Introduction: The sleeping position of pregnant women can influence the outcome of their pregnancy, leading to an increased risk of stillbirth, low birth weight, and other adverse fetal outcomes. Sleeping in the supine position is associated with negative effects, while the ideal maternal sleeping position is sleeping on the left lateral side. Pregnant women should be made aware of this so they can make an informed decision to change their sleeping habits.
Aim: To assess the current knowledge possessed by Pakistani pregnant women on the effects of maternal sleeping positions, and determines their maternal sleeping habits.
Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study included 300 pregnant women that were visiting the outpatient department of Gynaecology, Hamdard University, Karachi, Pakistan. They were asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding demographics, pregnancy, sleep advice, and sleep habits. The data was analyzed using IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software, version 26. Pearson's, Chi-squared, and Fisher's exact tests were used to compare gestational age with advice about sleeping positions, and parity with advice about sleeping positions, respectively. A p-value of below 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: 22 (7.3%) women in our study reported sleeping in the supine position. 58.7% of women reported not receiving advice on sleep positions by anyone, and only 7.0% said they were advised by a doctor. Gestational age above and below 25 weeks was associated with receiving advice about sleeping positions (p = 0.043). Multiparity was also found to have an association with having received advice on sleeping positions (p <0.001).
Conclusion: Women should be made aware of the effects of sleep positions by doctors so they can modify their sleep habits accordingly.
Clinical significance: A decrease in supine sleep and an increase in left-sided sleep position, in early and late pregnancy, may contribute to a reduction in adverse pregnancy outcomes.
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