Just a quick question: I am about 28-30 weeks pregnant and last week I was at an appointment which required me to ly flat on my back, about 15 minutes into the appointment I became very dizzy and almost passed out. I sat up immediately. For the remainder of the appointment I only lied on my back for breif periods of time. I called my ob and they did not seem worried. Is there a chance I caused distress to baby. I have been unable to find any information regarding fetal hypoxia and if lying backside late in pregnancy can in fact harm the baby.
At my recent ob appointment the baby's heart rate was good and with the exception of this incident I have had an easy pregnancy with no complications what soever.
Were you at an ultrasound by chance? Other than that, I can think of absolutely NO good reason to make a pregnant woman lie flat on her back! They will ALL pass out!
It is a very normal response.
There is a large vessel called the vena cava that brings all of the blood back to your heart from the lower body. This vessel travels just inside the spine. When you lie flat on your back, this vessel gets squeezed between the baby and the spine. When no blood returns to your heart, your blood pressure drops and you feel like ( or even do) pass out. The trick is to tip pregnant women to their left side. Prop a pillow or folded towel under your right hip when lying down. This will allow the blood to flow and keep you from fainting.
It won't cause any harm to the baby since it was such a short episode. The baby recovers as quickly as you do, but the baby's heart beat can drop too, because he/she is not getting blood flow either!
Next time, tell them you don't want to lie flat on your back, and suggest to them that no one else should do so either!
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