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Study: Sleeping on left side may help prevent stillbirth

June 15, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Women who do not sleep on their left side on their last night of pregnancy have double the risk of late stillbirth compared to those women who do sleep on their left side, according to a new study.

Researchers interviewed 155 women in New Zealand who gave birth to a stillborn baby between 2006 and 2009 when they were at least 28 weeks pregnant. They were compared to 310 other women with ongoing pregnancies.

The chance of a baby being stillborn rose to nearly 4 in 1,000 for those who don't sleep on their left side, compared to nearly 2 in 1,000 for those who do.

Scientists say it may be due to restricted blood flow, but more research is necessary.

The study was published in the British Medical Journal.