Author(s): Arkadiusz Bociek
It is thought that the supine position in advanced pregnancy can increase the risk of stillbirth and threaten maternal health. The threats to the mother are relatively well known and concern disorders associated with inferior vena cava blood outflow, changes in cardiac activity and decreased blood pressure connected with aortocaval compression syndrome. The problem of threats to the fetus seems to be less obvious. The probable threat is in this case restricted blood flow through the uterine artery resulting in reduced oxygen availability and increased risk of fetal stress or intrauterine death. The conclusion is that pregnant women should be instructed to avoid sleeping or resting in the supine position and assume the left lateral position instead.