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Have you ever heard the advice to sleep on your left side during pregnancy? The rationale behind this recommendation is that sleeping on your left side actually increases the amount of blood and nutrients that reach your baby's placenta. Sleeping on your back for prolonged periods of time can reduce blood supply and is also uncomfortable for many mothers. But before you reject the SOS ("Sleep on Side") position if you are comfortable on your back, read on to hear about one new study that linked less than optimal sleeping positions to an increase in stillbirths.

Researchers from the University of Auckland in Australia questioned over 450 women, out of which 155 had stillbirths, about their sleeping habits and positions while they were pregnant. The shocking conclusion was that those lying on their right sides and backs while expecting had a higher chance of stillbirths. Back sleeping was confirmed to the the least healthy position, but right-side sleeping was also not favorable. Take a look at the statistics these researchers came up with 1.96 per 1,000 births were stillbirths for women slept on their left side during pregnancy, while that figure jumped to 3.93 per 1,000 births for women who slept in any other position!

More research intro this subject is desperately needed. Though the jump is relatively minor when you look at the amount of babies that can be saved by left-side sleeping, it is definitely a very interesting study. I will personally be sleeping on my left side if I get pregnant again! I don't need any more worries to add to insomnia due to uterine size! In the meantime, if you are currently expecting or trying to conceive, stop thinking, "Why do I have to lie on my left side during pregnancy?", and simply do it. You will probably find lateral sleeping positions are more comfortable for you in any case. The Australian researchers also noted that day-time naps and snoring mothers were not dangerous. Nap as much as you like if you have the opportunity, and unless you also have sleep apnea or an annoyed partner, don't worry about snoring.

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