Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Left Side Mystery

** I'm trying to pretend to be smart here- don't hold anything I say as absolute wisdom**

Anyone who has ever been pregant has heard about laying on your left side. This is prescribed for many different things- to alleviate nausea, to slow down contractions, as a recomended sleeping position in the 3rd trimester, and also as the chosen position if the mother feels she must lay down during natural childbirth.

Just today the doc reminded me that if I should have Braxton Hicks, to drink 8 oz of water and lay on my left side for an hour while counting contractions. I even remember hearing this remedy related to stomach issues when I went to the ER for a 'bowel spasm' my freshman year of college (don't ask).

So here's the explanation- the Vena Cavae. The Vena Cavae is the body's largest vein. I may have learned this in 5th grade but didn't artery pumps oxegenated (clean) blood away from the heart, and a vein pump deoxegenated (dirty) blood back to the heart.

So the big boy, the Vena Cavae, brings all the bad stuff- all of the toxin laiden gross blood back through to body to be cleaned. And where does it live? The right side!....It's the blue stuff in the picture below:

So laying on your left side is optimal because if you lay on your right you can sort of crush your vena cavae (especially the pressure of the baby can) and that dirty blood may be slowed from a good cleansing process. They even tell 3rd trimester ladies that you could cause yourself to pass out! Laying on the left promotes good circulation and cleansing of the blood. Cool huh?

I've been a faithful right side sleeper my whole life so laying on my left has been an adjustment for me- and my cuddle buddy Hayden. But who knows- maybe laying on your left can make you healthier in general? ward off viruses, help filter out a good night of drinking, or aid in weight loss? (okay now I'm just wishful thinking)

Ciao students!

1 comment:

Jacqueline Knotts said...

Hee-hee... that reminded me... the day I went in to have a 3-D ultrasound after my bout with pre-term labor, I was laying there, sweaty, light-headed and queezy. I didn't want to say anything b/c I didn't want the tech to stop the ultrasound!! I was watching my little boy in 3-D. Well, eventually she noticed I had no color at all, and she practically shoved me over to my left side!!! I felt instantly better! Best part was she didn't stop the ultrasound... she sat on my bed leaned over me and continued with me on my side. It was really funny. I hadn't thought about that until I read your entry.