Sleeping On The Right May Put Unborn Babies At Risk Of Stillbirth

15/06/2011 12:58 | Updated 22 May 2015

Sleeping on the right could put babies at risk of stillbirth


Experts have said that women who sleep on their right side or on their back during the last few weeks of pregnancy could be at an increased risk of having stillborn babies.

The study looked at over 450 women – including 155 who had a stillborn baby – and discovered the risk for those who went to sleep on their left side was 1.96 per 1,000 births. The figure then rose to 3.93 per 1,000 for women in the latter stages of pregnancy who slept in any other position. The number was also slightly higher for those lying on their backs.

The research indicates the risk doubles in the last three months of pregnancy, but the report's authors stress that a link has not been established and the overall risk is small. They also state that mum-to-be's sleeping positions may actually result from the baby moving less in the days before dying.

Writing on the British Medical Journal's website, the researchers said: 'If our findings are confirmed, promoting optimal sleep position in late pregnancy may have the potential to reduce the incidence of stillbirth.'

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