Which one is safer?
We used to always say ‘only lay on your left side when you’re pregnant’.
This is because it was thought that as the uterus grows, the weight of the uterus may obstruct venous return and cardiac output. This risk of obstruction is higher when lying on your back so we encourage left side lying because of this.
We now have evidence (thanks Cronin et al 2019) to show that there is NO DIFFERENCE between lying on your left side when compared to lying on your right side.
This is great news for women who have started to get left-sided hip pain from always lying on the left side. So girls, feel free to change from left to right side lying, just stay off your back after the first trimester.
Disclaimer: This is general advice only, ensure you always seek individualised advice from your obstetric care provider first.
Sarah Anderson BExSc, DPT (Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist)