Expert Warns Women Against Wrong Sleeping Position In Pregnancy

Editorial Team

When you are pregnant, it not easy to sleep soundly with your stomach getting in the way.

For example if you were a stomach sleeper before, you will have to switch sleeping positions. However do you know that some sleeping positions are dangerous during pregnancy?

Gynaecologist, Dr Nathaniel Adewole, has warned that sleeping on the back side of the body at advanced stage of pregnancy could predispose a baby to brain problems. Dr Adewole, of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, said that the problem could occur due to the weight of the uterus.

At the early stage of pregnancy, sleeping position constitutes no much problem; a woman can take any sleeping position that is convenient. The best sleep position during pregnancy however is “SOS” (sleep on side) and especially your left side. Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby.

In later pregnancy, the back sleeping position is not recommended as it would make the baby to rest against the big vesicles called inferior vena cava, which supplies blood to the heart.

“When the pregnancy becomes advanced, the uterus becomes bigger; the weight of the baby and the uterus become big.

“At this stage, if the woman lies at the back, the great vesicles called the inferior vena cava are altered; they are directly behind.

“What this means is that the weight of the uterus and the baby will press directly on those big vesicles that take blood to the heart and take blood away from the heart.

“Therefore, if this happened, the one that is first affected is the one that takes blood to the heart; so, the quantity of blood available to the heart is reduced,’’ he added.

This would also reduce the blood supply to the parts of the body of the mother and in turn reduce that of the baby.

“When the babies already have problem, what we call intrauterine placenta compromise, it can lead to brain problem for the baby.

“Sleeping with the right or the left side of the body, as the pregnancy progresses, is preferable, but at the last three months, sleeping position is better at the left side.

“Also, one must take note that even during labour, it is not advisable for the woman to lie down with the back too.

“This is because the big uterus containing the baby will press on those vesicles thereby the turn of blood to the heart is reduced,’’ Adewole said.