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International Health Insurance News: Still-birth 'linked to sleeping position'

Expatriate health insurance customers who are with-child might want to talk to their doctor about the best way to sleep during pregnancy.

According to recent research from the University of Auckland, the position a woman chooses to sleep in during the late stages of pregnancy can influence the risk of her having a still-birth.

A total of 155 women who experienced late still-births were monitored by the team, along with 310 women who had healthy pregnancies.

Sleeping on the back or right side of the body was shown to almost double the risk of still-birth compared to sleeping on the left in almost four in 1,000 women.

It is thought that sleeping on the left is safer due to the fact that it aids blood flow to the womb.

Commenting on the research, Daghni Rajasingam, spokeswoman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: "There are many factors which are linked to stillbirth including obesity, increasing maternal age, ethnicity, congenital anomalies and placental conditions. A significant number are unexplained.

"This small scale study looks at another possible factor, however, more research is needed into sleep patterns before any firm conclusions over sleeping positions can be made. In the meantime, women should speak to their midwives if they are concerned."

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