Pregnancy: Is It Safe to Lie on My Stomach?
I am pregnant. My family believes that lying on my stomach will hurt my baby. Is this true? How can I be comfortable?
Lying on your stomach will not hurt the baby, but it gets increasingly difficult for mom as the pregnancy progresses. Sleeping on one's stomach, pregnant or not, can be associated with neck and back strain from misalignment of the spine. Lying flat on your back is another matter; after 16 weeks or so, it can impair blood flow to the placenta and baby, possibly causing drops in the baby's heart rate and, over the long term, poor growth. The ideal sleeping position for both you and the baby is on your side, especially the left side, with a pillow between your knees.
At least one company makes an inflatable cushion with indentations for breasts and belly that allows a pregnant women to sleep on her stomach comfortably. It is frequently advertised in magazines for pregnant women. During my recent pregnancy, I used a kid's swim ring to be able to lie on my stomach for massages -- it worked great, for about $3, until I was about 32 weeks pregnant!
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