Sleeping on your side during the last trimester of pregnancy could reduce the risk of stillbirth

Pregnancy is usually not a time for women to sleep soundly. The growing belly and the constant need to urinate become an impediment to being able to sleep without interruptions. However, many try to adopt the most comfortable position possiblelike sleeping on your side. So at least that won’t be a big deal.

The point is, it seems during the last trimester of pregnancy it is not convenient to sleep on your back. This could pose serious risks to the fetus.

This is what emerges from a survey conducted in England and published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. According to this study, sleep lying on your back at this stage of pregnancy the risk of stillbirth can double.

Conversely, the researchers found that mothers who sleep on their sides are less at risk of this fatal outcome.

Study: Sleeping on your side may reduce the risk of stillbirth

sleep during pregnancy

In this study we are talking about, the data of about 1000 women in their last trimester of pregnancy were collected. The authors of the MiNess study concluded that the side sleeping position is safer for the baby.

Specifically, experts suggest sleeping on your side from the 27th week of pregnancy Decrease stillbirths by 3.7%. In addition, sleeping on your back after 28 weeks could increase the risk of late stillbirth by up to 2.3-fold. In this sense, these mothers would be subject to greater risks than side sleepers.

This research has become the most extensive in this field in recent decades. Moreover, confirms the results of other smaller studies. These have previously been carried out in New Zealand and Australia, according to BBC data.

This same submission compiles the one in the United Kingdom, where the said investigation took place, one in 225 pregnancies ends in stillbirth.

Why is the risk increased by sleeping on the back?

sleeping on your back during pregnancy

So far, there is no conclusive reason to explain the relationship between sleeping on your back and increased risk of stillbirth for the fetus. However, one hypothesis suggests that when a woman is on her back, the weight of the baby, combined with that of the uterus, puts pressure on the blood vesselswhich could restrict circulation and oxygen to the baby.

However, the reason has not been confirmed and requires further study. However, as a preventive measure, researchers recommend Check your sleeping position during the last trimester of pregnancy, as if done on the right or left side. To achieve this, in fact, you can use some tricks, such as putting a pillow on your back to avoid tipping over.

Should I be concerned if I wake up on my back and not on my side? Is my baby in danger?


The experts have made it clear pregnant women need not worry if they wake up on their backs. The most important thing in these cases is the position in which they fall asleep, as this is where they tend to stay the longest.

Alexander Heazell, clinical director of the Tommy’s Stillbirth Research Center at St Mary’s Hospital (Manchester), he was also director of research in the United Kingdom. This specialist also recommends that women at this stage of pregnancy try to sleep on their side. Moreover, they should do this for any sleep episode, even during daytime naps.

In this regard, he states the following:

In this sense, the publication of the study and the recommendations of the researcher coincide with the launch of the campaign side sleep. This was run by the charity Tommy’s.

The goal of this campaign is to educate pregnant mothers about the possible risks of falling asleep on their backs in the final months of pregnancy. Therefore, the organization has compiled some tips and tricks for women with trouble falling asleep on their side.

Decidedly, The best thing to do during the last few months of pregnancy is to sleep on your side. to avoid harm to the fetus as much as possible. However, there is no reason to worry if the pregnant woman wakes up on her back at some point.

However, if in doubt, it is always best to consult a specialist. She will know what to advise each woman depending on her case.

The post Sleeping on your side during the last trimester of pregnancy could reduce the risk of fetal death appeared first on research-school.



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