Sleeping on your back can increase a pregnant woman’s risk of having a still birth by 2.6 times, a new study has found.
A meta-analysis out of New Zealand has provided the strongest ever evidence that woman can halve their risk of stillbirth by sleeping on their side.
Stillbirth is defined as the death of a baby after 20 weeks.
Recent research shows when women sleep on their backs a major vessel in the mother's abdomen is compressed which can reduce blood flow by 80 per cent. This means there is lower blood flow to the uterus, placenta and baby.
There’s also speculation that while larger babies may be able to cope with the reduced blood flow, smaller babies may be at an increased risk in the same sleeping position.
The connection between sleeping position and stillbirth was first identified in 2011 and multiple studies have confirmed the connection.