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Avoid recliners in third trimester?

  1. #1
    ngnhk is offline Registered User
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    Avoid recliners in third trimester?

    Hi all,

    I was reading a birthing book today, and it said women should avoid recliners once they reach the third trimester. Is this actually a known medical "thing" or is it more of a helpful tip advocated by crunchy types? (No offense if you're a crunchy type.) Does sitting in a reclining position encourage the baby to take a posterior (as opposed to normal anterior) position?

    Do I avoid sitting on the couch with my legs up or just avoid leaning back too far? Sitting upright (or just hanging out on all fours) all the time for the next 10 weeks seems a little extreme.

  2. #2
    twontheway is offline Registered User
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    Hi,

    I'm in my third trimester and throughout this whole pregnancy getting my feet up is what it's all about. After work I can think of nothing better than putting up my feet on the couch surrounded by pillows. It takes the weight off and I find it really comfy and relaxing.

    I often lean back, though supported by pillows and cushions, and don't stay in this position too long - but having said that I can't stay in one position too long no matter what it is.

    Actually, I thought getting the weight off your feet was a good idea and haven't read anywhere that it's a no no. What book are you reading?

  3. #3
    ngnhk is offline Registered User
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    Yeah, I'm really confused - since about the 20 week mark, my doctor has been telling me to rest with my feet up whenever I can. But this book (it's a hypnobirthing book) says that leaning back encourages the baby to take the "sunny side up" position in labor, which makes labor longer and more painful for the mother. Apparently the mother should sit either upright or in positions that encourage her to lean forward slightly.

    I've heard of women in the third trimester sleeping propped up in recliners during the last few weeks, when lying down becomes too difficult. So I don't really know what to think.

  4. #4
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Never heard of it before, and sounds like quakery to me, unless you can find some solid medical proof somewhere.
    I'm nearly at the end of my second pregnancy. Both times I spent plenty of time lounging on my sofa / armchair with my feet up. It didn't harm anything.
    My first daughter was a normal vaginal birth. Looks like the second baby is positioned well, too.
    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Lali07 is offline Registered User
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    Reclining back in a chair, or lying on your back in bed for long periods of time can cause the weight of the uterus to press on the inferior vena cava and abdominal aorta, disrupting blood flow. In extreme cases it can cause maternal shock, and is linked to a higher chance of stillbirth. This is why when administering first aid to a pregnant woman it is important to place a wedge of some sort under her right hip to shift the weight of the uterus off these major blood vessels. Definitely not quackery...

  6. #6
    ngnhk is offline Registered User
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    I'm not talking about reclining waaay back to almost flat - I mean more in the sense of sitting in a recliner and leaning back a little bit. Nobody has ever told me not to do this. (But yes, I have heard many times that lying flat on your back deprives both you and baby of oxygen, so that's bad.)

    And doctors do tell us all the time to sit with our legs up. I think if I were to ask my doctor whether or not it's safe to sit in a recliner...he would look at me like I'd grown three heads.
    Chipon likes this.

  7. #7
    twontheway is offline Registered User
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    Lying flat puts pressure on internal organs and I haven't been able to lie on my back for at least 4 months due to discomfort, lower back pain and feeling like I'm going to pass out!

    Leaning back a little should be fine. Ask your ob/gyno about it next time you visit...I am currently in the feet up, back fully supported position and it feels wonderful.

  8. #8
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    I'm 24 weeks and still laying on my back, and attempting to sleep on my tummy. Third baby, what can I say?

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