Panic Spreads As Pregnant Sleep Position Questioned!

Jacqueline Burt Cote

sleeping parentsIn more "things to freak out about while you're pregnant" news, a recent study showed that pregnant women who sleep on their back or their right side the night before going into labor are twice as likely to have a stillborn child. There, are you in full panic mode yet? Trying desperately to remember if maybe you might have possibly rolled on to your back for a couple of minutes last night? If you are, relax. As is the case with most mass hysteria-inducing study results, this news can be taken with a grain of salt (or a shaker, if you're in the salty cravings phase).

Most obstetricians will tell you that while sleeping on your left side is the best option, as it allows for optimal blood flow to you and your baby, accidentally turning over on your back mid-snooze every so often isn't likely to cause any major troubles. In fact, the main risks associated with back-sleeping while pregnant (namely low blood pressure that can potentially deprive the fetus of oxygen) have symptoms like nausea and shortness of breath, which would probably wake you up before anything happened to the baby anyway.

I was beyond paranoid about the proper sleep position when I was pregnant with my first kid, so my dad bought me one of those long body pillows to help keep me comfortably on my left side. It did help -- I got so attached to that thing, my ex-husband nicknamed it "Bob" -- but I would still have the occasional roll-over. By the time I was pregnant with my second, I was too busy taking care of my preschooler and working to even consider how I slept: Sleep in any position was a miracle. And my son came out just fine.

Do you panic when you hear about studies like this one?


Image via Omer Ziv/Flickr

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