Sleeping on Left Side May Help Prevent Stillbirths

According to a HealthDay News report, women who sleep on their left side during pregnancy may have a lower risk for having a stillbirth.

New Zealand researchers studying stillbirths, compared women with typical pregnancies to women who had delivered a stillborn baby at 28 weeks’ gestation or later. The moms of stillborns were asked questions about their sleep positions during their pregnancies, and specifically during the last month, week, and the night when they felt the stillbirth occurred.

The study found was that women were twice as likely to have a stillbirth if they slept on their back or right side. Researchers also found that women who woke up frequently to use the bathroom at night were less likely to have a late stillbirth.

Ed Mitchell, professor of child health in the department of pediatrics at the University of Auckland and the study’s coauthor, said, “If this finding is real and there is a causal relationship between maternal sleep and stillbirths, then the rate of stillbirths might be reduced by a third, which is tremendous given that the rate of stillbirth has hardly changed over the last 20 years”