Supine sleep position is associated with decreased birth weight

  • Anderson NH & al.
  • JAMA Netw Open
  • 2 Oct 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Back-sleeping in the late third trimester is associated with reduced birth weight.
  • Encouraging side sleeping has the potential to increase birth weight.

Why this matters

  • Sleeping on the back (supine maternal going-to-sleep position) has been associated with vena caval and aortic compression that reduces uterine artery blood flow and decreases placental perfusion.
  • Going-to-sleep position is the position women maintain for the longest duration throughout the night.

Key results

  • 3.2% reported that they went to sleep supine during the previous 1-4 weeks.
  • Participants who reported they went to sleep in the supine position had lower adjusted mean difference in birth weights (144; P=.009) compared with those who went to sleep on their sides.

Study design

  • Retrospective cohort study.
  • Cohort taken from the control group of the Collaborative Individual Participant Data Meta-analysis of Sleep and Stillbirth study population (n=1760).
  • Primary outcome was the adjusted mean difference in birth weight.
  • Funding: Trans-Tasman Research Funding Grant by Cure Kids and Red Nose Australia.

Limitations

  • Small numbers of participants in experimental group.
  • Difficult to assess time spent in supine position in this cohort.