Stillbirth link to mother’s sleep side

PREGNANT women who sleep on their left side have around half the risk of late stillbirth compared with those sleeping in other positions, according to novel findings from a New Zealand study.

Sleeping position, as well as the frequency of rising at night to go to the toilet, were each associated with late stillbirth (> 28 weeks’ gestation), researchers found.

In a study of 155 pregnant women with a singleton late stillbirth and 310 controls with ongoing pregnancies, women who got up to go to the toilet once or less on the last night of pregnancy, and those who regularly slept during the day in the last month, were at higher risk of late stillbirth.

However, the absolute risk was small, at 1.96/1000 for left-side sleeping, and 3.93/1000 for those choosing other sleeping positions.

Speculating on a mechanism, the authors said the enlarged uterus could exert greater pressure on the inferior vena cava and aorta when the mother lies in