Sleep On Side - a pregnancy campaign

Today we are launching a public health campaign, #SleepOnSide, to raise awareness of the link between the mother sleeping on her back in the third trimester and stillbirth. The fourth research study to show this link also publishes today.


Tommy's has launched the Sleep On Side campaign today in response to the publication of a fourth research study confirming a link between going to sleep supine (on back) in late pregnancy and stillbirth.

The international research teams that have been involved in these studies have called for women to be made aware of the research, and informed that going to sleep on their side in late pregnancy could reduce their risk of stillbirth. We have worked with parents and clinicians to create an animation to raise awareness of the importance of going to sleep on your side in late pregnancy.

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  • By Midwife @Tommys on 22 Nov 2017 - 10:50

    Thank you for sharing your story and helping others too! Every woman needs to be individually assessed by her obstetric team to know if certain medications are suitable for them to take before they are prescribed.
    Take care of yourself :) Sophie,Tommy's Midwife

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 22 Nov 2017 - 10:14

    I am so sorry to hear how you are struggling so much with your indigestion in pregnancy- that is rubbish. I know it is really tough but it will end! It wont last forever, but i know it is not fun in the interim!
    You are doing the right thing- so please don't panic. Propping yourself up with pillows is fine, but you need to be fairly upright to ensure that you do not slide down into a "flat on your back" position if possible. But you are also changing positions frequently and laying on your side too. So you do not need to worry- you're doing a great job! Please take care of yourself and contact us again if we can be of any help!

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 22 Nov 2017 - 09:26

    Congratulations on your Twinnies Peter! What lovely news!
    Yes, absolutely, sleeping on the side (left or right) is applicable for pregnancy with any number of babies! We want as much blood flow and oxygen to get to the babies as possible and laying on the side aids this. Laying on the back can cause compression of the main vein which delivers these to the baby/babies and so the weight of two babies, makes this even more important- regardless of how the babies are laying inside the uterus.
    Please get in touch if you have any more questions

  • By Michelle Hill (not verified) on 20 Nov 2017 - 22:00

    I can't fall asleep on my side due to incredibly painful indigestion. I always fall asleep propped up on pillows on my back. As soon as I lay down my stomach and acid is in my throat and it burns and I feel sick and have to drink a bucket of gaviscon. The only way I get any sleep is if I sleep propped up on my back and then drop to sleeping on my side (usually) after 2am. I do not want to put my baby at risk but now I'm worried I'm doing the wrong thing. There is nothing I can do for the indegestion apart from ride it out. I've tried all the midwife suggestions and short of not eating any dinner which means I go to bed with an empty stomach but wake up 2am starving and suffering indegestion due to no food in my stomach, I have no idea what to do now!!

  • By Gemma (not verified) on 22 Nov 2017 - 09:38

    Have you discussed with your midwife or gp a medication called Ranitidine for the Heartburn? It's really quite incredible and may help you in your situation.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 22 Nov 2017 - 10:47

    Hi Gemma, in most cases, it is the GP or Obstetric doctor that prescribes Ranitidine in pregnancy- Midwives are not able to prescribe this. But thank you so much for suggesting this and sharing your information. It is not always possible for some ladies to take certain medication in pregnancy, but if appropriate, this one is considered safe for pregnancy.
    Sophie, Tommy's Midwife

  • By Lottie (not verified) on 22 Nov 2017 - 10:01

    Hi there, I suffered awful acid reflux in my pregnancy, and like you, tried everything to relieve it, including a foam wedge pillow arrangement! I actually saw Dr several times and was prescribed gaviscon advanced ( no real help), ranitidine (also no real help) and then I went back and got Omeprazole which is a proton pump inhibitor, actually stops your stomach from producing all that acid. And that really helped me. Do go back to Dr and ask. I slept on side as was very aware of this research, Omeprazole really helped me x

  • By Peter (not verified) on 20 Nov 2017 - 21:33

    Dear Tommy's,

    We are expecting twins (currently in the 14th week). Does the #SleepOnTheSide advice apply to twin pregnancies as well?


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