How A Mom Sleeps

A British Medical Journal study just published about causes of late pregnancy still birth looked at how you sleep, and how often you run to the bathroom and the risk of stillbirth. The good news is that snoring, daytime sleepiness (measured with the Epworth sleepiness scale), and sleep position at the time of going to sleep and on waking (left side, right side, back, and other) showed no connection to what is one of the worst outcomes in pregnancy which is the baby not surviving in the uterus late in pregnancy. The risk of stillbirth in the group study was about 3/1000 overall. We’ve always have said there has to be a reason that women get up often to pee during the night in late pregnancy and now there is an interesting theory. Maybe it’s not just getting you ready to do late night feedings, but in fact it is a boost to placental circulation, and this study found that women who got up to go to the toilet once or less on the last night were more likely to experience a late stillbirth compared with women who got up more frequently. Interestingly daytime napping wasn’t as healthy as not napping late in pregnancy. This was a prospective study, but not done in a sleep lab or with any technology to confirm these sleep characteristics. It therefore isn’t something we can really change pregnancy recommendations on, but it will give us something to gab about with our gyno.

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