Background: Although studies have reported the effects of inadequate sleep on maternal health, few have examined the relationships of maternal sleep patterns with fetal health and early childhood development. This study investigated maternal sleep duration patterns from early pregnancy to 3-years postpartum and their effects on birth outcomes and child development. Methods: This study recruited pregnant women and their partners during prenatal visits at five selected hospitals in the Taipei area; follow-up lasted from July 2011 to April 2021. A total of 1178 parents completed self-reported assessments from early pregnancy until childbirth and 544 completed eight assessments up to 3-years postpartum. Generalized estimated equation models were used for analyses. Results: Group-based trajectory modeling was used to identify four trajectories of sleep duration patterns. Although maternal sleep duration was not associated with birth outcomes, maternal “short decreasing” and “stably short” sleep patterns were associated with a higher risk of suspected overall developmental delay and language developmental delay, respectively. Furthermore, an “extremely long decreasing” pattern was associated with a higher risk of suspected overall developmental delay, [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.97, 95% confidence interval (CI):1.39–6.36)], gross motor delay, (aOR = 3.14, 95% CI: 1.42–6.99) and language developmental delay (aOR = 4.59, 95% CI:1.62–13.00). The results were significant for the children of multiparous women. Conclusions: We identified a U-shaped distribution of risk between offspring developmental delay and maternal prenatal sleep duration, with the highest risk levels on both ends of the maternal prenatal sleep duration pattern. Interventions for maternal sleep are relatively straightforward to implement and should thus be a key part of standard prenatal care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-77
Number of pages10
JournalSleep Medicine
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • Birth outcomes
  • Maternal sleep
  • Parity
  • Toddlers' development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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