Prof Alexander Heazell, clinical director at the Tommy’s Stillbirth Research Centre at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester, who led the research, advises women in their third trimester to sleep on their side for any episode of sleep, including daytime sleeps.
“What I don’t want is for women to wake up flat on their back and think ‘oh my goodness I’ve done something awful to my baby’.
“The question that we asked was very specifically what position people went to sleep in and that’s important as you spend longer in that stance than you do in any other.
“And also you can’t do anything about the position that you wake up in but you can do something about the position you go to sleep.”
Tips for going to sleep on your side
Put a pillow or pillows behind your back to promote side-sleeping
If you wake during the night, check your position and go back to sleep on your side
Pay the same attention to sleep position during the day as you would during the night
If you wake on your back during the night, don’t worry, simply roll on to your side
The study didn’t find a difference in danger between right or left side
Image caption Michelle Cottle is 36 and lives in London – she is a clinical psychologist and writes an award-winning blog Dear Orla