You’ve heard the rumors. “You just have to get a pregnancy pillow,” other mamas say.
But what is exactly is this pregnancy must-have, why do you need one, and how do you choose one that’s right for you?
Sit back and relax, mama.
We’ve got the ultimate guide to pregnancy pillows right here.
In this article: 📝
- What is a pregnancy body pillow?
- Is a pregnancy pillow really useful?
- When should you start using a pregnancy pillow?
- Is a C-shaped or U-shaped pregnancy pillow better?
- How do you pick the best pregnancy pillow?
- How do you use a pregnancy pillow?
- What are the best pregnancy pillows out there?
What is a pregnancy body pillow?
OK, let’s get down to basics.
Pregnancy pillows are purpose-shaped, oversized pillows that are designed to give you a break from some of the discomfort that pregnancy can bring.
Because, let’s be real: pregnancy is a wonderful and beautiful thing, but — whew! — those twinges and aches you’re feeling definitely weren’t there six months ago.
A pregnancy body pillow can help you to sleep better, reduce pain, improve circulation, and keep you from rolling onto your belly.
Is a pregnancy pillow really useful?
Well, it really depends on how much your pregnancy is affecting your sleep.
If you’re tossing and turning in bed, an ordinary pillow between your legs or under your tummy might help to make you more comfortable.
If that’s not enough, a pregnancy pillow can make a huge difference.
When should you start using a pregnancy pillow?
This one’s also up to you.
Some women start to feel like their pregnancy is affecting their sleep from as early as 14 weeks.
For others, the 28-week mark is when finding the right sleeping position can become more difficult.
Use your pregnancy pillow as soon as you need to, for as long as you want.
Is a C-shaped or U-shaped pregnancy pillow better?
We may sound a bit like a broken record here, but, again, it depends on what feels right for you.
Every mama is different.
You might want a C-shaped pillow that goes between your knees.
Or perhaps you’d prefer a U-shaped pregnancy pillow that will support your tummy on either side.
How do you pick the best pregnancy pillow?
There are a number of things to keep in mind as you start your hunt for the best body pillow for pregnancy.
And it can all feel a bit overwhelming.
There’s a lot on the market!
Here are some things to keep in mind as you filter your options.
Pregnancy pillows range from A to Z — literally!
Many are named after letters of the alphabet.
There’s the C, which curves around your whole body.
The U, which cradles your body on either side.
The I, a super-long straight pillow that you hug while you sleep.
And the J, which is like the C, but with only one curve.
If you don’t want something that takes up too much space — things can get a bit cozy if you’re sharing your bed with a partner, too — consider going for a wedge instead.
This triangular pillow is easier to move around than the larger pillows, and can be squashed wherever you most need it.
Pregnancy pillow ads often look heavenly: women cocooned in enormous pillows that look like clouds.
But is a huge pillow practical for your sleeping space?
Think about what works best for you (and maybe your partner, too) before you buy your pillow.
Pregnancy pillows can be pricey.
If you’re watching those pennies, try to balance the cost of a pregnancy pillow with some other items on your need-to-buy list.
Take a look at what your pillow is made of before you make your final decision.
Cotton is more breathable than synthetic alternatives and can feel more natural to the touch.
Polyester tends to trap heat and can make you feel a bit sweaty on warm nights.
Love a firm pillow?
Prefer something soft and squishy?
Keep these preferences in mind as you shop, too.
How do you use a pregnancy pillow?
Use it in whatever way makes you feel comfortable!
You might want to combine a pregnancy body pillow with an ordinary pillow for your head.
Or you might want to opt for an all-in-one pregnancy pillow that cradles head, back and belly equally.
Move your pillow around to see what works best for you.
🔎 Dig deeper: How to Use a Pregnancy Pillow
What are the best pregnancy pillows out there?
We’ll take you through the pros and cons of each pregnancy pillow type.
The 3-piece pregnancy pillow
Pros: Uniquely designed by Sleepybelly, this is a three-piece set that you can adjust to best support your bump, back, and sides. Helps prevent you from sleeping on your back. Can reduce back, hip, and pelvic girdle pain. Recommended by midwives, doulas, and osteopaths. Made with anti-bacterial fabric for a fresher, cleaner sleep.
Cons: The priciest option on our list, but who can put a price on comfy sleep?!
Pro-tip? Can also be used as a nursing pillow when baby’s arrived.
Top-rated 3-piece pregnancy pillow: Sleepybelly, of course!
The full-body pregnancy pillow
Pros: Conforms to your body shape.
Cons: For most brands, the stuffing can’t be removed or increased.
Pro-tip? You may find it comforting beyond pregnancy, too. This could be a long-term investment.
Top-rated full-body pregnancy pillow: If you’re after a pregnancy pillow made with non-toxic fabrics, the bbhugme Pregnancy Body Pillow is the one for you! Soft and lightweight, you can easily mold it to fit your changing pregnancy body.
The C-shaped pregnancy pillow
Pros: Supports back, hips, knees, neck, and head.
Cons: Can be very large.
Pro-tip? Opt for a 100% cotton option to ensure super softness.
Top-rated C-shaped pregnancy pillow: The CeeCee Pillow by PharmeDoc boasts over 37,000 stellar reviews on Amazon — perfect for giving your bump some support while you rest.
The U-shaped pregnancy pillow
Pros: 360-degree support and easy to reposition.
Cons: May clump slightly.
Pro-tip? Choose one with a washable cover so that it’s easy to clean.
Small, adjustable pregnancy pillows
Pros: Automatically adjusts to cushion your belly and your back so that you can more easily sleep on your side.
Cons: You may want a bigger option to ensure maximum support.
Pro-tip? Many of the options on the market are made of polyester, which is not ideal if you’re looking for a non-synthetic pillow.
Top-rated small pregnancy pillow: If you’re after something travel-friendly and (reasonably) compact, the Oternal Pregnancy Pillow could just be the solution for you!
The pregnancy wedge
Pros: Compact, easy to transport.
Cons: Doesn’t curve around your whole body if you need extra support.
Pro-tip? This one works best if you choose an option with a removable and washable cover. That way you can take it wherever you need to go, and easily keep it clean.
Top-rated wedge pregnancy pillow: The hiccapop Pregnancy Pillow Wedge provides soft or firm support for your bump, whichever you prefer. Just flip over the wedge to find what’s comfiest for you!
Baby nursing pillow
Pros: This one can do double duty. Use it as a pregnancy pillow and then to nurse your little one once they’re born.
Cons: Many options on the market are smaller and may not provide the pregnancy support you need.
Pro-tip: Check the covering. Some have a slightly rough exterior, which may not be so cozy.
Top-rated bay nursing pillow: The Comfyt 5-in-1 Pregnancy Body Pillow is a C-shaped pregnancy pillow that doubles as a breastfeeding pillow, for head-to-toe support throughout pregnancy and beyond!
Pros: Small and unobtrusive so that you can still cuddle with your partner or kids.
Cons: A soft pillow, not ideal if you’re after something firm.
Pro-tip: See that it provides the support your body needs at this time.
Top-rated cuddle pregnancy pillow: The Utopia Bedding Soft Body Pillow is super-soft and oh-so-comfy, ideal if you want something you can mold to your body shape.
Happy pregnancy pillow shopping!
And sweet dreams, mama!