Research focus

Advice on sleep position and foetal movement links to stillbirth 

Links between sleep position and foetal movement prior to stillbirth 

In high income countries stillbirth affects between 1.7 to 8.8 per 1,000 births after 28 weeks gestation (Flenady et al 2016). Globally the annual rate of reduction is 2% but there is wide variation. Three studies on stillbirth have been reviewed here to inform practice.

Implications for practice

  • Pregnant women should be advised to monitor foetal activity and report any unusual movement to a healthcare professional.
  • Healthcare professionals should advise pregnant women on their going-to-sleep position and its association with an increased risk of late stillbirth.
  • Healthcare professionals need to deliver transparent and perceptive communication when supporting parents who have experienced stillbirth.
Association between maternal sleep practices and late stillbirth – findings from a stillbirth case-control study

This prospective case-control study investigated whether the position of going to sleep when pregnant was associated with


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