The New Zealand Multi-Centre Stillbirth Case-Control Study Protocol. (Linked to manuscript 'Going to sleep in the supine position is a modifiable risk factor for late pregnancy stillbirth; findings from the New Zealand multi-centre stillbirth case-control study'.)
The death of an unborn child is a devastating event which currently affects approximately 500 New Zealand families annually; a rate of 8 per 1000 births. The Auckland Stillbirth Study, which aimed to identify modifiable risk factors for late stillbirth (at or beyond 28 weeks’ gestation), found that women who did not go to sleep on their left side on the night before the baby was thought to have died had a two-fold increase in risk of late stillbirth compared with those who went to sleep on their left. The greatest risk occurred in women who went to sleep supine [Adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.54 (1.04 to 6.18)] and was independent of known confounders. The editorial accompanying our publication in the BMJ, stressed that our findings were hypothesis generating and highlighted the urgent need for confirmation before public health initiatives were undertaken to modify maternal going-to-sleep position. This provided the stimulus for the New Zealand Multi-Centre Stillbirth Case-Control Study.