This study is built on previous studies that had shown a link between the risk of stillbirth and the mother’s sleep position.
Led by Professor Alexander Heazel, this study tested whether there is a relationship between a baby’s movements and the mother’s sleep position, and its effect on stillbirth outcomes. 400 women who had a stillbirth at or after 28 weeks of their pregnancy completed an in-depth questionnaire and talked to a research midwife about their sleeping habits and other aspects of their pregnancy. Their answers were compared with those of a group of similar women who had healthy babies to see if there were important differences in the habits or experiences of the two groups.
Teddy’s Wish contributed £7,500
What did we find out?
- Women who went to sleep on their back had at least twice the risk of stillbirth compared with women who went to sleep on their side (after 28 weeks of pregnancy).
- The risk was not changed by the length of pregnancy (after 28 weeks), the size of the baby or the mother’s weight.
- Pregnant women are now advised to sleep on their side in pregnancy.