(Closed) When do I have to stop sleeping on my back?

posted 8 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
5823 posts
Bee Keeper

Beh, that’s not a hard and fast rule.  The fear is that your baby will sit on your aorta or vena cava and restrict your blood flow.  MB was born at 7lbs 14oz, and I laid on my back to sleep at night.  As long as my legs didn’t get tingly or I didn’t feel uncomfortable, I laid on my back.  Plus I had several doctor’s appointments where they had me laying on my back for the sonogram for over an hour.  If the doctors weren’t worried, then I wasn’t either.

Every book I have recommends you avoid laying on your back at 5 months.  I wasn’t even showing by then!

Post # 4
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

the issue with laying on your back is that the uterus is pressing on a major vein – this *could* restrict blood flow to your placenta/baby.  Obviously lots of people do it with no problems, but that might not mean you want to do it on purpose!  I think by third trimester, most people recommend not laying flat on your back for an extended period of time.  But if you end up on your back while you sleep, def. don’t worry about it.  Ask your doctor because I think its different for each person (eg blood pressure and other factors can indicate how important this is for you!)

any exercise class I have gone to or massage I have gotten, they wouldn’t let me lay flat on my back in the third trimester…

By The Way here is a good link to other’s ideas from BabyCenter


Post # 5
256 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

Ditto to @Janna19’s comment 🙂 I’ve heard 20 weeks is the cutoff, but if you turn on your back during sleep, etc, not to worry about it since your body will wake you up normally if you are either uncomfortable or have tingly legs, etc.

Post # 6
638 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2007

Eh.  I asked my doc and he said not to worry about it. Do as many sit-ups and sleep on my back if I wanted. So I’d ask your doc their opinion.

My understanding is that if you started cutting off blood flow it would affect you before it affects the baby so you would be aware to change positions.

That being said – sometimes laying on my back is just plain uncomfortable now 🙂  So I don’t do it.


Post # 7
553 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

Believe me you will know if you cut off the blood flow! I slept on my back comfortably until about 30 weeks and one time I knew I was compressing the vein. I felt out of breath and a little light headed. I don’t think its very common that it actually happens but you will know immediately and you just change position. 

My doctor had already told me previously to sleep however I was comfortable and I would know if I needed to move. The only reason I don’t sleep on my back now is because it hurts in my hips but I would if I could bc its much easier on the legs. 


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