Mothers-to-be may have heard this myth: while you are pregnant, you must sleep on your left side, otherwise you could injure your baby. Is there any truth to this? Before you go another sleepless night, here are the facts.
Though sleeping on your left side is recommended, there is no evidence that other positions (such as on your right side or back) will harm your baby.
So why is the left side so important? Because down the right side of your spine is a large blood vessel, the inferior vena cava. The inferior vena cava serves to carry blood from your lower body and back to your heart. In theory, the weight of your baby and uterus could put pressure on the vena cava, limiting the blood flow to your body.
Don’t lose any precious sleep because of this possibility: it’s natural that you will lean to one side while you sleep. As you and your baby grow, lying on your back can become uncomfortable due to the pressure on your lungs, so expectant mothers usually lean to one side, arrange pillows for comfort, or even sleep in a chair. In addition, during your first two trimesters, the baby is so light that it will be completely unaffected by your position during sleep.
Though sleeping on your left side is ideal, whichever position is most comfortable and allows you to get the rest you deserve is fine. If you need to move, trust your body! You will become dizzy or short of breath if you are causing any potential damage.