I Hate Sleeping on My Left

My pregnancy had a rocky start (3 Things I Wish I Had Known at 5 Weeks) and after weeks of feeling perpetually stressed out by every twinge and cramp, I decided to take a much more relaxed view of pregnancy.

Especially after reading The Panic-Free Pregnancy, I chose to only worry about things my doctor or midwife brought to my attention.  But there’s one thing that I can’t stop panicking about… Sleep positions.

I recently read that sleeping on your back can cause problems with “backaches, breathing, digestive system, [and] hemorrhoids.”  But most importantly, I read (and was told by my doctor) that sleeping on the back can put pressure on my aorta and vena cava blood vessels.  Apparently, the weight of my growing stomach can literally cut off my baby’s blood supply!

It’s better to S.O.S — sleep on your side, specifically the left, as this doesn’t put pressure on your blood vessels.

I don’t know why I’m stressing out over this so much when I choose not to worry about other issues. I guess it’s pretty scary to visualize my position cutting off the baby’s blood — and therefore oxygen — supply. So I’ve been trying to switch from sleeping on my back to sleeping on my left, but I HATE IT. It’s so hard to switch sleeping positions, especially since I tend to just roll back my back in the middle of the night.

Here’s some tips my Healthy Tipping Point readers have suggested for my S.O.S. problem.

  • Buy a Snoogle Pillow:  A Snoogle is a full-body pillow that is shaped like a C to support the knees, belly, and neck.
  • Surround Yourself with Regular Pillows:  I’ve also been advised that sleeping with a pillow behind me can help prevent me from rolling over.
  • Tilt Your Hips: What’s really been working for me is putting a rolled-up towel under my right hip. This tilts me to my left, even though I’m still on my back.

How did you change your sleeping position during pregnancy?

Source: American Pregnancy Association

Picture: David Roseborough

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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