Penn State Hershey Medical Center home Penn State Hershey Medical Center home Penn State Hershey: Patient Care home Penn State Hershey: Education home Penn State Hershey: Research home Penn State Hershey: Community home
Penn State Hershey Health Information Library
  Library Home
  Find A Physician
  Find A Practice
  Request An Appointment
  Search Clinical Studies
  Classes and Support Groups
  Ask A Health Librarian
  Subscribe to eNewsletters

Penn State Hershey Health Information Centers
  Bone and Joint

        Follow Us

Better Sleep During Pregnancy May Cut Odds of Preemie Birth

FRIDAY, Aug. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- People often urge moms-to-be to get plenty of sleep before the baby comes. Now, researchers report that good sleep during pregnancy might also lower the risk of premature delivery.

The review of published studies provides important information for pregnant women and their doctors, said lead researcher Jane Warland, an associate professor at the University of South Australia.

"Adults sleep for a third of their lives, so too an unborn baby is asleep for a third of their gestation, so it makes sense that maternal sleep could have an impact on the health of the fetus," she said in a university news release.

"We already know that if a mother sleeps on her back, it can negatively impact the unborn baby, probably by reducing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the placenta," Warland explained.

But she and her colleagues "also found consistencies among mothers suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, short sleeps and poor quality sleep, which could increase the likelihood of preterm birth, and perhaps even stillbirth."

Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.

Warland said the "most significant finding suggested a relationship between premature birth and maternal sleep apnea, with four out of the five larger studies showing a clear connection between the two."

However, the review did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship, only an association.

The findings were published online recently in Sleep Medicine Reviews.

"By investigating this important field of study, we're hoping to provide clinicians and families with important information that may safeguard the health and well-being of an unborn baby, and reduce the incidence of poor fetal outcomes," Warland said.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers advice on taking care of yourself and your baby during pregnancy.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: University of South Australia, news release, July 23, 2018

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.