Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctor of Nursing Practice Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Nicole B. Beckmann


Doctor of Nursing Practice


Background: The silence surrounding stillbirth limits research and exacerbates the impact on families and health professionals. In the United States, the stillbirth rate has been unchanged for decades and demonstrates significant racial disparities. Maternal sleep position in the third trimester has recently emerged as a modifiable risk factor, yet it is not widely discussed amongst health professionals or pregnant women.

Local Problem: Focus groups indicated that health professionals do not utilize maternal sleep position as an intervention to reduce stillbirth. The most significant barriers noted were a lack of knowledge, fear of increasing patient anxiety, and limited provider time with pregnant women.

Methods: This project developed and implemented an online education module for physicians, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, and doulas who work with pregnant women. Health professionals were given information about the project through a nonprofit stillbirth organization. The health professionals completed surveys before and after viewing the module and a final follow-up survey three months later.

Intervention: The educational module described the current evidence regarding the relationship between stillbirth and maternal sleep position in the third trimester, how to discuss these topics with pregnant women, and resources available for families.

Results: The health professionals demonstrated statistically significant improvements in their knowledge of stillbirth trends, racial disparities in stillbirth, and maternal sleep position for preventing stillbirth in the third trimester. Health professionals were more confident in implementing this concept into their practice and reported they intend to continue using the information in their practice.

Conclusions: Health professionals improved their knowledge about maternal sleep position as a modifiable risk factor for stillbirth and were more confident implementing it into practice after completing an online education module.

Available for download on Friday, June 06, 2025