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Why can’t pregnant women sleep comfortably on their backs?

Although you may find that you may be able to stay on your back for a short while when you’re pregnant, you’ll probably find that you’ll feel the need to turn over or change position.

The reason is  after week 16 of pregnancy, the baby is large enough to compromise the blood flow back from the legs through the major vein of the lower half of the body, the inferior vena cava.  You will naturally feel the need to move and change position.  So, what can you do?

You’ll find it more comfortable to lie on your side, even if it means having a pillow between your legs and hugging a second pillow for support of the upper body.  Give it a try and you should find lying and sleeping more comfortable.

For more information about this article, or any questions – please email Michael Dermansky on

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Telephone: (03) 9857 0644


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