Side Sleeping vs.Supine Sleep Position When Pregnant: Preventing Stillbirth

by Major League Mommy
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When it comes to safeguarding the health and well-being of an unborn baby, expectant mothers diligently follow various recommendations, from eating a healthy diet to attending regular prenatal check-ups.

However, what many may not realize is that something as seemingly simple as sleep position can also play a role in preventing stillbirths. In recent years, a growing body of research has suggested that side sleeping, specifically the left side, may be the optimal position for pregnant women to adopt before falling asleep.

pregnant woman sleeping

Photo Credit: Syda Productions via

*This post is sponsored by OROMED International. All opinions are my own. Post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure can be viewed here.

Stillbirth, the heartbreaking loss of a baby in utero after 28 weeks of gestation, affects approximately 2 million pregnancies worldwide each year. Medical professionals, for years, have been searching for ways to reduce this statistic, and the topic of sleep position has garnered significant attention.

So let’s discuss the two main contenders: side sleeping and supine going-to-sleep position, and explore their potential impact in preventing stillbirth.

Side Sleeping Position

Studies have consistently shown that sleeping on the side, particularly the left side, is associated with a reduced risk of stillbirth.

Researchers theorize that lying on the left side improves blood flow and nutrient supply to the placenta, enhancing fetal oxygenation. It also prevents the uterus from compressing the large blood vessels that supply the placenta when sleeping on the back, a potential risk factor for stillbirth.

The Lancet, a well-respected medical journal, published a comprehensive analysis that revealed a 2.63 times higher risk of stillbirth in women sleeping on their back during the third trimester compared to those who slept on their side. Another study conducted in New Zealand found that the risk of stillbirth was nearly doubled when pregnant women slept on their backs compared to sleeping on their left side. These findings highlight the importance of adopting side sleeping as a precautionary measure.

Supine Sleep Position

While side sleeping shines as the preferred sleep position during pregnancy, the supine going-to-sleep position, or sleeping on one’s back, has caused some concern as we discussed above.

When a woman sleeps on her back, the weight of the uterus and the baby can compress the inferior vena cava, a major blood vessel that returns blood to the heart. This compression may limit blood flow and oxygen supply to the fetus, potentially increasing the risk of stillbirth.

A study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2017 found that women who slept on their back during the third trimester were more than twice as likely to experience late stillbirth. Although the absolute risk is still relatively low, this study provides further evidence that avoiding a supine going-to-sleep position may be wise for expectant mothers.

infographic- sleep safety during pregnancy

But what can be done to encourage side sleeping and discourage the supine sleep position during pregnancy?

How the ORO Baby Alarm Can Help

The ORO Baby Alarm is the perfect solution for moms struggling to NOT sleep on their backs overnight. What makes the Baby Alarm so beneficial, is that it helps ensure that when pregnant mothers are turning from one side to the other, they never end up sleeping on their backs for longer than a minute, enabling them to reduce Stillbirth by half .

When mom turns over on her back, it will press on the baby alarm and activate it. She will then have 25 seconds to return to her side before the baby cry sounds off. This sound will play for 15 seconds. However, if mom remains on her back compressing the alarm, there will be a 10 second pause and then 15 seconds of an even louder baby crying sound.

If mom continues to remain on her back, a vibration will begin.

While it may sound a bit annoying, this innovation can literally be a life-saver!

To further assist with safe and comfortable sleep during pregnancy, you may also want to consider the ORO Advanced Sleep System.

How the ORO Advanced Sleep System Can Help

OROMED International offers an Advanced Sleep System designed to help expectant mothers get a good night’s sleep while ensuring the safety of their baby.

The ORO Advanced sleep system includes the ORO Automatically Adjustable Bed and ORO Mattress which are built to your unique specifications. This is MAJOR!

When pregnant, you may find that you’re struggling to get comfortable on a traditional bed frame and memory foam or innerspring mattress. OROMED directly addresses these issues with their sleep system.

ORO Adjustable Bed

The ability to customize your OROBED to meet your needs is a major advantage. Here are a few customizations that are available:

  • Separate controls and adjustments for each side (this is great if you’re sharing the bed with your partner)
  • Massage: full body, neck/head, foot
  • “Prevention of snoring” and “Stop snoring” function

One of the biggest advantages of the ORO Advanced sleep system is the automatic mode. With automatic mode, all you need to do is click a button on your mobile phone, and your OROBED will take care of you throughout the night.

If you switch from sleeping on one side to another while sleeping, the OROBED will discreetly re-adjust its position according to the new position you have pre-programmed in the bed’s memory.

ORO Latex Mattress

The ORO Latex Mattress features a “Comfort Recess” that helps you to maintain proper alignment as you sleep. Not only will this help you get a better night’s sleep, but it will also minimize the risk of waking up sore or in pain from improper sleeping posture overnight.

As we’ve discussed many times right here on Major League Mommy, the mattress you choose can GREATLY impact your sleep quality.

And during pregnancy, when your body is going through so many changes, you especially have to be mindful about how you’re sleeping and what you’re sleeping on.

The ORO Mattress uses natural 100% latex materials that are hypo-allergenic and high-density. This means that the mattress will conform to your specific shape. It also returns to its original shape once you get up which means you don’t have to worry about lumps and dents in your mattress.

ALSO, do you remember when we talked about how memory foam can make you super hot overnight in this article? Well, OROMED International also addressed this downside with their ORO Latex Mattress.

How so?

The ORO Mattress has a strategic honeycomb design to enable free air circulation so that you can maintain a comfortable body temperature as you sleep.

As we’ve discussed in this article, sleeping comfortably during pregnancy is not just important for the mother’s well-being, but it’s also important for the baby’s health.

Studies have shown that lack of sleep during pregnancy can lead to complications such as premature delivery and low birth weight. By using the ORO Advanced sleep system, pregnant women can ensure that they get the recommended eight to nine hours of sleep each night, promoting their overall health and well-being.

The ORO Advanced sleep system is an excellent investment for pregnant women who want to sleep comfortably and safely. It provides optimal support, regulates body temperature, and can help promote healthy blood flow, ensuring the well-being of both the mother and the baby.

By investing in this innovative sleep solution, pregnant women can enjoy a full night’s sleep, wake up rejuvenated and refreshed, and focus on the excitement and wonder of pregnancy.

How to Purchase the Baby Alarm and ORO Advanced Sleep System

If you are interested in purchasing or learning more about the Baby Alarm or ORO Advanced Sleep System, you can VISIT THE OROMED WEBSITE HERE.

Working with your healthcare provider

Working with a healthcare provider, especially an obstetrician, can be very helpful in ensuring proper sleep position during pregnancy. The provider can provide valuable advice and support on the best sleeping positions during the different trimesters. They will monitor the development of the fetus and watch out for potential problems like growth delays, weight problems associated with premature birth or high blood pressure issues, and other complications.

The professionals understand various conditions that can increase the risk of stillbirth, for example, pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes, and how sleep position can help manage them.

As discussed earlier, sleeping on the back during the third trimester can worsen these conditions and affect the blood flow to the baby. And on the other hand, sleeping on the left side enhances the flow of blood, nutrients, and oxygen to the baby and promotes relaxation for the mother.

During pregnancy, finding the right sleep position can be challenging, especially for women experiencing discomfort, especially backaches, and heartburn.

So, if you are experiencing sleep discomfort or any other issue that may affect sleep during pregnancy, talk to your healthcare provider immediately. Together, you can take the necessary steps to safeguard your well-being and that of your baby.

Wrapping Up

While no single intervention can eliminate the risk of stillbirth entirely, the evidence is mounting in favor of side sleeping as a preventive measure. Pregnant women should strive to adopt a left-side sleep position, particularly during the third trimester.

By doing so, they can improve blood flow to the placenta, maximize fetal oxygenation, and potentially reduce the chances of experiencing the devastating loss of stillbirth.

Remember, every small step towards a healthier sleep position can make an immeasurable difference in the journey of pregnancy and motherhood.

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