Reduced risk of stillbirth by sleeping on your side.
The results of a very large study were released recently, and they caught my eye. I am a HUGE fan of any health interventions that are simple, cheap and accessible to all. The types of interventions that have the capacity to positively impact the health of women of every race, religion, country, social strata or any other demographic measure, are high on my list. Even more so if they involve pregnancy and risk impacting not just one, but two lives.
Sleeping on your back during pregnancy can potentially impact blood flow to the baby increasing risk of stillbirth. A study published this week in the Lancet EClinical Medicine demonstrated that risk of stillbirth could be halved by going to sleep on either your left or right side from 28 weeks onwards during pregnancy (R., Cronin, et al., 2019).
This mega study demonstrates that women may be able to modify their risk of stillbirth by choosing to sleep on their side rather than their back during the third trimester.
If you are pregnant, or trying to conceive please remember that sleeping position during later stages of pregnancy is something that you might want to discuss with your medical practitioner at your next appointment.
Cronin, R. S., Li, M., Thompson, J. M., Gordon, A., Raynes-Greenow, C. H., Heazell, A. E., ... & O'Brien, L. M. ( 2019). An Individual Participant Data Meta-analysis of Maternal Going-to-Sleep Position, Interactions with Fetal Vulnerability, and the Risk of Late Stillbirth. EClinicalMedicine.