A recently published study reveals an elevated upper body position may improve respiratory safety in women early after childbirth.
A study published on April 23 in the Online First section of the journal CHEST finds an elevated upper body position might improve respiratory safety in women early after childbirth without impairing sleep quality. Pregnancy-related maternal death occurs in 10 to 13 of 100,000 pregnancies and is attributable to anesthesia in 0.8 to 1.7 percent of the cases. A main cause of anesthesia-related maternal death is postpartum airway obstruction.
“Women who sleep with their upper bodies propped up 45 degrees in the days following childbirth can significantly reduce their risk of postpartum airway obstruction, a meaningful symptom of obstructive sleep apnea early after delivery,” said Dr. Matthias Eikermann, study author, Clinical Director in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital.