A recent study has discovered that sleeping for longer periods during the last month of pregnancy may increase the likelihood of stillbirth.
Pregnancy and when as a parent you are expecting a child is an exciting time. Preparing to add a brand new little boy or girl to the family. However, it can also be an extremely nerve-wracking time. Expectant mothers have a full nine months to overthink and consider everything that might go wrong.
The most extreme case of something going wrong is your baby being stillborn. It's a horrible subject to have to broach, but one that is all too often ignored due to that awkwardness. According to a recent study in Birth, late stillbirth beyond the 28-week mark occurs in 1.3‐8.8 of every 1000 births in high‐income countries. That same study has also delved into what can be done to bring that number down.
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There are a number of obvious things that can increase a mother's chance of her baby being stillborn. Smoking and drinking while pregnant, a higher maternal age, or having diseases such as diabetes or hypertension. However, this study looked into something slightly scarier. That the sleeping pattern of a mother during the last month of pregnancy can have a big effect on whether a baby is stillborn or not.
The reason the study's findings are so scary is because it actually discovered women who sleep longer and wake up less during that last month of pregnancy are more likely to experience a stillbirth. You'd have thought getting as much rest as possible and sleeping for longer at that point would be a good idea, but not necessarily. There have also been links in the past between sleep position and likelihood of stillbirth, but that was not the case with this particular study.
The findings showed that of the women surveyed, 29.4% of those who suffered a stillbirth were getting nine or more hours sleep during the last month of pregnancy. Meanwhile, only 9.8% of them were sleeping for six hours or less per night. We're not saying that you shouldn't sleep when you're tired while pregnant, but the findings are certainly pretty startling. If you want to check out the entire study then you can do by clicking here.