Lying on your back during pregnancy

lying on your back during pregnancy

During the third trimester, you are not supposed to lie on your back when pregnant. Did you know this? I didn’t! If you are hearing this for the first time, then you can find further information here. Here is my own experience and how I found out.

Our experience

Being comfortable when sleeping is exceptionally hard when pregnant. With twins, being typically heavier and bigger than single pregnancies, this is even more so. There is a lot of tossing and turning, overheating, movement and frustration.

I often slept lying on my back. It was one of the most comfortable positions to sleep, up until the weight of the twins became too much. This is why discovering that sleeping on my back is dangerous, was a total shock!

Midwives advice

I was never told! Yep that’s right. Our midwife never mentioned about not sleeping on my back. I found out accidentally when researching other pregnancy things online. During the next midwife appointment I mentioned it, and the midwife snapped round looking surprised saying “Oh no you shouldn’t be sleeping on your back!”… well you never told me otherwise.

As with above, this also applied to quite a few other issues. My advice when pregnant is to do your own research. Do not rely on the healthcare professionals to provide all the information you require – even though they should do.

What happens when you lie on your back?

In the third trimester, if pregnant and sleep lying your back, the combined weight of baby and uterus (womb) puts pressure on the main blood vessels that supply the uterus, and this can restrict blood flow/oxygen to the baby. This can increase the odds of stillbirth.

What can I do?

Firstly, you will roll onto your back naturally when you sleep. It’s almost impossible to prevent it, so don’t worry yourself silly! If you wake in the night and find yourself on your back, simply roll back onto your side.

To help you stay on your side whilst sleeping, and to generally make you more comfortable, I would recommend a maternity pillow. We only used a cheap one (you can find our review here) but there are a variety available, all of which support your bump and make sleeping easier.

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