Everyone knows that babies rob their parents of tons of sleep once they're born, so it's a good thing they're ridiculously cute. It's super unfair, however, that the sleepless nights can start for moms long before their bundle of joy arrives. A growing bump can make it so hard to get comfy in bed, and if you do find a position that works, you still need to make sure it's safe for both mom and baby. So during pregnancy, can you sleep on your right side? It seems like it's not the worst option, but it's not quite the best, either.
Kids Health recommends sleeping on your side during pregnancy. Either side is OK, but sleeping on your left side is the best. They noted that rolling onto your left side as you snooze maximizes the amount of blood flow to your uterus, making it the best for your baby, and keeps the uterus off the liver. Sleeping on your side (either left or right) also has another surprising benefit: according to What to Expect, it can also help prevent pregnancy swelling because the position is optimal for kidney function. A better night's sleep, and hands, feet, and ankles that aren't twice their normal size? I'd call that a win-win situation.
Your sleeping body may not always cooperate with you, however. If you go to bed on your side but end up sleeping on your back at some point, you don't need to panic according to Healthline. A little bit of back sleep won't hurt your baby, but if you do it too much it does have the potential to decrease your circulation and reduce blood flood to your little one. It can also lead to less dangerous but still quite unpleasant problems like back pain, digestion issues, and hemorrhoids, due to the weight of your belly putting pressure on your intestines and spine.
Sleeping on your stomach can be an option during pregnancy, according to Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, a board-certified OB-GYN, on Babble. Sometimes women feel like they're squishing their baby while sleeping on their stomach, but as long as you're comfortable, it's perfectly fine. As your bump grows, however, the position probably won't stay comfortable. Plus, at some point, gravity just isn't going to allow it.
If you're anything like me, staying in a safe position during sleep isn't necessarily easy. That's where a good pregnancy pillow can be a huge help. Some pregnancy pillows are designed to support your bump while you sleep, while others are designed to take stress away from the places that might be causing you aches and pains, like your back or hips. If you don't want to shell out extra money, however, Parents noted that some regular bed pillows strategically placed between your knees and under your stomach can also help you get safe sleep during pregnancy.
When you're pregnant, people will constantly tell you to get as much sleep as you possibly can before your baby is born. It can be obnoxious to hear over and over again, but it really is true. So whichever position works best for you, hunker down in your bed and don't feel bad about grabbing as many naps as possible. Soon you'll find yourself daydreaming about how much you need one.
Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version.