Pregnancy: The Sims position

Pregnancy: The Sims position
March 08 08:58 2017 image:

As expected with pregnancy, there are many questions that can arise that need to be answered so the expecting mum can have a peace of mind. A calm and worriless mum is good for the developing baby, that is why medical practitioners always make it a point to answer all pregnancy-related questions. One question that always comes up is: “which sleeping position is the best for my baby during pregnancy”. There is no one answer to this question but the most common answer you will get involves what is known as the Sims position. 

What is the Sims position?

The Sims position is a special position invented by James Marion Sims. Its initial goal was to make vaginal and colonic exams and surgeries much more easier. It is now used for many medical purposes in women including pregnant women.

Understanding the Sims position

To be in the Sims position, one has to do the following:

  1. Lie down on the stomach with the face facing down
  2. Place one arm straight behind to the back
  3. The other arm should be bent in front, above the head
  4. The leg on the side with the straight hand is kept straightened out
  5. The other leg on the side of the bent hand should be bent


Why is the Sims position important to women’s health and pregnancy?

The Sims health is a security position that helps women avoid many complications during giving birth. The inventor Sims found this to be the most efficient and safe positon to perform certain medical procedures on women like surgeries, rectal and vaginal examinations and to administer enemas.

During child birth, vesico-vaginal tears can occur and waste products from the bladder can leak into the uterus there by putting the baby and the mother’s uterus at risk of contracting some infections. The Sims position makes it possible to repair the vesico-vaginal fistulas.

The Sims position has been said to be very comfortable by pregnant women. Some women sleep in this position at night and they also prefer to have their examination of the uterus and vagina in this position.

Pregnant women can use this position to sooth some of the pains that occur during labor.

According to studies, sleeping in the Sims position during pregnancy reduces the risks of stillbirths as compared to sleeping on the side, particularly the left side. Pregnant women who experience sleeping difficulties at night are encouraged to try out the Sims position instead of the convectional sleeping position. The Sims position has the advantage of bettering the pregnancy out comes as compared to sleeping with a pillow under the abdomen or between the legs.

The Sims position also reduces the chances of developing back problems, a condition known as the supine hypotension syndrome or the vena cava syndrome. The supine hypotension syndrome is known to develop among pregnant women around the third trimester but can develop even before then. It is worse in pregnant women who sleep on their backs. Generally, a pregnant woman lying on their back will experience dizziness sensations and feelings of nausea, this makes them change their sleeping position from lying on their back to lying on their side. Sometimes, especially during surgery, the woman can lose consciousness in this position.

What happens during the supine hypotension syndrome that explains the medical events described above is that an enlarged uterus with the unborn baby inside, can put pressure one the inferior vena cava behind the uterus. The vena cava is responsible for sending blood back to the heart. Its compression therefore will reduce the amount of blood flowing back to the heart and thereby cause a state of low blood pressure known as hypotension.

Insomnia and pregnant women

A common complaint during pregnancy is Insomnia. The causes of this insomnia are not really known but theories say it can be caused by hormonal and blood changes that occur as the baby grows in the uterus. Anything that worsens the blood flow supply will in turn increase the chances of restless sleep and cause insomnia. According to on going research, pregnant women who sleep on their back are more prone to insomnia than other pregnant women who sleep in other positions.

As such, many physicians now recommend that pregnant women sleep in the Sims position in order to improve the blood flow back to the heart and reduce the pressure applied to the vena cava.


Other benefits of the Sims Position

The Sims positions provides better conditions for performing certain procedures on women. It is used for the removal of tumors and uterus cysts, performing colonoscopies and repairing of vaginal tears that occur during childbirth.


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