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STATES CHRONICLE – You might think there’s nothing that pregnant women can do to reduce their chances of a stillbirth. However, they can still reduce these chances if they sleep on their side during the third trimester. It turns out there is an association between the sleeping position during pregnancy and other risks that a woman might suffer.
The sleeping position influences the stillbirth risk
For this study, researchers analyzed the results of the Midlands and North of England Stillbirth Study. This report looked at over 1,000 pregnancies, where 735 occurred naturally, while 291 resulted in a stillbirth. Researchers discovered those mothers who slept on their backs had 2.3 times the chance of suffering such an unhappy event as compared to those who slept on their side.
This was the biggest study which looked at the relation between stillbirth and the sleeping position of the mother during pregnancy. Previous evidence pointed to the fact that the way in which a woman sleeps in late pregnancy influences the risk of stillbirth. Now, these results clarify a high number of these events which have remained unexplained so far.
Knowing how you should sleep can help you prevent stillbirths
In the US, one in 100 pregnancies ends in a stillbirth. About 10 percent of these occur as the result of certain conditions. However, the rest of them remain unexplained. Knowing that sleeping on the back can influence this risk is vital for preventing more stillbirths from happening.
It’s not exactly clear how the sleeping position can affect the baby. However, researchers think that, when a pregnant woman turns on her back, the entire weight of the womb pushes the blood vessels, cutting the oxygen and blood which reaches the fetus. Also, others say the rhythm of your breath changes while sleeping on your back.
However, if you wake up on your back, you needn’t be afraid. It’s important not to go to sleep in this position, and not to spend a lot of time lying in this position. If you happen to roll on your back accidentally during sleeping, your baby won’t be permanently hurt. This study has been published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynaecology.
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