Having a baby is never without its ups and downs, but one of the most basic hardships of pregnancy can be getting a good night’s sleep. It’s especially challenging to find a comfortable sleeping position for a growing belly, and while there is debate about whether or not sleeping on your back raises your risk of having a stillbirth, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs or under your belly if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort while you sleep.
A pregnancy pillow can help with that: it’s designed to ease pressure points in a pregnant person’s body, propping up your hips if you sleep with the pillow between your thighs, and supporting your neck and belly when you’re positioned on your side. “When there’s a lot of pressure in the [pelvic] area as the belly gets bigger, having your legs rested together sometimes isn’t as comfortable as having something between them,” Abbe Wain, M.D., an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at the Mount Sinai Health System in New York, previously told SELF.
There are lots of pregnancy pillows out there to shop, but when we polled 14 moms on which ones actually helped them get a good night’s rest, three main styles kept popping up. C-shaped pillows were the most popular: They’re designed to support your hips, back, neck, and stomach, with a C-curve that props up your neck on one end, and a curved tail you can wrap your legs around. U-shaped pillows encompass the entire body, so they’re especially helpful if you like to switch sides at night—with the only drawback being that you might kick your partner out of bed, since they run pretty large. Some pregnancy pillows serve a variety of functions, too, from a nursing pillow to a baby lounger to a small pregnancy pillow that can prop up your belly at night. There’s no right or wrong answer (it really depends on how you sleep), but to help you narrow your search down, we asked a range of bodies and sleepers about the pregnancy pillows that worked for them, below.
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