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Sleeping on your side whilst pregnant can reduce the risk of stillbirth - New Evidence to help reduc

Please don't be scared by the title of this post...... All research that reduces the risk of these tragic occurrences should be viewed in a positive light. Let's find out what it is all about.

So a very excellent Doctor working as part of Tommy's Stillbirth Research Centre (this is for real, i had the pleasure of working with him!) in the UK has conducted a large study on the link between sleeping positions and stillbirth and had some very interesting results.

What did he find?

His research showed that going to sleep on your back instead of sleeping on the side was associated with a 2.3-fold increased risk of late stillbirth. This is around 3.7% of stillbirths after 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Why is there a link?

Well, they do not actually know the exact reason as this study was retrospective. But the link is clear as day. We of course can have a very good educated guess, this being that when you lie on your back for prolonged periods of time then the weight of your pregnant uterus can reduce the blood flow in your body which directly affects the blood flow to your baby's placenta.

What does this mean?

Basically this development is a great one! We know that you spend most of your time in the position you first fall asleep in. So we can take measures to ensure that this is on our side, be it left or right! We can now use this knowledge to reduce our risk factors.

What is recommended?

Tommy's Stillbirth Research Centre explain this is what women can do in the last three months of their pregnancy:

  • Put a pillow or pillows behind your back to encourage side-sleeping.

  • If you wake during the night, check your position and go back to sleep on your side.

  • Pay the same attention to sleep position during the day as you would during the night.

So, DO NOT PANIC, if you wake up on your back. This will not harm your baby. Just do not spend long periods of time lying on your back (Not many pregnant women can, its very uncomfortable) and take the steps advised above. Remember that the best thing for a healthy pregnancy is to be calm and relaxed.

Just use this helpful research as another tool for helping achieve a healthy pregnancy with a beautiful, healthy baby at the end of your 9 months.

To read the full article follow the link below:


The Fit Midwife xx

#pregnancy #research #stillbirth #prevention

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