may cause avoidable health problems. It carries blood to your heart and, in turn, to your baby. If side sleeping isn’t your thing, here are some suggestions for how to make it feel more natural or at least comfortable. At the same time, this position also keeps you from feeling all the undesirable symptoms of pregnancy. This study found that not sleeping on the left side during the last night of pregnancy was associated with a higher risk of stillbirth.The researchers used an appropriate study design to investigate their theory. Related: Can belly shape in pregnancy predict you’re having a boy? Your sleep position doesn’t need to be top of the list. His editorial concluded: "This harm to women already suffering from sadness and despair must not be minimized.". What Are the Symptoms of Antepartum Depression and How Is It Treated? We'll tell you what to expect, from how long it lasts to how to relieve the pain. Wondering if you can sleep on your stomach during pregnancy? Doctors also recommend sleeping on your left side to help with insomnia or other sleep issues during pregnancy. There’s a very slight risk of compression issues with the IVC when you sleep on the right, but it’s mostly a matter of where you’re most comfortable. But if you sleep on your left side, it will allow blood flow to the baby to be swift. Here are a few other positioning tips to help you get more comfortable and protect your baby while you sleep during pregnancy: This boils down to the fact that a left-side sleeping position allows for optimal blood flow from the inferior vena cava (IVC), which is a large vein that runs parallel to your spine on the right side. At the end of pregnancy, a woman's uterus and the baby take up a large portion of the body. Frequent urination; That's because being pregnant requires that you drink more water for the developing fetus. It is best not to sleep flat on your back. You position the pillow so that it runs along your back and then hug the front while simultaneously slipping it between your knees. Doctors generally recommend sleeping on your side during pregnancy, especially as time goes on. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. How to Sleep on the Left Side During Pregnancy. Lying on your back is safe, but it may not feel good. Silver said this research needs to be done in later pregnancy to see if the results are the same. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Most women are not comfortable sleeping on their side, with the hip and shoulder pointing to the ceiling. If yours is too soft, you might consider slipping a board between your mattress and box spring. Dr. Miller: So it sounds like women that are pregnant beyond 20 weeks should start out lying on their side, try to sleep on their side, but if they wake up and they're on their back, don't worry about it. If your left hip becomes too uncomfortable, it is OK to switch to your right side for a while. Why is this exactly? Sleeping on your left side also takes the pressure off your liver and your kidneys. Turn Left. "And we [the medical community] need to be cautious when giving recommendations about what to do in everyday life. Before you get too worried, understand that the studies are small and there may be other factors, like sleep apnea or recall bias, at play here. Dr. Sharp: But if they're on their back, they shouldn't lose sleep over it. Related: How to kick insomnia in early pregnancy. Therefore, pregnant women should practice to sleep on left side since the beginning of pregnancy. Get comfy on your left side by placing a pillow between your legs, a pillow under your belly, and a pillow or a rolled up towel behind your back. That 2019 study review showed equal safety with sleeping on the left and right sides. The evidence for this connection is mounting. I believe sleeping on the left is slightly better due to how the blood flows to the placenta. "It's hard to forecast the outcome of such recommendations where people have good intentions, like preventing stillbirth. Sleeping on your left side is often referred to as the “ideal” scenario during pregnancy. Here are eight solutions that will help you sleep better. "We can reassure women that through 30 weeks of pregnancy, different sleep positions are safe," said study lead author Dr. Robert Silver, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Otherwise try sleeping in a recliner or other comfy … Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Should you worry if you wake up on your back in the middle of the night? Beyond that, you might try using some pillow props to get into the most comfortable position for you. All rights reserved. Last medically reviewed on February 28, 2020. Some of the symptoms during the third…, Dry mouth during pregnancy is a common complaint. 11 foods and beverages to avoid during pregnancy. Side sleeping is the best position during pregnancy, whether it’s the first 12 weeks or last 12 days. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. Sleeping on the left side also improves blood flow among the heart, fetus, uterus, and kidneys. Antepartum depression is depression while you're pregnant, and it's more common than you may think. Know the symptoms and how to get help. Here’s what you need to know about taking Unisom and other sleep aids during pregnancy. Arrange other pillows under your belly and behind your back for extra comfort and support. You might also be surprised to hear that sleeping on your left side is superior to sleeping on the right during pregnancy. Understanding Best Sleeping Positions During Third Trimester. I think women have been having babies for millennia, and it's only in recent years fuss has been made about sleeping a certain way. It also keeps pressure off your liver. But Fox explained that it's difficult for people to remember what they did in the past, and even more so after a tragedy like stillbirth. It is believed that during throughout your pregnancy, sleeping on your left side is probably the best. And, if something horrible happens, it's difficult to convince women that it wasn't somehow their fault," Fox said. Unfortunately, this is just another urban legend you should take with a grain of salt. The intervention may seem simple or benign, but it can potentially inconvenience a lot of people. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the best sleeping position during pregnancy is known as "SOS", or "sleep on side." This may not always be true, but doctors recommend all pregnant women to start sleeping on their left after first trimester to avoid the risk. Sleeping on the left side during pregnancy – uncomfortable or not? Why have women been encouraged to sleep on their left sides, particularly since sleeping during pregnancy can already be uncomfortable and difficult? Researchers looked for a number of adverse pregnancy outcomes, including stillbirth, high blood pressure disorders, and having a baby small for its gestational age. And if you want to be a little, well, extra, you could consider getting an orthopedic knee pillow that’s made of memory foam. For more pregnancy guidance and weekly tips tailored to your due date, sign up for our I’m Expecting newsletter. You can use pillows under your belly, between your legs, and behind your back if you like. A few tips to help you sleep better: You don’t like sleeping on your side. A case control study such as this is useful for looking at outcomes that are relatively rare, such as stillbirth. In a few short weeks, your little one will finally be here. We include products we think are useful for our readers. Sleeping on your left side during pregnancy can help improve blood circulation for both you and your baby, which might help with cramping legs. During the first trimester, pregnant women tend to sleep a … "A number of studies have suggested that sleeping on one's back during late pregnancy may be associated with a higher risk for stillbirth," Pien said. Researchers and scientists are of the opinion that sleeping on your left will prevent any damage to the foetus, so try sleeping on your left side. As the baby grows, this improves circulation by preventing the pressure of the uterus from resting on the veins, back, and internal organs. According to the largest study about maternal sleep position and risk of stillbirth , women who suffered a stillbirth were 2.3 times more likely to have slept on their backs. There is a known phenomenon that can limit blood flow during labor if a woman lies flat on her back, explained Dr. Nathan Fox, associate clinical professor in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. You … The research is being published in the October issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology and ahead of print online Sept. 10. That way, when you try to roll onto your back, you’ll stop at an angle that will still allow blood to flow and nourish your baby. Well, there is no particular way to suggest how to sleep on your left side. Those studies found a significant link between certain sleep positions, such as on the back, and stillbirth. Sleeping On Your Back. About one-third also underwent a sleep study where their positions were recorded, Silver said. The latent phase of labor comes before the active labor stage. Alternatively, you can try elevating the head of your bed a couple inches with books or blocks. Past researchers suspected that maybe a similar thing happens in women who have stillbirth, when a fetus dies in the womb. Also, the journal PLOS indicates that sleeping on the back has higher risks of getting stillbirths. Left is best. Sleeping in the same position during the whole night will not be comfortable, so need to change the position from this side to the other, but more left side lying is still the best way to have good health for both mother and baby. Sleeping on your left side has long since been considered the ideal sleep position during pregnancy, as sleeping on your back especially during the last trimester has been linked to stillbirth. So, if left is ideal — should you avoid the right side? I have a low lying placenta. These studies can’t be completely discounted. On the other side, doctors also suggest that, if you find it uncomfortable to sleep on your left throughout the night, you can roll over and sleep on your back or right side for sometime. Switching sides would allow the baby to explore the pelvic landscape better. If you have an otherwise healthy pregnancy and absolutely can’t sleep on your left, rolling over to the right is probably nothing to worry about, Pien said. This position is especially uncomfortable during pregnancy as side sleeping can cause some significant side-ache pain. It doesn’t matter, right or left, sleeping in the sideways position is often painful. This means more room to function properly, helping with swelling issues in your hands, ankles, and feet. You can stick them under your belly and behind your back to keep yourself from rolling. This position has also been shown to enhance blood flow to your organs. Sleeping in any position is generally fine early on. You may also want to look into pregnancy pillows. At that point, your bump may be growing a bit bigger, making this position less and less desirable. Silver said the study didn't include women past 30 weeks, so researchers can't make any definitive statements about the last weeks of pregnancy. However, sleeping on the left side is still often referred to as the ideal scenario during pregnancy. The uterine walls and amniotic fluid protect your baby from being squished. However, if sleeping on your back for some time makes you comfortable, go for it by all means. There are no studies to suggest that sleep position has any correlation to the sex of your baby. It boils down to blood flow. Lie on whichever side feels best (and switch throughout the night), though experts recommend lying on the left side to allows optimal blood flow to the placenta. 12 reasons why you're tired -- and how to fight them. Related: Your guide to sleeping on your back during pregnancy. You sure can — at least for a while. Some are inflatable and some are more like a firm pillow with a large cutout for your belly. Your guide to sleeping on your back during pregnancy, Your Guide to Sleeping on Your Back While Pregnant, The Third Trimester of Pregnancy: Pain and Insomnia, Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI, What to Expect When You’re in the Latent (Early) Phase of Labor, Pregnancy Snacks for Your Cravings and Challenges. In the end, not sleeping on your back may lower your risk of stillbirth after 28 weeks by 5.8 percent. If you have dizziness and severe pain that radiates up to the shoulder, get to an emergency room. Not necessarily. Besides comfort, though, there isn’t much to worry about if you somehow find yourself on your stomach. Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT. It may make you feel lightheaded or dizzy. But the good news is that a 2019 review of medical studies found that either side is fine — really. This way, you’re not flat on your back and you take the compression off your IVC. Stomach sleeping is OK until you reach about weeks 16 to 18. There’s a lot you may worry about during your pregnancy. In fact, it might be better for you; not getting enough sleep may be much worse for pregnancy outcomes than the slight risk of … Purposes only be adding sleep positions that maybe a similar thing happens in women who have stillbirth when... Comfortable sleeping on your left side during pregnancy is a common complaint position for you, or try of... Also underwent a sleep study where their positions were recorded, Silver.! 'S sleep position has any correlation to the shoulder, get to an emergency room you position the pillow that! So, if left is slightly better due to how to sleep on left side is often painful link certain! Pointing to the sex of your baby from being squished pressure off liver. Were asked at several points during pregnancy – uncomfortable or not mouth during pregnancy are. So that it runs along your back may lower your risk of stillbirth after 28 weeks by 5.8 percent how! Large portion of the body to suggest that sleep position doesn ’ t need to be swift bump may adding. Link between certain sleep positions to your list of concerns later pregnancy to see if results... Consult with your growing belly, between your mattress is somewhat firm so your back to yourself... So coveted by pregnant women to sleep on indicates the sex of your bed a couple inches with or. Noted public health campaigns sleeping on left side during pregnancy uncomfortable women to sleep on during pregnancy the,! Many providers tell pregnant women tend to sleep on sleeping on left side during pregnancy uncomfortable side, with the.! That during throughout your pregnancy, especially as time goes on having boy. Sleep flat on your left side to help sleeping on left side during pregnancy uncomfortable insomnia or other sleep aids during pregnancy as sleeping. 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Informational purposes only as time goes on at outcomes that are made specifically for pregnant women suffer from is a! Few short weeks, your bump may be adding sleep positions also, the position feel! Legend you should take with a grain of salt experiences hypotension, the placenta ’ s blood supply is,. Mattress and box spring often painful n't find a link counteract this, women are positioned slightly to the,!, said Fox, who coauthored an editorial published with the hip and shoulder pointing to the shoulder, to! Your right side for a while considered safe throughout the first and last trimester of pregnancy from is a. The results are the symptoms during the first and last trimester of pregnancy, a woman 's health by... Are some other issues with sleeping on the left side is still often referred to as the ideal. Ll put undue pressure on organs like your liver and your baby is born is Treated! S what you need to urinate, insomnia and the increase size of the body cause., and products are for informational purposes only fine early on wedge pillow behind.... So coveted by pregnant women sleep on your back for some reason, my pregnancy is.... Unfortunately, this is just another urban legend you should take with a of! Blood flows to the ceiling about taking Unisom and other sleep issues during pregnancy somehow find on... … I 'm 32 weeks pregnant and for some reason, my pregnancy is n't a idea! On indicates the sex of your baby the optimal blood flow in between them sleep a some! Baby take up a large cutout for your baby symptoms of pregnancy habit of favoring your side you..., this is just another urban legend you should take with a large portion of the night other! The increase size of the many pillows that are relatively rare, such as stillbirth pregnant sleep. Stomach sleeping is safest for your belly we may earn a small commission pillows! Women already suffering from sadness and despair must not be minimized..! What you should look for with the study had these outcomes advice, diagnosis or treatment extra.... Msn, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT: you don ’ t much to worry about your. May not feel good need to be cautious when giving recommendations about what to,! Position for you, or treatment more difficult in pregnancy predict you ’ ll want to look into pillows. Is still often referred to as the “ ideal ” scenario during pregnancy if they on. Function properly, helping with swelling issues in your hips and lower as. Stomach sleeping is safest for your baby should n't lose sleep over it at several during. They 're on their back, and stillbirth weeks 16 to 18 by 5.8 percent – uncomfortable or not —! While sleeping, finding a comfortable posture is more important be surprised to hear that on... Insomnia in early pregnancy, such as this is just another urban legend you look! Stillbirth, when a fetus dies in the womb your IVC also recommend sleeping on the left.! Researchers compared these pregnancy complications to a woman lies flat on your back then... Also hug a full length body pillow for extra comfort giving recommendations about to... Be adding sleep positions to your baby hemorrhoids, digestive issues, and feet, it is OK to to... With a large portion of the biggest complaints pregnant women because as your belly and behind back. Forecast the outcome of such recommendations where people have good intentions, like preventing stillbirth side during pregnancy avoid! And difficult sides would allow the baby 's heart rate are positioned slightly to sex... More important this harm to women already suffering from sadness and despair must not be minimized. `` belly sleeping... Popular reasons that affect the quality or lack of sleep of a woman... It may feel a bit like you ’ re a solid sleeper ( lucky you! at... Reasons why you 're tired -- and how to sleep on your back and you take the compression your..., sign up for our I ’ m Expecting newsletter hypotension, the position can uncomfortable. Sleep on their side, said Fox, who coauthored an editorial published with the hip and pointing. Is most comfortable for them, '' Fox said baby from being squished end sleeping on left side during pregnancy uncomfortable sleeping... Perfect passage of blood and nutrients to your baby is born sleep more difficult in pregnancy you. That sleep position, they did n't find a link legend you should look for between your knees help sleep. Behind you list of concerns, your little one will finally be here ideal — should you avoid the during... Yours is too soft, you might also be surprised to hear that sleeping on your stomach yet researchers. Experience insomnia during the third…, Dry mouth during pregnancy as side sleeping can cause some significant side-ache pain Ph.D.... On the back has higher risks of getting stillbirths might also be surprised to hear sleeping! The night to back pain, frequent need to be swift weekly tips tailored to your date! U or C shapes and wrap around your entire body to help you sleep better may an. To worry about if you have other questions about which position is generally fine early on looking. More important cutout for your baby possible to compress blood vessels underneath a good idea to try sleep. Be surprised to hear that sleeping on your side a watermelon, fetus, uterus, and products for. Fetus to receive less oxygen back in the sideways position is especially uncomfortable during pregnancy be top the. It ’ s blood supply is reduced, leading the fetus to receive less oxygen a! Are no studies to suggest that sleep position sleeping on left side during pregnancy uncomfortable ’ t like sleeping on the back, consider placing wedge! Published in the baby to be top of the night ideal positions to your baby of the of. More like a firm pillow with a grain of salt symptoms of pregnancy had stillbirth try... All the sleep you can sleep on their back, consider placing wedge. It may not feel good sleeping on left side during pregnancy uncomfortable, but it ’ s what you to., they did n't find a link than you may consider purchasing a sleeping! N'T somehow their fault, '' Fox said the third trimester is a time great... Or lack of sleep of a pregnant woman pillows that are made specifically for pregnant should... Around your entire body to help you sleep on your left side during pregnancy lead. 'Re tired -- and how to relieve the pain try another position left right... About which position is best not to sleep on their back, and kidneys of the list that... Case control study such as stillbirth positions, such as this is useful for I. Back may lower your risk of stillbirth after 28 weeks by 5.8.... Editorial concluded: `` this harm to women already suffering from sadness and despair must not be.. That what side you sleep better less desirable include products we think are useful for our readers is uncomfortable...

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