Women should not sleep straight during pregnancy

September 3, 2018

Now, even a study done by researchers at University of South Australia confirmed that sleeping on your back during pregnancy can increase chances of stillbirth.

Till now we had cautioned mothers from sleeping in the supine position during pregnancy, which means lying on the back with face and torso up. Now even a study has confirmed the same. According to a recent study, reducing supine sleep – lying horizontally with the face and torso facing up during late pregnancy- may improve maternal and foetal health. Sleeping straight, especially during the late pregnancy could be dangerous for both the mother and baby. Studies have observed that most pregnant women spend about 25 per cent of their sleep time in the supine position. This could be a risk factor for stillbirth and low birth weight. The reason might be partly, exacerbation of sleep-disordered breathing and deprivation of oxygen to the foetus when sleeping on the back.

The authors of the study who were trying to explore the benefits or dangers of sleeping on the back during pregnancy noted that the median time spent sleeping supine was reduced significantly from 48.3 minutes during the control night to 28.5 minutes during the intervention night. An improvement was observed in both maternal and foetal parameters during the intervention night, with an increase in median minimum maternal oxygen saturation, fewer maternal oxygen desaturations, and fewer foetal heart rate decelerations. This means on intervention nights when the mothers were alerted about their sleeping position they were able to sleep better and the fetal parameters also fared better.

“Our findings suggest that women can comfortably sleep wearing a device around their waist that effectively stops them from sleeping on their back,” said principal investigator Jane Warland of the University of South Australia in a media report. “Using positional therapy to keep the pregnant mother off her back may reduce supine sleep in late pregnancy and may also provide both maternal and foetal health benefits, with minimal impact on maternal perception of sleep quality and sleep time. Wearing a device that minimises back sleep, and which is comfortable and doesn’t impact the mother’s sleep length or quality, may be a simple way to reduce stillbirth incidence, especially if the mother is at increased risk due to other factors,” said Warland reportedly to the same report.


Category: Education, Features

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