London: A New Zealand study has suggested that sleeping on the left side during late pregnancy could help women avoid still-birth risk.
Researchers from the University of Auckland compared 155 women who had late still-births with 310 who had healthy pregnancies.
Sleeping on the right side or back doubled, but only to almost four in 1,000, the risk of left-sided sleepers.
Left-side lying aids blood flow to the baby, as the mother``s major blood vessels are unimpeded by a heavy womb.
"There are many factors which are linked to still-birth including obesity, increasing maternal age, ethnicity, congenital anomalies and placental conditions. A significant number are unexplained,” the BBC quoted Daghni Rajasingam of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, as saying.
"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,” added Rajasingam.
The study has been published in the British Medical Journal.