Pregnancy pillows can give you support and comfort as your pregnancy advances. You want to be comfortable to get enough sleep, and these pillows are designed to help relieve your pregnancy pain and discomfort so you can rest well. They are also helpful when you just want to take a break and relax.
A Variety of Pillows
You can find a variety of pregnancy pillows in stores or online. To find the pillow that's right for you, consider testing them in person rather than buying one online. Leachco® and Boppy® pillows are popular brands based on online product reviews. Also, ask your doctor, midwife, family, or friends for product recommendations.
The pillows come in various sizes and shapes to meet individual needs and preferences. You can position, curve, or mold some of them to cushion and support your growing belly, your back, or other areas of discomfort.
Full length C-shaped pillows allow you to lie cradled in the inner curve. You rest your head and neck on the upper curved end and place the lower curved end between your legs to support your belly and upper hip and leg.
You can also lie facing the inner curve and rest your belly on the middle, with your head and neck on the upper end. Tuck the lower end between your legs. You can also curve one into an oval to rest your whole body on top.
C-shaped pillows also come in small sizes, which are less bulky. Wrap one around your mid-section to support your lower back and belly. Use one to rest your head or between your legs to rest your hips. You can also use one to elevate your feet, or place it wherever you need it.
- Leachco® Snoogle® Total Body Pregnancy Support and Feeding Pillow: This C-shaped total body pillow with gentle curves provides you with full support. It is filled with polyester fiber, comes with a removable, washable cover, and retails for about $60 at Bed Bath and Beyond.
- Leachco® Sleeper Keeper: This Leachco® C-type pillow gives full-cushioned, firmer comfort with tighter curves. Filled with polyester fiber, it also has a removable, washable cover. It is available at Walmart for about $40.
- Leachco® Sleeper Keeper Mini Maternity Pillow: This half-sized C-shaped pillow also retails at Walmart for about $30. It is polyester-filled, and the cover is removable and machine-washable.
U-shaped pregnancy full body pillows support your whole body in a semi-cocoon. You lie cradled between the long arms to support your head, neck, back, belly, hips and legs. Some have curved ends you can tuck between your legs.
You can also turn the pillow around and use the ends to support your neck and head and the curve of the "U" to elevate your legs. These pillows give you great support and comfort but are relatively bulky and take up a lot of space on your bed. They are usually more costly than others.
Consider the following two options:
- Leachco® Back N' Belly Chic Pregnancy Support and Feeding Pillow: This U-shaped pillow with curved ends is a popular choice. It has inner contours shaped to support your head, neck, belly, and back. It is polyester-filled and comes with a removable, machine-washable cover. This sells for around $85 at Bed Bath and Beyond.
- Leachco® All Nighter Total Body Pregnancy Pillow: This is a "candy-cane" shaped U-type pillow with a shorter arm for your head and neck, and a longer arm for the rest of your body. You can bend and shape the pillow to cushion and support your whole body. It is polyester-filled, and the cover is removable and washable. This pillow retails for about $50 at Walmart.
Multi-piece pillows come most often in two or three pieces, so you can arrange them in different combinations to custom fit as you want.
There are also two-piece bolster type pillows where one piece supports your belly and the larger piece supports your back to help you stay on your side.
The following are good options:
Boppy® 3pc Custom-Fit Total Pregnancy Pillow with Back, Belly and Leg Support: This Boppy pillow is priced at around $55 at Target. It is a versatile combination of three parts you can custom arrange for support where you need it most. The parts are polyester-filled and are machine-washable.
Leachco® PreggoPedic Contoured Maternity Body Pillow System: The two-part adjustable full-body system has a larger contoured pillow for your back, and a smaller bumper for your belly. This arrangement helps you maintain a protective position during sleep. The pieces are filled with polyester and polyurethane foam, but the covers are not removable for washing. The set retails at Walmart for $60.
If you prefer a simple, straight pillow, consider an extra-long body pillow to bolster your back or support your belly to give you full-length support.
These are two options with a wide price difference: You can hug the pillow and tuck one end between your legs with your knees bent to help cushion your belly, relieve your lumbar curve, and ease your back and hip pain.
- Ultimate Big and Soft Body Pillow: This long, boxed-body, luxury pillow is polyester-filled and gives full-length support. The full retail price is $70 at J. C. Penny, where you can also buy the pillowcase.
- 200-Thread Count Body Pillow: This extra-long, straight pillow will be useful during and after your pregnancy. It is polyester-filled and conforms to your whole body as you need. You can find it at Walmart for $22.
Use small wedge-shaped pillows to support your belly or your back, put one between your knees to support your hips, or use one to elevate your legs.
The main advantage is that they take up little space and are usually less expensive. You can also find small pillows in other shapes to support small areas of your body.
- Boppy® Pregnancy Wedge: The wedge supports your belly, back, or any pressure points and retails for about $16 at Walmart. The cover is removable and washable.
- Leachco® Best Rest Pregnancy Comfort Wedge Set: This pillow has two wedges you can use apart or together, connected by velcro to an adjustable pad. You position each wedge to support your belly and back as you lie in between. The set comes with removable, washable pads and sells for $24 at Walmart.
To make the best purchase consider the following tips:
- To keep your pillow clean, try to choose one with a removable, washable cover.
- Pick the simplest pillow that fits your needs so it doesn't end up being annoying.
- A straight single pillow that does not take up a lot of space on your bed might suffice.
- The inexpensive pillows may neither be padded enough to give you the cushion or support you need, nor stand up to repeated use through your pregnancy.
- Think about the space and other needs of your spouse or partner sharing your bed.
- After delivery, you can use your pillow to support yourself and your baby while nursing or comforting her.
In addition, consider what material fills the pillow. Although styrofoam-filled pillows are usually less expensive, they are not as comfortable as memory memory foam, micro-beads, or polyester fillings.
Because pregnancy pillows can be expensive, consider other alternatives. One or more additional regular, standard, queen, or king size pillows might give you the support and cushion that you want.
Benefits of Pregnancy Pillows
A pregnancy pillow is most helpful during the third trimester, but some women find them useful from the early second trimester to ease the minor aches and pains of pregnancy. Other women just like to hug one for the soft, cozy comfort and relaxation.
To help you decide whether to invest in a pregnancy pillow and which one to buy, consider the parts of your body that will most likely become painful, uncomfortable or pushed out of normal alignment. They can benefit from the added protection, cushion, and support :
- As your baby grows your abdomen may become uncomfortable and a pillow can cushion the weight and protect your baby while you are sleeping.
- Your growing belly also may cause lower back pain because of your increasingly exaggerated lumbar curve, so back support is helpful.
- Your head, neck and upper spine can also get out of alignment as your heavy baby grows and changes your center of gravity.
- Your hips, pelvis, legs, and feet can become painful and swollen, so support and elevation of those parts can ease your discomfort.
- You can develop numbness and tingling in your buttocks and down your legs and feet because of nerve compression in your lower back.
Position and Blood Flow
During the third trimester, if you sleep on your back your uterus can compress the large blood vessels in your abdomen. Your uterus and your baby may not get enough blood flow, so doctors recommend that you sleep preferably on your left side. A pillow designed to support your back and belly can help you maintain a side position throughout the night.
Rest in Comfort
Consider a pregnancy pillow to provide support and comfort to your growing abdomen, back, and other body parts so you can sleep in a restful, protective position as your pregnancy progresses. They cushion you and your baby and can ease your minor and major discomforts and pain so you can relax in peace and comfort.