Sleep on side when baby's inside

Sleep on side when baby's inside

HE Code: 
HE2550
Language: 
Format: 
Leaflet DLE
Publication date: 
September 2018
Order free copies:
Gives information to inform pregnant women about how sleeping on her side in her 3rd trimester of pregnancy is proven to reduce the risk of stillbirth by half.

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

Why should I go to sleep on my side?

Lying on your back in the last three months of pregnancy (from 28 weeks) presses on major blood vessels which can reduce blood flow to your womb and oxygen supply to your baby.

Is it best to go to sleep on my left or right side?

You can settle to sleep on either the left or the right side – any side is good from 28 weeks of pregnancy.

But what if I feel more comfortable going to sleep on my back?

Going to sleep on your back is not best for baby after 28 weeks of pregnancy. Most women find side sleeping is more comfortable in pregnancy, especially in the last three months.

What if I wake up on my back?

It’s normal to change position during sleep and many pregnant women wake up on their back. The important thing is to start every sleep (daytime naps and going to bed at night) lying on your side and settle back to sleep on your side if you wake up.

What is the risk of stillbirth if I go to sleep on my back?

Stillbirth in the last three months of pregnancy affects about one in every 500 babies. However, research has confirmed that going to sleep on your side halves your risk of stillbirth compared with sleeping on your back.

For more information please contact your midwife, nurse or doctor.