New campaign as research shows side sleeping can cut stillbirths

Katy Pearson, pregnant

Pregnant: Just days before Sonny Jim was born

When I was pregnant with Sonny Jim, I spent (almost) the entire time fretting that something would go wrong.

I refused to let anyone buy me anything baby-related until I was at least 24 weeks along. We didn’t decorate the nursery until only a few weeks before his due date.

I shunned all soft cheeses (and I LOVE soft cheese) I didn’t eat prawns (again, one of my very favourite things) and touched about half a flute of Prosecco the entire time.

As an IVF pregnancy, it was automatically classed as high risk. But my pregnancy was totally textbook and drama free. He even helpfully arrived six days early, sparing me from a swift induction.

Even still, there were so many things you were not supposed to do and were told to avoid it sometimes felt overwhelming.

But sometimes new research and advice comes along that is just too important to get missed.

This week, Tommy’s the baby charity, launched its Sleep On Side campaign.

It came as a fourth research study confirmed a link between going to sleep supine (on your back) late in pregnancy and stillbirth.

In the UK, about 3,600 babies are stillborn every year. That’s a truly frightening figure. So, anything, ANYTHING, that saves even one baby’s life and one set of parents the total heartbreak of losing their little one is worth paying attention to.

The study has shown that going to sleep on your side in the third trimester more than HALVES the risk of stillbirth (there’s no need to panic though if you do wake up on your back – just roll back over on to your side.)

This simple sleeping position switch could save about 130 babies a year.

So, if you’re expecting and are anything like I was, instead of sitting up worrying about whether the beef you ate at dinner wasn’t well done enough, just stop it. And go to sleep. On your side.

For more information and support, go to www.tommys.org

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