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Entries in Sleep Position (1)

Tuesday
Jun142011

Could Sleeping Position Affects Risk Of Stillbirth?

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(AUCKLAND, New Zealand) -- A study of 465 women in New Zealand suggests that there may be a link between how pregnant women sleep and the risk of a stillbirth.

The authors from the University of Auckland surveyed pregnant women as well as those who had a stillbirth in late pregnancy about their sleeping practices, including snoring, sleep position and night-time waking.  They found a number of stillbirth-associated events:  1) not sleeping on the left side the night before the interview was associated with higher risk of stillbirth;  2)  women who went to the toilet once or less per night were also more likely to experience a stillbirth compared to women who got up more frequently;  3) women who slept during the day regularly in the month preceding the interview or the stillbirth were also more likely to have a stillbirth.  

Even though the authors point out that the results of this study need to be confirmed by other researchers, they conclude that “promoting optimal sleep position in later pregnancy may have the potential to reduce the incidence of late stillbirth.”
 
In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Lucy Chappell, a clinical senior lecturer in maternal and fetal medicine at King's College London, underscores the need for “any simple intervention that reduces the risk of stillbirth," but points that this research needs to be interpreted with extreme caution.  One reason is that the findings are based on the recollection of women up to a month after experiencing a stillbirth.  The accuracy of such recollections is not likely to be high, as they involve mundane life-pattern details immediately preceding a highly traumatic event.  Therefore, Dr. Chappell writes that “a forceful campaign urging pregnant women to sleep on their left side is not yet warranted.”

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