Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Just Can't Sleep on my Left Side or Any Other Side...

I am officially suffering from the sleepless, tossing and turning insomnia filled nights of the third trimester.  Apparently, 8 out of 10 women experience insomnia while pregnant.  Don't get me wrong, I am extremely exhausted (especially since I'm still working 40 hours a week and taking care of a toddler at home) but I just can't seem to get any good sleep.  Some of the things that are keeping me awake at night are having to constantly go to the bathroom, the occasional low blood sugar episode where I have to eat (which then causes reflux) and how I am just plain uncomfortable in bed.

It has always been recommended that pregnant women sleep on their left side.  As a pregnant uterus grows, it can exert pressure on the internal vena cava (IVC) which may cause a decrease in blood flow to both the mother and baby.  Sleeping on the left side causes the uterus to rest "against the aorta instead of the IVC. The aorta, which brings oxygenated blood from the heart to the other organs, has thicker walls than the IVC and is better able to withstand the pressure from the uterus."  The American Pregnancy Association recommends against sleeping on your back because "this can cause problems with backaches, breathing, digestive system, hemorrhoids, low blood pressure and decrease in circulation to your heart and your baby. This is a result of your abdomen resting on your intestines and major blood vessels (the aorta and vena cava)."

Maybe its the anxiety of trying to stay on my left side or the pain that all my body weight is placing on my left hip that has made me toss and turn all night long.  I've tried sleeping with a body pillow and a pillow between my legs yet nothing helps me get a good night sleep.  This is getting old (but I am getting a lot of blogging done) and could use some suggestions for a good night sleep.  Anyone have any good ideas??  I've got 5 more weeks and lots of time at night to try them all.


  1. Try putting a pillow under your left hip ?? The pregnancy pillow is my only other thought but you've already tried that one x

    1. Thank you. It is frustrating because i do feel like I have tried everything. The pillow is nice to have to but somehow I feel like I am missing something... It seems like you just can't win. If the baby is too high, you get GERD, if it is too low, you get frequent urination. *sigh*