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How a pregnant mum sleeps may affect still-birth risk

Researchers have found that sleeping on the back or right side, rather than the left, doubled the risk to almost four in 1,000.

File photo: Pregnant mum-to-be
File photo: Pregnant mum-to-be
Image: John Hope via Flickr via John Hope via Flickr

EXPERTS HAVE CALLED for urgent research to see if the position a woman sleeps in during late pregnancy affects the risk of a still-born baby.

The British Medical Journal reports that a University of Auckland study compared 155 women who had late still-births to 31o who had healthy pregnancies.

Sleeping on the back or right side, rather than the left, doubled the risk – but only to almost four in 1,000.

The New Zealand study found that left-side lying helps blood flow to the baby as the mother’s major blood vessels are unimpeded by a heavy womb.

The researchers who compiled the University of Auckland data called for larger studies to test the findings.

According to the BBC, the UK-based Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologist said other factors are also linked to still-birth including obesity, age of the mother, ethnicity and congenital anomalies.

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