- Stillbirths are a common occurrence, with around 1 in 227 births in the UK ending in stillbirth.
- Lying on the back during the third trimester increases the risk of still birth.
- The baby's heart rate changes and the oxygen intake is reduced, posing a risk of still birth.
Pregnant women must be cautious about their sleeping position or even lying down position. Mothers who lie on their backs in the third trimester may be
increasing the risk of stillbirth, according to a study published in The Journal of Physiology.
Researchers at the University of Auckland have found that lying faceup while pregnant can change the baby's heart rate and activity state which suggests that the fetus adapts by reducing its oxygen consumption. This finding may explain the increased risk of stillbirth in the supine (lying upwards) position.
Recent studies have shown that maternal position is important for the baby's health, but it was unclear as to how this can affect the wellbeing of the fetus. This research reports that lying on your back can add stress and may reduce oxygen provided to the fetus, increasing the risk of stillbirth.
Peter Stone, Professor of Maternal Fetal medicine at the University of Auckland and lead investigator of the study explained, "Our controlled study found that lying on your back can add extra stress to the baby, contributing to the risk of stillbirth. The risk is likely to be increased further in women with underlying conditions."
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Julia Samuel. (2016, November 22). Sleep Position During Pregnancy Affects Baby's Breathing Pattern. Medindia. Retrieved on Aug 18, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/sleep-position-during-pregnancy-affects-babys-breathing-pattern-165494-1.htm.
Julia Samuel. "Sleep Position During Pregnancy Affects Baby's Breathing Pattern". Medindia. Aug 18, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/sleep-position-during-pregnancy-affects-babys-breathing-pattern-165494-1.htm>.
Julia Samuel. "Sleep Position During Pregnancy Affects Baby's Breathing Pattern". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/sleep-position-during-pregnancy-affects-babys-breathing-pattern-165494-1.htm. (accessed Aug 18, 2022).
Julia Samuel. 2021. Sleep Position During Pregnancy Affects Baby's Breathing Pattern. Medindia, viewed Aug 18, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/sleep-position-during-pregnancy-affects-babys-breathing-pattern-165494-1.htm.