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 Will sleeping on my back during pregnancy harm my baby ?

For most pregnancies the sleeping position assumed by the mother appears to have little effect upon the unborn child.

However, in pregnancies complicated by poorly growing babies (growth restriction) blood flow to the fetus might be improved by having the mother sleep on her left side. In addition, some mothers experience low blood pressure and dizziness (aortocaval compression syndrome) after resting on their backs for too long.

 

REFERENCES

1. Mills GH et. al., Sleeping positions adopted by pregnant women of more than 30 weeks gestation.Anaesthesia. 1994 Mar;49(3):249-50. PMID:8147522
2.Ogita S., et. al., Significance of exercise and bed rest in pregnancy--study on the lying postures of gravidas during sleep. Ann Physiol Anthropol. 1990;9:93-8. PMID:2400466
3. Ellington C, et al. The effect of lateral tilt on maternal and fetal hemodynamic variables.Obstet Gynecol. 1991;77:201-3. PMID:1988881
4. Ryo E, et, al., Comparison of umbilical artery Doppler velocimetry between maternal supine position and complete left lateral position in predicting obstetric complications. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 1998;11:415-8. PMID:9674088

 


 

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