Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is it safe for a pregnant woman to lie on her stomach?"
I'm a young pregnant woman, age 23, and this is my first. I'm 2 and a half months pregnants, and I really want to lie on my stomach. REALLY. But I read that it's not safe for me to. Is that true?
Babies start their growth low in the pelvis within the uterus, and as they grow, they begin to grow upwards so that eventually they can be felt and seen protruding from your belly. It is usually not recommended for pregnant women to lay on their stomachs because of the risk of compression on the baby in utero (within the uterus from the mothers' weight), but also because the baby can cause compression on the large vessels behind the abdominal cavity that supply blood to your abdomen and lower extremities and the large veins that bring this blood back towards the heart. For this reason, it is also recommended that in the later parts of your pregnancy, that you avoid laying on your back because the weight of your baby can cause compression on these same large vessels. It is highly recommended that you discuss any questions you have about how to lay while pregnant with your ob/gyn, who can best evaluate your medical history, presenting symptoms and complaints and give you more information on what positions to avoid during various times in your pregnancy. It is especially important to discuss questions related to proper laying positions when the baby is palpable above the pelvic bones.
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