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The pillow

I have lately begun a very intimate, high drama, high conflict relationship with my pillow.

See I read this book, All the Ways You Have Already Irreparably Screwed Your Unborn Child. You know that book, right? Anyway, this book said that once you are 16 weeks pregnant you should not sleep on your back or YOUR BABY WILL DIE!!! No problem, I never sleep on my back. I've had to rearrange some of my favorite couch sloth positions, but really no big deal. However, the next paragraph was about how you should also not sleep on your stomach because it puts pressure on your uterus and YOUR BABY WILL DIE!!! OR AT LEAST HAVE A MAJOR PERSONALITY DISORDER!!! AND WE KNOW ABOUT ALL THAT WINE YOU DRANK BEFORE YOU KNEW YOU WERE PREGNANT AND BELIEVE ME YOU WILL REGRET THAT YOU STUPID HORRIBLE COW!!!

(I think the tone of this book may be a little reactionary. Anyway.)

I sleep on my stomach with my head under my pillows. It's really the only way to do it and I'm not interested in anybody who might have another opinion on the optimum way to sleep because frankly you are just wrong. However, I consider it a sort of personal goal to not kill my baby, so I'm willing to try the whole "sleeping on your left side" thing that all the reactionary pregnancy books recommend, even though clearly this is an elaborate hoax played on pregnant women because everybody knows it is not possible to sleep on your left side. The gurus recommend that you sleep with a pillow either between your legs or next to you with your top leg on top of it for support and also to prevent you from rolling over onto your stomach. I've been trying the pillow thing for about a week.

Our relationship has been a bit rocky. The first few nights, I got fed up and just threw the pillow out of bed. I mean, if that pillow is going to have the nerve to try to keep me from sleeping on my stomach, it can just sleep on the floor. After that, I let the pillow stay but woke up every hour or so to punch it as evidence of my displeasure. This was easy to do since I was usually sleeping directly on top of the pillow. On my stomach. However, the last few nights I think I have found a solution that allows us to peacefully coexist in the same bed. I just scoot over towards Chris's side of the bed and roll blissfully over onto my stomach, and the cats sleep on the pillow to prevent it from getting any ideas about trying to get me back onto my side. We are all very happy with the arrangement, except for the Lima Bean of course, but I've already done so many things wrong that I'm sure one more won't make any difference.

Comments (31)

Now see, this is the kind of advice we could really use. You should write a book!

Oh dear.. I should definately not get pregnant than.. I always sleep on my back, I can't fall asleep any other way :)

I'm happy you found a good sleeping position!

I sleep on my right side the most. Sometimes I flip to my left side, but then my right side gets cold again and I have to flip back. LOL I tried the pillow between my legs thing, but it would creep up and I felt like I was being molested! LOL

I did that with my last child. I slept on my stomach. The second to last I kept rolling onto my back. They both turned out just fine. Not flattened at all. I tried sleeping on my side... I just kept rolling over.

Odd that I didn't do that with the other two. Anyway, THEY ARE ALL FINE. I did NOT KILL any of them by rolling over in my sleep.

Just ENJOY the sleep since soon you will not be able to.

I always sleep on my sides... I flip all night, but it's always on a side.

With your head UNDER the pillow though? hmm..

You know what? There are people that pay no attention to their kids ever, and the kids turn out fantastic.

So there.

Lima Bean already has the best parents in DC who both blog, so that's not too bad!

Whenever my wife tried to sleep on her left side, the kid would kid and squirm so bad that she couldn't sleep. One time she cuddled up next to me on her left side and after about 20 seconds of feeling the "alien" in her belly poking me, I told to MOVE THE HECK OVER!

hey, as long as you are comfortable on your stomach, go for it.

you won't be much longer, and then you will come to love your pillow and kick chris out of the bed.

Why the left side? Is there something wrong with the right side?

I personally sleep on my left most of the time, with one of those roll shapped pillows under my legs. At first I too had molestation issues, especially since said pillow has furry trim. I've come to accept our relationship. It helps my back and for pay back it gets to snuggle with my girl parts.

I am a stomach sleeper, too, and I found that I couldn't sleep on my sides for long without my legs going numb, so I would put two pillows side by side and lay face down with my belly in the canyon. Worked for me.

There is absolutely no way I can sleep on my stomach, it kills my back. On the other hand, so does sleeping on my back, but I usually wake up that way. I wouldn't believe all the hype. I mean look at how many things our parents did to us when they were pregnant back in the day, that now ensures that you will kill the baby. We turned out just fine... atleast I think we did.

I was a back sleeper before I got pregnant. Then I got super anal while I was pregnant, did the sleeping on my left side with pillow between legs, and had to put a pillow at my back to keep me from rolling over. It worked and I actually found I slept better too. After having the little guy I slept on my left side for years, but lately I've been sleeping on my tummy with my face buried into my pillow. I guess my nose must get cold at night or something. lol Anyways, I'm sure you'll be fine. Just think of all the women who slept on their tummies during the pregnancies, before the how to do pregnancy books came out, and the human race is still around. Happy sleeping. :)

I never could stay on just my left side, my leg would go numb. So I would switch to my right side even though, OMG I might cut off an artery and the flow of blood to my unborn child (they all turned out fine) I found that once I really started showing that I couldn't put pressure on my stomach so that took care of the sleeping on my stomach thing for me, and as to my back, well the pressure from my HUGE babies hurt that too.

Oh and I have an ongoing love affair with my pillows. My husband is jealous.

Sleeping on your left side improves your circulation blah, blah, blah. Don't worry. Pretty soon you won't be able to sleep on your stomach, the pillow between your legs really will relieve some of the pressure on your back, and sleeping on your back will position the Lima Bean (who will really be more watermelon-sized at some point) on some internal organs and it won't be comfortable. Until these things happen sleep on your stomach. If you do you'll probably feel her moving around sooner. :0)

I sleep standing up. Because if you can't sleep on your right side or left side or back or stomach...there's really no other option.

I didn't know I was pregnant for 7 months (long story, somewhere on my blog is the whole story) and in that time I:
Went to 2 cast parties where I got so drunk I couldn't stand, one of which there was some herbal stuff too.
Took advil for my headaches thus raising my chances of miscarriage
Slept any damn well I wanted to.
When I found out I was pregnant, I had nightmares every night that she was deformed in some way because of my carelessness. She turned out wonderful! Not that I tell ANYONE to do the stupid things I did while blissfully unaware of my pregnancy, but I do think the advice gurus get everyone panties in a bunch with some of the things they say. You're gonna be fine! The pillow thing? Makes more sense when your belly develops its on zip code, it needs it to sleep too LOL!

Your comment over at Mixed Messages made me laugh, so I came on over to check things/you out. Glad I did. Have a great weekend - with or without pillow ;o)

the books suck. I slept on my stomach and back the entire time (well my stomach well past 20 weeks) and my kid is mostly fine. except for the screaming. but i dont think that is from the sleeping on the back thing.

I always slept on my back and look how my kids turned out. Pretty normal I hope. The sleeping on the back and stomach thing is to do with blodd flow through major veins/arteries. The weight of the baby will slow the blood flow, thus reducing the oxygen it gets. Sleeping on your left side is good because it helps reduce the chances of reflux when you are lying down.
Try body pillows, they are 5 feet of pillow you can curl up to instead of your hubby, i mean the normal sized pillow.

I used to sleep with my head under my pillow too!! And then I got HUGELY pregnant and didn't fit anymore. BUT with my last pregnancy I did see this nifty pregnant chick matress with a huge belly hole in it so you can lay on your belly and not mash the lima bean! BUY ONE! (take pictures!)

I'm a stomach sleeper too, and I slept on my stomach until I was too big, and it hurt (you'll be amazed at how hard your belly gets). Run, do not walk, and get a body pillow this weekend. It may or may not help you now, but when you're 8 months along, and it takes you 45 minutes and a crane to turn over, you will marry your body pillow. You will be lying in bed, your body entwined around it, and Chris will keep elbowing you to get you to stop making out with it.

books schmooks.

honey, sleep anyway you can and as comfortably as you can, for as long as you can. Cause it wont be long and you wont be able to sleep on your tummy because it hurts.

then when you start feeling the baby moving - inevitably they do it when you want to sleep or get the hiccups constantly like my cherub did.

my advice: do what works for you and dont read the evil books.
obviously some information is good but i had to stop towards the end because they just started to do my head in. I figured the baby has gotta come out some way or another so hang on and enjoy the ride!

I read the books too. I slept on my stomach until my stomach was too big for it to be comfortable through three kids. Do try and be nice to the pillow. When you're belly is lookin' like a World globe beneath your clothes, you'll want the pillow to support your belly. :) You'll all learn to get along when it becomes necessity! LOL

I empathize! There is no way in hell I could ever sleep on my back, pregnant or not! I often slept on my stomach, kinda with a tilt to the side. A pillow supported my tummy. Another, the pillow between the legs while laying on the side or semi side-tummy....yeah, it works great! It's been over four years since I was pregnant last and I STILL need my pillow to prop my leg, my tummy, or between my legs. I also need one at the end of the bed to prop my feet on! And one to hug and one under my head! LOL So yeah, I sleep with about four pillows every night. Good luck finding your comfort zone!

I'm surprised that nobody recommended one of these:

It may be a bit early yet but there will come a point when you won't be able to get comfortable no matter what side you sleep on.

I was always a stomach sleeper and I stayed that way until it became physically impossible.

I LOVED this pillow. The only drawback was that it became a huge pain to untangle myself from it the 35 times a night I had to get up and pee!

Also, throw that book out! No good can come from reading it.

Yeah, I ended up reading that book, too. And crying over all the things I'd already done wrong that would obviously ruin my child completely. She's so perfect, though. Sleep however you can sleep. Body pillows are lovely for side sleeping at some point - one to wrap all down the front and tuck between the legs. One to the back if you like.

If I ever have children, or even just one child, I think this will be a problem for me. I sleep on my stomach. Forget the back. There's no way the stomach deal will ever work.:(

Don't worry. As soon as you are as big as me, you will be physically incapable of sleeping on your uterus. Mid-way or so in my second trimester it became painful to put any pressure on my stomach. Oila, problem solved!

What Ginny said. I slept on my stomach when I was pregnant until my body rendered that behavior impossible. Unfortunately, you will need to make amends with that pillow sooner or later - you're gonna need it.

I totally know what book you are talking about. It's collecting dust in my nighttable this time around. I shit bricks the entire pregnancy because munchkin may-or-may-not-have been conceived during a little mary-jane evening.

I'm sorry that you and your pillow are fighting. You'll be making up really soon, I bet. I think by the time I gave birth I had like 4 pillows working for me every night.

I also sleep on my stomach, and did so until I was far enough along that I couldn't. Then I just did the side/stomach sleep thing where my legs still gave me the illusion of sleeping on my tummy.

I'm with Tricia - I'm a tummy sleeper, and just recently I've had to switch to semi-sleeping on my tummy. I bought a body pillow after a reccommendation by a much more pregnant neighbour. My dog seems to like the pillow - which is good 'cause now she doesn't use me anymore. I'm just going to sleep any way I can - be it my back, stomach or sides - rest is good for the baby too, right?

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