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Family & Relationships Is it safe to sleep on your back during pregnancy?

09:45  13 october  2017
09:45  13 october  2017 Source:   netdoctor.co.uk

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If you typically sleep on your back , it 's safe to continue doing so through the first trimester. But as your uterus gets heavier around mid- pregnancy , it 's best to choose another position. When you lie on your back

Is it not safe to sleep on your back while pregnant ? Are you suppose to sleep laying on the back during pregnancy ? I find it uncomfortable any other way but heard this is bad for the baby?

Don't sleep on your back during pregnancy, experts warn © Image Source / Getty Don't sleep on your back during pregnancy, experts warn For pregnant women with large bumps, lying on your back may seem like the most natural way to go to sleep. However, new research published in The Journal of Physiology shows that such a position has the potential to harm unborn babies.

Sleeping on your back in late pregnancy has been linked with lower levels of foetus activity and an increased risk of stillbirth – whilst sleeping on your side was found to be much better for the wellbeing of both mother and baby.

The study

Researchers at the University of Auckland monitored the sleep positions of 30 pregnant women at 34-48 weeks' gestation by setting up infrared video cameras to record them overnight. The heart rate of both mother-to-be and unborn baby were also recorded using an ECG device.

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It ’s fine to sleep however you’re most comfortable during pregnancy . It ’s unlikely you'll be able to sleep comfortably on your stomach as your belly grows, but you can sleep face down for as long as it suits you.

Finding a comfortable sleeping position during pregnancy is tricky. Learn when sleeping on your back while pregnant isn't safe

It was found that foetuses were only active (signifying a healthy state) when the mother lay on her left or right side. Comparatively, babies whose mothers lay on their backs were very quiet and still inside the womb. Peter Stone, one of the lead investigators on the study said:

"In the situation where the baby may not be healthy, such as those with poor growth, the baby may not tolerate the effect of maternal back sleeping. We are suggesting that there is now sufficient evidence to recommend mothers avoid sleeping on their back in late pregnancy, not only because of the epidemiological data but also because we have shown it has a clear effect on the baby."

All of the women participating were healthy with healthy babies. Next, the will investigate pregnancies where the foetus is not growing properly or the mother has reported decreased foetal movements, as both situations have been associated with an increased risk of stillbirth.

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If you normally sleep on your back , it 's safe to continue doing so during the first trimester. After 16 weeks of pregnancy , when you lie on your back , your baby presses on the vein that returns blood from your lower body to your heart.

Although sleeping on your back while pregnant is generally safe , the position can feel uncomfortable and may cause avoidable health problems. Doctors recommend you sleep on your left side during all stages of pregnancy for the safest , most comfortable rest.

Visit our collection for more healthy pregnancy tips.

Related: Pregnant fitness star shows she's 'completely fine' with cellulite in inspiring pics (provided by Today)

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The one sleep position that's most likely to help you wake up feeling refreshed .
It's definitely not the one we were expecting ... While research has often suggested that those of us who favour sleeping on our sides get the best night's rest, the study showed that a 'star fish' pose may be preferable.Yes, those who chose to sleep spread out on their backs reported feeling the most refreshed upon waking in the poll. 30% of the 'star fishers' said they woke up feeling well-rested, compared to just 23 and 22% of those sleeping on their left and right sides respectively. Meanwhile, those who slept on their front seemed to be the least refreshed, with just 21.

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