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Side sleeping during pregnancy - I can't do it!HELP!
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Side sleeping during pregnancy - I can't do it!HELP!

I was told that sleeping on my left side during pregnancy was the best postition for the baby to get proper blood flow. I was also told that the right side was ok, but that sleeping on your back, during 2nd and 3rd trimester, would cut off the blood flow and possibly be harmful for the baby. So of course after hearing this I have been trying to sleep on my side, with disasterous results. My back is killing me, I wake up and the outside of my hip hurts so bad from the pressure of sleeping on my side for that much time. I switch to the other side and the same thing happens. I woke up two days ago with my left foot hurting and I swear its from sleeping on my side. I know that sounds crazy but it gets better during the day and then I wake up and its worse. I am so miserable, I can't sleep and I wake up in pain. I swear if I continue doing this that I will be crippled soon. If I had known it was going to be this bad I would have never gotten pregnant. I know that sounds extreme but I can't sleep or walk anymore. Is there an alternative to side sleeping? Would proping myself up in a half reclining position on my back be ok? Please HELP!
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Avatar_f_tn
how far along are you?
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Avatar_n_tn
I've read a lot about this in numerous books and on websites, and it seems the prevailing wisdom of the medical community is that, although side sleeping provides ideal blood flow to the baby, it just isn't that big of a deal unless your baby is already in some sort of distress.  Women have been having babies for thousands of years sleeping in any old position they feel like.  I have read that this advice stems from hospital situations when the heartrate is declining, etc. and that they place women on their sides to optimize the blood flow in a stressful situation.  I don't believe that, in a healthy pregnancy, most doctors would believe that undue stress and physical discomfort to a mother wouldn't override the side sleeping advice.  Have you thought about posting this question to the doctor on this site?  It would be interesting to hear what he has to say.  I've posted a question to him before and he eased my worries quite a bit.

If it still worries you and you are determined to side sleep, try getting a memory foam topper and body pillow.  It takes a lot of pressure off your hip when side sleeping to throw one leg over the pillow, and the memory foam molds to your body a bit better than a standard mattress.
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't know what I am going to do when I get to the point where I can't sleep on my back. That is going to be hard. I am only 10 weeks along and I asked my doctor about sleeping on my stomach. He said at this point I can sleep on my stomach. He also said "anyway that you can get comfortable, you should sleep because in time you are not going to be comfortable at all" (real encouraging doctor huh?-lol)
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177465_tn?1288242063
My doctor told me to sleep however is comfortable! He said that as long as you are in a bed with pillows......it's ok to sleep on your back. He said the further along you are and the flatter you are (like laying on a concrete floor was his example) the worse it is. But being in bed propped up by pillows you AND your baby are ok! :) (Trust me.....the bigger you get the more horrible it is. Sleep comfortably now because soon it won't be possible lol)
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 18 weeks
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152590_tn?1208149744
I agree i had alot of trouble there at the end, I guess it's just part of it.  I didn't get any sleep for the last two months I guess that is what prepares us for staying up with the baby. lol  I have a memory foam topper from walmart I bought the 1 inch queen and folded it over, that way it was twice as thick.  And I had a body pillow, it worked to take some of the pain away.  Good luck it does go away after your baby is born though.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm 18 weeks and I still sleep on my belly. I'm sure that won't last much longer, and I'm dreading it...
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Avatar_n_tn
you can prop yourself up on your back, you just cant be laying flat on your back.  I always slept on my stomach and it was so hard for me to get comfortable.  I finally went out and bought a good body pillow and it did wonders for me!  I am almost 35 weeks and I only wake up about once a night and I am not as sore in the mornings anymore
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Avatar_n_tn
i know how you feel girl!  i cannot wait to be able to sleep on my back and stomach again.  what i did was put a body pillow or 2 along my backside, then i would lay on top of it at an angle.  so basically, your not on your back completely, but not all the weight is on your side, ya know?
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Avatar_f_tn
I used pillows all around me, under my leg behind my back and under my belly.  It does help some, but I also had to switch sides about every hour, so each time I got up to pee I would switch sides.  It got hard from around 28 weeks on.  Do whatever you can to get a little comfortable, if you do wake up on your back you'll find it hard to breathe and it gets uncomfortable so you start to really avoid it on your own.  As for the belly it gets hard to lay on it when you get huge.  I would lay angled between my belly and side it was better and I propped my knee and bely up so I wasn't laying on my belly too much and not putting weight on it.  Good luck.
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171768_tn?1324233699
get a snoogle!! best $50 we ever spent! supports me very well.

I also asked my dr about sleeping at my appointment last week. He said not to sleep all the way on the side as it will hurt my hips. instead he said to put a pillow behind my back and kind of lean on it, so i am neither on my side nor flat on my back. that's comfy too.
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164559_tn?1233711618
Try a body pillow.  Have you told your doctor how uncomfortable you are?  You are still relatively early on in your pregnancy and believe me it only gets worse as the baby grows.  

A feather topper might help cushion you better.  As well, try to swim as it helps a lot with the pain.  Sitting on a yoga ball is great as well.  I use one instead of my chair at work when I am sore.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've been having the exact same problem! I'm at 16 weeks.  I just had my monthly doctor's appt today and I asked her about this.  She told me she wished the books wouldn't say that, and that I should get sleep however I am comfortable.  She said that the books are talking about preventing blood flow in the vena cava, which is a huge (thick) artery that runs up the spine to the heart.  She said if blood flow is blocked, the body will start to feel a little weak, and you will naturally roll over in your sleep.  She said it's the same thing as if you were sleeping face down in the pillow and couldn't breathe well--you wouln't suffocate or forget to breathe, you'd just naturally roll over.  She said the only time this issue is of concern is when you've had an epidural because you block the body's ability to have this natural reaction.  This is why when you have an epidural, she said, they place the bed at a slight angle because your body would not be able to know to naturally adjust.  Sorry for the long posting, but the good news is that I got the green light to sleep on my back!  Can't wait to go to bed tonight and have a good nights sleep without all the pain!!!  You should ask your doctor, too, but this is what mine said today.  Good luck!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Iam 35weeks pregnant and cannot sleep at all during the night I have the worst back pain ever and it's getting worse every night I ended up giving up trying to go to sleep last night and just went down stairs in a bad mood I had a midwife appointment last week and she said its because my baby's spine is pressing and rubbing against mine I phoned the hostpital to see if they could give me any advice on a good sleeping position I told them I've tried everything and they said to try a hot water bottle and during the day getting on all fours and rocking to try and encourage baby to move around but this isn't working either has anyone got any ideas please as I really need to have a decent sleep as I'm so tierd I can't even sleep during the day whiles my 3yr olds at nursery as its the same pain as at night but with added pelvis pains and the in between leg ach it's annoying please help!!!! Sky
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