Sleeping

After your mastectomy you will need to sleep on your back for approximately a month.  Some people find it helpful to sleep on the sofa.  Other people find it helpful to sleep in a chair.  Before your surgery it is a good idea to practice getting out of bed, or the chair where you will sleep, without using your arms.  After your surgery you won’t be able to use your arms to help push yourself up.

One doesn’t need to have all of the items listed below, but it can be helpful to have several types of pillows available because you won’t know what will work until after your mastectomy.

  • Wedge pillow
  • Several full size pillows with varying degrees of firmness
  • Small microbead pillow to put under your head if you sleep on a wedge pillow – this gives your head some support and keeps it from turning sideways.  A thin rectangular one works well.
  • Small pillows to put under your arms when you are sleeping on your back
  • Pillow for under your knees – when sleeping on your back this can alleviate some of the discomfort you might feel in your back, especially if you aren’t used to sleeping on your back
  • Towel or small blanket to put under your bottom when sleeping on your back
  • Boomerang pillow