Pregnant women sleeping on back may up stillbirth risk
Pregnant women who sleep on their backs may increase the risk of miscarriage, researchers have found.
The study, known as the Sydney Stillbirth Study, looked at the pregnancies of 295 women from eight hospitals around Australia.
The five-year study found that women who sleep on their backs are six times more likely to have a stillborn baby, the Daily Mail reported.
Lead researcher Dr Adrienne Gordon, from Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, said that previous research had suggested prolonged periods in this position restricted blood flow to the baby.
It's thought that sleeping on the right side or on the back reduces blood flow through a major vein from the legs to the heart, which affects the supply to the womb.
The researchers added that it was important that women who are currently pregnant "don't become alarmed if they sometimes sleep on their back."
Experts have pointed out previously that three-quarters of pregnant women sleep mostly on the left side and #65533; higher than the rate in women who are not pregnant.
This may suggest they instinctively choose a sleeping position that works best for baby.
A stillborn baby is a baby born dead after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
If the baby dies before 24 completed weeks, it is known as a late miscarriage.
In addition to sleep position, significant risk factors for stillbirth included how much the baby moved and whether it was the size it should be for its age.
"We found an association with decreased movements and stillborn babies," Dr Gordon said.