Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2017 June; 72(6): 325-332.

Copyright © 2017 CLINICS

Influence of the prone position on a stretcher for pregnant women on maternal and fetal hemodynamic parameters and comfort in pregnancy

Claudia Oliveira I * , Marco Antonio Borges Lopes II , Agatha Sacramento Rodrigues III , Marcelo Zugaib II , Rossana Pulcineli Vieira Francisco II

Fisioterapia, Universidade Santa Cecilia, Santos, SP, BR

Departamento de Obstetricia e Ginecologia, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, SP, BR

Instituto de Matematica e Estatistica, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, SP, BR

*Corresponding author. E-mail:

received September 14, 2016; revised December 1, 2016; accepted December 28, 2016.



To analyze the influence of lying in prone position on a specially designed stretcher on the maternal-fetal hemodynamic parameters and comfort of pregnant women.


A randomized, controlled trial with 33 pregnant women divided into 2 groups: pregnant group sequence 1 and pregnant group sequence 2. The order of positions used in sequence 1 was Fowler’s position, prone position, supine position, left lateral, Fowler’s position 2, supine position 2, prone position 2 and left lateral 2. The order of positions used in sequence 2 was Fowler’s position, prone position, left lateral, supine position, Fowler’s position 2, left lateral 2, prone position 2 and supine position 2. Each woman remained in each position for 6 minutes. For the statistical analyses, we used Wilcoxon’s test for 2 paired samples when comparing the prone position with the other positions. The variables are presented in graphs showing the means and 95% confidence intervals. Trial Registration: Clinical Trial No. ISRCTN41359519


All the parameters were within the standards of normality. There were no differences between positions in terms of maternal heart rate, diastolic blood pressure, oxygen saturation and fetal heart rate. However, there were significant decreases in respiratory rate and systolic blood pressure in prone position 2 compared with left lateral 2. There was an increase in oxygen saturation in prone position compared with Fowler’s position and supine position 2 in both sequences. All the women reported feeling comfortable in the prone position.


The prone position was considered safe and comfortable and could be advantageous for improving oxygen saturation and reducing the systolic blood pressure and respiratory rate.

Keywords: Hemodynamics, Human Comfort, Pregnant Women, Prone Position, Pregnancy

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