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When were you able to sleep on your side?

VioletKali Member Posts: 97

I am SERIOUSLY not a back sleeper, and this is really becoming a PITA.

I remember that when I had a regular breast augmentation he said not to side sleep for 3 weeks, so I assumed this was similar. I never actually asked.


  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,961


    I am also not a back sleeper, never, ever, ever. It's been 3 years since my bmx so the details are a bit fuzzy, but here's what I remember . Due to drains and general tenderness, I knew I couldn't sleep on my side (one step recon, so implants were in place). I had a wedge pillow, another pillow or two on top of that and a stack of pillows on either side to support my arms. It kind of looked like a pillow throne! Much to my surprise, I was able to sleep comfortably and get in and out of bed easily. Gradually, pillows were removed and one day I turned on my side and was able to sleep. It really wasn't bad for this diehard side sleeper. Wishing you the best.

  • DiveCat
    DiveCat Member Posts: 290

    I have NEVER been a back sleeper either. 95% stomach and 5% side. But I made a very good pillow nest where I was supported on all sides, had my knees raised and back inclined, and found it quite easy to sleep. Also, found it easy to sleep on recliner (I was used to falling asleep during long movies!)

    I had direct to implant surgery...I was able to sleep on side, but still with pillows propped around me, at about 6 weeks, and started returning to my stomach about about 9-10 weeks. The latter felt very weird at first..took a 2-3 weeks to feel normal. At 4 months out I am back to stomach sleeping almost all the time, except when I fall asleep in recliner still.

  • diva77
    diva77 Member Posts: 40

    HI Violet,

    I am 25 days out from MX with no recon and I slept on my surgery side for the first time last night. I had been sleeping in a recliner until 3 days ago.

    Wishing you well!

  • Mischief46
    Mischief46 Member Posts: 68

    it was at least 5 weeks after my BMX that I started sleeping on myy side.  I had a bunch of pillows and a wedge pillow I slept with.  At first I just propped myself up a little with pillows so I wasn't actually putting all of my weight on my expanders.  Now I can sleep on my side without all of the pillows but I am 3 months out.

  • AZ85048
    AZ85048 Member Posts: 1,467

    VioletKali - I've never been anything but a side sleeper either. Unlike Caryn and DiveCat, I didn't go direct to implant - I took the TE route.  I found that a wedge pillow in combination with several other pillows both behind and beside me was quite doable and I was able to sleep in a semi-upright position (much like exbrnxgrl described).  After about three weeks of this, I awoke in the middle of the night to find that I had rolled over onto my side in my sleep!  I asked my PS if this was OK, and she told me that your body will do whatever it feels most comfortable doing.  It took a little while to get really comfortable side sleeping again, but I found that if I put a pillow down lengthwise on the bed, laid on top of that and clutched another pillow in front of me (basically between the girls) that worked out really well.  Up until the point where I rolled over in the middle of the night - but after I 'rearranged' things, I went right back to sleep.  I've been able to sleep on my side after only a few days after exchange, so just know that it gets a little easier each day.  Good luck to you!

  • Blessings2011
    Blessings2011 Member Posts: 1,801

    Violet - because of severe back problems, I am NOT a back sleeper. I knew that would be an issue after BMX, so for a month, we rented a fully-adjustable electric hospital bed for me to recuperate in. I put my thick Tempurpedic topper on it, and was able to raise up the back of the bed as well as under my knees so I was comfortable.

    It was over a month before I was able to kind of stuff pillows on one side of me, and sleep slightly leaning toward the side.

    As my fills increased, I was able to sleep on my side again, the way AZ described it. I used a body pillow so that I could hug it, support my top leg, and - most important - keep my top arm from squeezing the TEs.

  • quiltlibrarian
    quiltlibrarian Member Posts: 31

    The last night or two I have been sleeping on my left side (surgery was on right side) I do have a large pillow under my right arm and I am comfortable mostly. I am missing sleeping on the right and could not stand sleeping on my back any more. Surgery was 11 days ago.

    I do think it depends on what you had done.

    Good luck I hope you are getting a good rest

  • denise-g
    denise-g Member Posts: 353

    I'm a side sleeper but was unable to sleep on my side the whole time after Mastectomy, then the port placement hurt so bad that all the while during 5 months of chemo I could not sleep on my side.  Then during rads, I was too sore.

    It was a good 10 months before I finally had a good night's sleep ON MY SIDE!  Every night I go to sleep on my side, I thank God now that I am able to do so!  I used to have to sleep in my La-Z-Boy alot as I had difficulty falling asleep on my back.

    GOOD LUCK!  You are not alone!

  • Mich71
    Mich71 Member Posts: 11

    It was 5-6 weeks before I could sleep on my side.  The first week home was in the recliner.  Smaller travel pillow under arm may help you while sleeping on your back. What a happy night when laying on my side was bearable again!!!  It was still quite achy at times but I don't remember how long that lasted.

  • Ariom
    Ariom Member Posts: 4,027

    I had Umx, no recon and was able to roll onto my side, within the first 2 weeks and although not very comfortable, I found myself on my stomach with the drain tube wrapped around me a few times. One of the most difficult things for me, was to keep from stretching my arm up under the pillow when I had been told not to lift it over my head for 3 weeks.

    I bought a "V" pillow which I could fit into and mold around me. It was the best purchase. I still have it on the couch with me when I am spending a long time sitting reading or watching TV.

  • clarrn
    clarrn Member Posts: 160

    Still unable to sleep on my side comfortably.   But I still have a TE in one side (direct to implant on other) and am just finishing up 5 months of chemo and will do 6.5 weeks of rads.   Glad to hear Denise had a similar journey, even though it was a long one.   I can't wait to finally have a comfortable sleep... maybe next year?  Lol.  But even with all that I am still happy I chose recon.

  • Jennie93
    Jennie93 Member Posts: 263

    Here I thought my experience was typical, but you all are surprising me!  I guess not!

    The answer to your question for me has been "never". Or at least, "not so far". This is one of the most difficult things about this whole experience for me. I was always a side sleeper, don't like sleeping on my back, I wake up after just a few hours, back hurts, hips hurt, etc.

    Of course the lymphedema specialist tells you not to ever lie on the side that had the lymph nodes out. Never again. Just like no blood pressure, needles, massages, heat or cold, heavy lifting, etc. etc. etc. 

    But I thought I would be able to lie on the good side again, some day. Unfortunately that day has not come yet. I developed cording, swelling, and pain in my armpit and nothing has resolved that. There's just no comfortable place to put my arm that doesn't press down on the ouchy parts. I tried sticking a pillow under my arm but it falls out when I doze off. So... maybe some day, who knows, but it doesn't look promising. 

  • VioletKali
    VioletKali Member Posts: 97

    Thanks everyone for your experiences!

    I am now 16 days post Bilateral MX with TE's. I could not take it, I slept on my side last night and slept so well!! I slept on the side which did not have the lymph nodes removed. I did sleep in the recliner for 10 days, but after my pain meds ran out it became more difficult. I am just a side sleeper, I guess.

  • pamharris1107
    pamharris1107 Member Posts: 1

    I'm still struggling with that. I was 100% a side sleeper and my plastic surgeon really never discussed sleeping with me. I'm 5 weeks post surgery and sleep with numerous pillows to not put pressure on the girls. But I'm still not comfortable yet. I'm hoping for positive things soon!

  • Bonjh
    Bonjh Member Posts: 3

    I’m 18 months out and cannot sleep on my stomach at all with my implant. How did you manage that