The topic of whether or not your sleep position during your pregnancy can affect your baby has been under debate for years. But based on the results of a new study, it might be better for pregnant women to sleep on their side instead of their back during late pregnancy as sleeping on your back has been found to increase the risk of stillbirth.
The fetus was less active
Based on the study, it was found that when the mother sleeps on her back, the fetus was less active compared to when the mother sleeps on her side. They also discovered that when the mother changed positions from laying on her back to laying on her side, fetal activity significantly increased.
Fetal activity is one of the measures of an unborn baby’s health, so it’s very important that an unborn baby has high fetal activity.
The researchers conducted the tests on 30 pregnant women who were at their 34th-38th week. All of the women were healthy, and with healthy babies.
It can have a more significant effect for unhealthy babies
Peter Stone, lead researcher for the study, shares,
“In the situation where the baby may not be healthy, such as those with poor growth, the baby may not tolerate the effect of maternal back sleeping. We are suggesting that there is now sufficient evidence to recommend mothers avoid sleeping on their back in late pregnancy, not only because of the epidemiological data but also because we have shown it has a clear effect on the baby.”
This means that there might be an even greater risk for unhealthy babies since their activity significantly drops if the mother starts sleeping on her back. This can possibly mean that the child becomes stillborn.
That’s why it’s very important for moms to try and sleep on their sides as much as possible, especially during late pregnancy. If needed, there are maternity pillows that are designed to provide support and comfort so that the mom can sleep on her side without much effort.
Sources: sciencedaily.com, babycenter.com, healthline.com
READ: Sleep problems during pregnancy and what you can do about it