Sleeping on your side reduces your stillbirth risk

Sleeping on your side during your third trimester helps prevent stillbirth, research has shown.


Research has shown that going to sleep on your side from 28 weeks of pregnancy halves your risk of stillbirth, compared to sleeping on your back.

This is because lying on your back in the later stages of pregnancy puts pressure on major blood vessels, which can reduce blood flow to your womb, and restrict your baby’s oxygen supply, Red Nose Chief Midwife Jane Wiggill explains.

But, Jane says, don’t panic if you wake up and find yourself on your back.

“While we sleep we do move around a lot, and that’s OK,” Jane says.

“If you wake up in a position other than your side, you can just roll back on to your side.

“The important thing to do is to go to sleep on your side, and this includes daytime naps as well as night time sleeps.”

Jane says more research is needed to find out the exact causes of stillbirth, but there are things all pregnant women can do to reduce their risks, such as sleeping on their side.

“It’s very important to look after yourself and your baby while you are pregnant, eating a healthy balanced diet and monitoring your baby’s movements will help to keep you fit and well and your baby safe,“ Jane advises

“Make sure you attend regular antenatal appointments, and speak to your GP if you have any concerns.

Click here to read more about monitoring your baby’s movements while pregnant.

Read about our current stillbirth research here.