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Your sleep position and baby's health

Maternal Sleep position has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, however do these accusations actually have valid evidence to support them?

Many women and even doctors believe that the wrong sleeping position during pregnancy can cause still birth, fetal growth restrictions, and decrease uterine blood flow. Most studies have been retrospective-- meaning that there could be what is called a 'recall bias', essentially people forget causing error. 

One study assessed women prospectively, asking what positions they sleep in during different weeks during pregnancy. They then compared their answers to any adverse outcomes that may have occurred. They also did sleep studies to assess the accuracy of what the women reported. They grouped women into groups that either slept supine or on their right side >50% of the time or <50% of the time. They found do difference in adverse outcomes between these groups. 

It is a thought that laying in a supine position does put pressure on the vena cava and aorta which may reduce some blood flow to the placenta as well as put pressure on the lungs. This is why people are cautious when suggestion sleeping positions. That being said, unless you feel light headed from lower blood flow or have difficulty breathing--you probably do not have to be as cautious as once believed.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to Mamas Maternal Health or discuss options with your doctor. 

Until next time!

Mikayla and Cassie

Mamas Maternal Health Registered Dietitians/Lactation Counselors


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