Dec 5, 2013 – “Sleeping Face Up When Pregnant Can Damage Baby’s Brain” – Doctor Warns Expectant Mothers
A gynecologist, Dr Nathaniel Adewole, on Tuesday in Abuja warned expectant mothers against the act of lying face up in the advanced stage of their pregnancy.
Adewole, a staff of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital in Gwagwalada, FCT told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the act could expose the baby to brain problems.
The gynecologist said once an expectant mother lies on her back, the weight of the baby and her uterus could press the inferior vena cava supplying blood to the heart.
He said this would thereby obstruct blood supply to the baby’s heart and the mother’s body.
“When it comes to a sleeping position, at the early stage there is no much problem. A woman can take any sleeping position that is convenient.
“But when the pregnancy becomes advanced, the uterus becomes bigger.
“The weight of the baby and the uterus becomes big, that if the woman lies at the back the great vesicles called the inferior vena cava they alter, they are directly behind.
“So, it means the weight of the uterus and the baby will press directly on those big vesicles that take blood to the heart and take blood away from the heart.
“Therefore, if this happens, the one that is first affected is the one that takes blood to the heart. So, the quantity of blood available to the heart is reduced.
“Because the blood flow that is available to the heart is now reduced, blood that pumps out will be reduced.
“Blood supply to the parts of the body of the woman is reduced and that of the baby could be reduced.
“And where the baby already has problem, what we call intrauterine placenta compromise, it can lead to brain problem even for the baby.“
Adewole said sleeping sideways during pregnancy was preferable. “But in the last three months, sleeping position is better on the left side.
“Also, one must take note that even during labour, it is not advisable for the woman to lie down on her back too.
“This is because the big uterus containing the baby will press on those vesicles, thereby the turn of blood to the heart is reduced,’’
He said when the weight of the uterus and the baby pressed on the vesicles, the blood available for both the woman and the baby would also be reduced.
Adewole added that a reduction in the rate of blood supply could cause severe problems for some women.