Sleep position is associated with increased risk for stillbirth

  • EClinicalMedicine

  • International Clinical Digest
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

Takeaway

  • Sleep position during the last 2 weeks of pregnancy may affect risk for stillbirths.
  • Encourage side-sleeping to reduce the risk for stillbirth.

Why this matters

  • It may be safer for pregnant women to sleep on their sides after 28 weeks.
  • Sleeping in the supine position causes inferior vena cava and aortic compression by the pregnant uterus, which reduces maternal-fetal blood flow and has the potential to compromise fetal well-being.

Key results

  • More late stillbirths associated with supine going-to-sleep position compared with left side going-to-sleep position (aOR, 2.63; P<.0001>
  • Nulliparity (aOR, 1.70; P<.0001 parity p=".001)," elevated bmi south asian ethnicity smoking beyond the first trimester and for gestational age percentile were all associated with increased risk stillbirth.>

Study design

  • Systematic search and meta-analysis (5 case-control studies with individual-level data, 2257 participants).
  • Primary outcome: late stillbirth.
  • Funding: 2016 Trans-Tasman Research Funding Grant by Cure Kids and Red Nose Australia. 

Limitations

  • Subject to recall bias.