|What are the guidelines for lying on your back (while exercising or sleeping) during pregnancy?|
|You don't want to lie flat on your back for any strength training exercises while pregnant because of the pressure of lifting the weight, along with the pressure of the fetus on your vena cava (the large blood vessel that returns blood back to the heart/lungs). Plus, you may become lightheaded.
As you get further along in your pregnancy, it gets pretty tough to get up from a supine position (flat on your back). You can strain you back easily that way.
However, it is safe to lie on an incline or semi-upright position, such as on a stability ball or incline bench, when doing strength training.
Catherine Cram, M.S.
Owner for Comprehensive Fitness Consulting LLC
Author of Fit Pregnancy for Dummies (Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2004)
When sleeping, most doctors recommend that you lie on your left side during pregnancy to promote optimal blood flow to your body and uterus. If you're more comfortable on your right side, there is no reason you shouldn't sleep on this side.
Most pregnant women also need added support during sleep. You may find it helps to use additional pillows: tuck a body pillow under your belly and legs, and then also use a smaller pillow to support your back so you don't roll over on your back while sleeping.
If you roll onto your back while sleeping, don't panic! Simply roll back onto one of your sides and go back to sleep. Most women will find a comfortable position for sleeping. Some even prefer a semi-reclined position. What matters is your comfort—not the exact position you fall asleep in.
Rachel Von Nida
BabyFit.com Community Manager