There is nothing as painful to a woman as carrying a child to full term then the baby is born still. According to experts one of the factors that contribute to stillbirths is the sleeping position of the mother while pregnant.
Trying to find a comfortable sleeping position when you’re pregnant can be a struggle, but a new study suggests that pregnant women should opt to sleep on their sides.
The study, led by the University of Huddersfield, has shown that pregnant women can lower the risk of stillbirth by sleeping on their side, and not their back.
In the study, the researchers looked at the sleeping positions of 851 bereaved mothers and 2,257 women with ongoing pregnancy.
The analysis revealed that going to sleep lying on your back from 28 weeks of pregnancy increased the risk of stillbirth by 2.6 times.
The reason for this link remains unclear.
Following the study, the NHS has incorporated the findings in its Saving Babies’ Lives care bundle.
The care bundle, which includes advice on how to reduce the risk of a stillbirth, states: “In later pregnancy (after 28 weeks), it is safer to go to sleep on your side than on your back.”
While only a small proportion of women will be affected, the researchers advise all pregnant women to opt for side sleeping.
Dr Tomasina Stacey, who led the study, said: “Only a small proportion of women will be affected.
“But the studies that we did following the first findings suggested that women were quite happy to change their going to sleep position if it was better for their babies.”