During pregnancy it is recommended that women go to sleep on their side after the twenty-eighth week of pregnancy. In the last three months of pregnancy sleeping on your side reduces pressure on major blood vessels. Pressure can reduce blood flow to the baby and reduce the baby’s oxygen supply. Research has shown that settling down to sleep on the side rather than on the back, can reduce the risk to the baby.
Body position can change during sleep and this is normal, so the most important message is to start every sleep side-lying. This can be the right or the left side and includes both daytime naps and night-time sleeping. If position has changed to back-lying when waking up in the middle of a sleep – don’t worry, simply resettle to sleep on the side again.
The important message to remember is to start every sleep on the side from the twenty-eighth week of pregnancy – “sleep on side when baby’s inside.”
Midwives can provide more information and discuss sleep position during pregnancy.
For more information visit sleeponside.org.nz