Sleeping on your back during pregnancy might increase the risk for stillbirth

Sleeping on your back during pregnancy might increase the risk for stillbirth

A study has found that sleeping on your back during pregnancy can have a lot of negative effects on your unborn child.

A recent study has found that sleeping on your back during your pregnancy might increase the risk of stillbirth.

Lying on your back decreases oxygen flow to the baby

Doctors have been telling pregnant women to avoid lying on their backs during pregnancy, as it can cause backaches, breathing problems, and low blood pressure. However, a recent study has found that it can also increase a pregnant woman's risk of stillbirth.

The study showed that when a mother lies down on her back during sleep, the oxygen supply to the baby is decreased. Researchers hypothesise that it might be compressing the veins from the baby that bring back the blood to the mother's heart. Professor Peter Stone, a researcher, adds: "We suspect that many mothers and babies can cope with the lowered oxygen supply, but some do not."

A lowered oxygen supply might cause the baby to die from lack of oxygen.

Babies can actually adapt to the changes

The researchers were surprised at the results of their research as they found that lying for only 30 minutes at a time changes fetal activity.

He adds, "Thus, we were surprised about how even a normal baby made adaptations quite quickly to what was likely to be reduced placental blood flow and therefore oxygen in that position."

While the babies do adapt to the changes, it's important to note that other babies with underlying conditions might not adapt as well, which could increase the chances of a stillbirth.

They're also planning to conduct future research as to how other sleeping positions directly affect pregnancy.

How should you sleep during your pregnancy?

All mothers know that finding a good sleeping position during your pregnancy can be pretty difficult. Mums know the struggle of tossing and turning just to find that perfect sweet spot that they're comfortable with.

That's why we made this handy guide with tips on sleeping during your pregnancy. Enjoy!

  • Keep yourself hydrated. Keeping yourself hydrated during the day will help prevent you from waking up thirsty in the middle of the night. Keep in mind, you need to make sure to control your water intake. You don't want to wake up wanting to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night!
  • Exercise! Exercising can help prevent cramps while you're sleeping. It also keeps you and your baby healthy. Just make sure to do it early in the day. Exercising late can release adrenaline which keeps you awake at night.
  • Relax. Reducing stress and anxiety is key to having a good night's sleep. Take out all the negativity in your life, you'll be better for it, and you'll sleep more soundly.
  • Sleep on your left side. Sleeping on the left side lets the blood flow better into your uterus as well as your kidneys.
  • Take naps during the day. If you're having trouble sleeping at night, make sure to take naps throughout the day so that you can get enough rest. Rest is important not only for you, but also for your baby's development and growth.
  • Use pillows to support your body. Use a pregnancy body pillow or just a regular old pillow to make you feel comfortable and to support your body. You can try sleeping on your side with one pillow under your knee, and another one under your belly.
  • Eat healthy. Take out caffeine and alcohol from your diet. Eating healthy makes you feel better and you'll sleep better since you'll feel more satisfied.


Sources: Baby CenterMedical News Today, Parents

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Written by

Alwyn Batara

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