Sleeping Positions While Pregnant

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Sleeping positions while pregnant are important to consider, as sleeping on the back can constrict blood flow to the uterus. Try various positions on the left side with helpful information from a certified nurse-midwife in this free video on pregnancy.

Part of the Video Series: Pregnancy Information
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Video Transcript

I know you've read or you've heard things about how to sleep in pregnancy. This is Mavis Schorn, nurse midwife and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and I'm going to give you a few other tips. Now just about every place you read, anybody you talk you always talks about sleeping on your left. Well the left side's great, but one is you ought to know why so that will help you with some alternatives to that because sleeping on your left side all the time can get really, really tiresome. The reason for the left side is because you have a big blood vessel that leads from your heart down to the bottom half of your body and as your uterus grows, the weight of the baby and the uterus and the water, everything is sitting on that big blood vessel so the circulation can't be as good if you're laying flat on your back. So since it runs on the right hand side of your spine, if you lay on your left side it provides the maximum amount of flow, OK? So your left side is great, know that you can use pillows and what helps is as you get further along is put a pillow between your legs, put a pillow under your belly, use all kinds of pillows wherever you want to be more comfortable. Now if you find yourself OK I'm trying to do this left side thing but I wake up in the night and I'm on my back, that's OK, it does happen. If that happens to you a lot, what you can try is putting a kind of a wedge under your hip. You don't have to be all the way over on your left side, you can put like a pillow just a part way under your hip and so that it tilts you just a little bit and that also will help provide an improved circulation. Now what about the right side? Yeah you can lay on your right side, it's fine. Same thing, it'll improve the circulation over laying on your back. So you have your right side, your left side and then little tilts in between there and that's perfectly fine.

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