Pregnancy: Aug 09 Babies Community
How late is it safe to lie flat on your back?
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How late is it safe to lie flat on your back?

I have heard from a couple sources that at some point it becomes dangerous to lie flat on your back.  While I have always tended to sleep on my side, I spend as much of my spare time as my schedule will allow lying on my back on the floor, as this is the only position for which my back, neck, legs and shoulders don't hate me.  So at what point doe it stop bing safe to do this, and how much if a risk is it?  
Tags: safe, lie, flat, sleep, risks
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400358_tn?1320238043
I was told that at 12 weeks it becomes unsafe to lay in your back.  The growing uterus puts pressure on blood vessels in your back that could cut off blood flow to you and the uterus.  I would say if you need to lay on your back do it in an inclined position.
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349463_tn?1333575176
Really 12 weeks? I'm a back sleeper I guess I should try to sleep on my side now. I wonder if it matters how firm or soft the mattress is?
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400358_tn?1320238043
I don't think that it matters how firm or soft your mattress is.  But I also read that the left side is better than the right side bc the baby gets more blood and nutrients on that side.  But it is fine to sleep on either side just not on the back.
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349463_tn?1333575176
well that figures, I have a shoulder injury that makes it impossible to sleep on my left side ;-)
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Avatar_f_tn
I have never been told not to sleep on my back.  I was told that some people feel nauseous when they lay on their back because it puts pressure on the blood vessel, but that is only when you are laying down for an extended period of time.  If you are laying on your back and start to feel nauseous, then need to not ignore that as it could be a sign that you are putting pressure on that blood vessel, but otherwise, I think it is ok.     I am not concerned about sleeping on my back, but if you are, ask your doctor....
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178698_tn?1228777938
I heard into your you shouldn't sleep on your back in your 2nd trimester.  I dont think if you are your back for short period of time it's an issue.  

Sleeping on your back can cause  "backaches, breathing, digestive system, hemorrhoids, low blood pressure and decrease in circulation to your heart and your baby This is a result of your abdomen resting on your intestines and major blood vessels (the aorta and vena cava)."

I'm a back sleeper and it's hard for me to sleep on my side.

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400358_tn?1320238043
I am totally a back sleeper and ever since I was told that I shouldn't sleep on my back I have had a hard time sleeping at night.  I have heard that your brain will wake you up if you do roll on your back during sleep.  
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Avatar_f_tn
How would I go about lying on my back in an inclined position?  
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Avatar_f_tn
As I said, this is not a sleeping thing, it is more of a lying down in the hallway when I don't have class because it makes my back not hurt thing.  Also, I find it interesting that it's supposed to -cause- nausea, as lying on my back was the only position where I wasn't nauseated for most of the first trimester.  
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425962_tn?1285090058
this is my 3rd baby and like the two pregnancies before it, i have laid on my back a lot - all throughout the pregnancies, and i have never had one single hemmorhoid, and not one varicose vein, and all babes are perfectly healthy, so I think it just depends on the individual. if that's all you can do to be comfortable, then as long as you can breathe and as long as baby can breathe, it should be ok. of course you should check with your doctor to be sure but I think these things change just like they change with the babies too. They always come up with new "should/should not do's" about taking care of babies too like> dont sleep them on their back or stomach, then the next year they say the opposite, you know what i mean. I think it applies to us as well. good luck!
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171768_tn?1324233699
i was also told by my OB that it is because pressure can restrict blood flow to and from the uterus.
i suspect laying in the hall between classes isn't as big a deal, because you probably aren't in the same position for too long (in comparison to sleeping on your back all night).

later on in pregnancy, laying on your back can exacerbate complications. For me, it led to increased swelling and blood pressure problems.
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400358_tn?1320238043
I would put something under your head and shoulders to prop you up.
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Avatar_f_tn
no, laying on your back itself isnt supposed to cause nauseousness .... but if you are pressing on that vein and restricting blood flow, then supposedly that will make you feel nauseous, and that would be a sign to get up :).  

If you can lay on your back and have no issues, then I think it should be fine. I lay on my back and sleep some on my back too and have never had issues....
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Avatar_f_tn
As far as lying on your back it is recommended not to. Yes, things are different for every woman, but why take a risk. The Vena Cava is the main vein that drains  the entire lower half of the body. As the baby gets bigger the uterus will get heavier. If the uterus is compressing on the vena cava it can obstruct blood flow to the heart, that will cause the return blood to be sluggish which can cause low blood pressure, diminished arterial blood flow to uterus, placenta and baby. And baby needs blood supply. Again every woman does what feels best for them, im a nurse myself and i just prefer to go the route that will not bring me complications.  Anytime i roll on my back, my body wakes me up and say hey, get on left or right side.  Its a risk women take, just dont think that babies have not died bcuz of lack of oxygen.

I stopped sleeping on back at 8 weeks, im a short lady with a big belly so i no my belly already has added weight, then to add the uterus and baby.
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Avatar_f_tn
I asked my ob/gyn this question and he rolled his eyes (probably because I am a total hypochondriac spaz that worries about everything ;)). he said, "if you lay on your back and feel like you can't breathe then roll on your side--left is better but not essential. if you sleep on your back, you will wake yourself up if you are having trouble breathing. get over yourself."  I love my dr!!!
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480331_tn?1310407129
When you enter your 2nd trimester, you need to conciously be aware not to sleep on your back.  I find this very difficult, as I love to sleep that way.  However, don't lose sleep over the position you are in.  When we sleep throughout the night, we toss and turn, so chances are you will not be lying directly on your back all night.  My husband moved part of our reclining sectional sofa into our bedroom...it's the only piece of furniture I can get comfortable on and actually get some sleep.  Recliners are excellent for pregnant women, they keep you inclined just enough so your back is not lying flat.  Good luck!
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