How To Choose a Pregnancy Pillow
If you're a mum-to-be and preparing for the arrival of your little one, you may have come across pregnancy pillows. With so many different options, it can be tricky to know which is the best pregnancy pillow on the market.
This is where we come in!
In this article, we explain exactly what a pregnancy pillow is and explore the various types, alongside their benefits and uses.
We also talk you through the different shapes available and what areas of the body they target to provide relief from aches and discomfort, as well as how much room they take up, how portable they are, and much more.
So, without further ado, let's take a look at what pregnancy pillows are all about!
What Exactly is a Pregnancy Pillow?
A pregnancy pillow, or maternity pillow, is a sleep aid for expecting mothers as they progress through various stages of pregnancy. Many maternity pillows can also be used for relaxation and nursing once the baby arrives.
Pregnancy pillows come in various sizes: from full body support to small teddy bear sizes.
These pillows can support the entire body and help an expecting mother get a good night's sleep.
They can also help realign your spine, back and hips if you have experienced discomfort during your pregnancy. Additionally, pregnancy pillows are a great way to help relieve abdominal and lower back pain, ensuring that you wake up feeling a lot less achy.
Other benefits include:
- Relieving acid reflux
- Improving blood circulation
- Reducing tossing and turning
- Lowering the heart rate
- Improving the overall quality of sleep
These ingenious pillows have a lot going for them! Considered by many expectant mothers as a miracle for helping them get a night of restful sleep during each of their trimesters (even way into the ominous fourth trimester), pregnancy pillows are incredibly useful!
With that in mind, it's important to know exactly what to look for in a pillow. So, before we discuss the different types of pillows on the market, let's note some key factors you should look out for when deciding on a pregnancy pillow.
Pregnancy Pillows: A Buyer's Guide
When deciding which pregnancy pillow is best for you, there are several key factors to consider. Below we discuss how to choose the best pregnancy pillow for you, helping to achieve a blissful night's sleep while preparing for your little one's arrival.
When it comes to support, pregnant bodies definitely need some extra help. After all, it's not easy growing a tiny human in your tummy for nine months straight, and there's no way a regular pillow is going to keep you comfy with another human inside of you!
Pillows specially designed for pregnancy will give you all the support you need - exactly when and where you need it.
Depending on where you need the support (e.g. you might have a bad back and want an extra bit of padding to alleviate some of the pain), there's a wide range of different shaped pillows aimed at caring for various areas of your body.
Some of these pillows can be used after your little bundle of joy arrives, as many perform the dual function of nursing pillows too.
If you need or choose to travel during your pregnancy, you might want to consider a pillow that is portable and can be carried around with little hassle.
Some pillows are much bigger than others, so bear this in mind when deciding.
- Sleep quality
Undoubtedly the number one feature expectant mums require from a pregnancy body pillow is an improved night's sleep. Pregnancy really takes its toll on the body, and women can experience nasty aches and pains throughout their entire body, such as the legs, hips, neck, shoulders, pelvis and feet.
When deciding what pillow is best for you, consider where you suffer from discomfort the most and purchase a pillow that will take some of the strain off.
- Pregnancy conditions
If you suffer from the likes of carpal tunnel, nasal congestion or acid reflux during your pregnancy, consider a pillow that will help take some of the unpleasant side effects away.
For example, if you suffer with indigestion, some pillows can prop you up and go a long way to help reduce the pain.
- Sleep positions
When heavily pregnant, we know it isn't the easiest thing in the world to change your sleeping position.
Some expectant mums enjoy the feeling of a pillow, like a full body pillow, which gives them peace of mind that they won't roll on their tummy as it supports their side sleeping position. For many, it also provides a feeling of security and helps to relieve stress and anxiety - like a big hug.
Other mums prefer a pillow where they have more freedom to move if they wish to, which leads to the next point on our pregnancy pillow buyer's guide.
- Back sleeping
Speaking of sleeping positions, certain pregnancy pillows will stop a woman from unintentionally rolling onto her back when asleep. This is a very common position to sleep in but not advised when expecting.
There are specially designed pillows that will keep you snug and comfortable without falling into bad habits.
- Ease of care
With so many things to think about when you're pregnant, how to care for a body pillow correctly shouldn't need to be one of them.
Many pillows on the market are easy to care for; some require handwashing, while most will need a quick spin in the machine or have a removable cover.
Consider which you would prefer before you make a purchase.
- Filling material
Pregnancy pillow material varies from pillow to pillow. Materials within a pillow consist of polyester fibre-fill, memory foam, polyfoam or even microbeads. The inner materials used in your pillow affect its overall firmness, supportive quality and manoeuvrability.
Fibre-fill is a soft inner material, while memory foam is firmer and more supportive.
Maternity pillows come in lots of different sizes. From small, compact pillows measuring little more than one foot to 8+ feet long options, there really is something for everyone.
When it comes to choosing the correct size pillow for you, you want to think about how big your bed is, as some of these larger pillows won't quite work if you have a bed that's a snugger size.
Similarly, if you share a bed with a partner, you may want to consider a smaller size - or encourage your partner to temporarily move into the spare bedroom or sofa!
Maternity pillows come in a huge range of shapes, all designed to do different things and take care of various parts of your body.
Whichever shape you choose is up to you, but consider how each of the shapes may impact your sleep; what might work for someone else won't necessarily always work for you.
Choosing Your Pillow
As we have already established, when it comes to choosing a maternity pillow, there is a lot of choice out there.
Essentially, it comes down to your personal preference and your usual sleeping position, but there are other factors, such as the aforementioned shape of the pillow.
Let's discuss what options are out there when it comes to size and shape.
Both V/U-shaped pregnancy pillows are popular choices among many mums. Although they tend to be a bit more expensive than other types of pregnancy body pillows, they are larger and therefore can offer full body support from the head right down to the ankles.
A U-shaped pregnancy pillow will not require constant readjusting during the night; the same goes for a V-shaped pillow, so if you find yourself tossing and turning, these body pillows could be great.
A V- or U-shaped pregnancy pillow is also ideal if you want extra support for tired, aching muscles and joints.
A wedge pillow is ideal for supporting the back or head while sitting or reclining. And, if you are a side sleeper, they can provide excellent belly support as you drift off to get that all-important zzz.
A pregnancy wedge pillow is also a great help when it comes to helping you control your temperature at night. On those cooler nights, the pillow can be used to prop up a hot water bottle. Or, if you tend to sleep hot like many other mums-to-be, they can provide support for an ice pack wrapped in a towel.
A great bonus of a wedge body pillow is that they are small so that they can accompany you on holiday or work trips away without too much hassle.
With this type of pregnancy pillow, you also require a normal pillow or a more traditional pregnancy pillow to support the neck and head while you sleep.
C-shaped pregnancy pillows are great if you have a smaller bed or a partner sleeping with you because they can provide support and comfort while not taking up too much room.
A C-shaped pregnancy pillow will support your neck and head, as well as take a lot of pressure away from the pelvic area when sleeping. They are also highly effective at minimising the effects of water retention in the ankles and legs.
Although they provide great support, a C-shaped pillow often needs readjustment during the night, so if you are likely to toss and turn, they may not be your best option.
J-shaped pillows are similar to the U-shaped pillow but are slightly smaller and don't have the extra side that a U-pillow has. J-shaped pillows provide excellent support for the back, neck and shoulders, all while keeping your body perfectly aligned throughout the night.
A full-length pillow, sometimes referred to as an I-shaped pillow, is designed to be placed down the entire length of the body. It is practically the same as a normal pillow, except it is much longer and provides more support.
These are great to cuddle up to at night as you can wrap both your arms and legs around them. There are also full-body support pillows which can bend and contort that give even more support to the entire body, although they tend to be pricier alternatives.
Find The Best Pregnancy Pillows At Sleepseeker
Having explored the various pregnancy pillow options, you now have a better understanding of what type of pregnancy pillows are best suited to you.
Thankfully, you don't need to go far to discover the best pregnancy pillows. Here at Sleepseeker, we have a great variety for you to choose from.
If you’re sharing a bed with your partner, we recommend choosing a C-shape pillow or wedge pillow, or our Slumberdown Long Body Support Pillow.
Our model is a straight, long body pillow, which means you can use it between your legs, behind your head then bent around as an armrest, or it can double up as a breastfeeding pillow.
If you enjoy the space of a king-size bed at home, a V-shaped pillow would be ideal (especially if you’re in the second or third trimester). We recommend the Slumberdown V-Shaped Medium Support Back Sleeper Pillow. This pillow perfectly compliments your changing body shape, all the while keeping you in a comfy position and promoting perfect alignment.
We have a great range of pillows for you to choose from, including many that are just perfect for pregnancy. Why not take a look and start your journey to better sleep than ever?
Is a pregnancy pillow safe to use?
Yes, pregnancy body pillows are safe to use and provide many expectant mums with a host of benefits, including improving circulation, keeping your body aligned, reducing pressure, easing heartburn and acid reflux, and so much more.
Can I use a pregnancy pillow after my baby is born?
One of the great things about these pillows is that they aren't merely useful for your baby bump. Many different types of these pillows can be used as nursing pillows as they provide great support for the back when the little one is feeding. They can also be used to aid sleep after your baby has arrived; many women refuse to sleep without one after they give birth!
What's the best design for a pregnancy pillow?
This depends on what you are looking for in a pregnancy pillow. Some pillows allow you to move more freely than others during the night; others support just one of two areas of your body, whereas others help alleviate pain and pressure from almost the entirety of your body. Whichever you decide on is up to you!
Can I use a normal pillow as a pregnancy pillow?
A regular pillow can give you the amount of support your growing body needs, but a pregnancy pillow is a wise investment to help encourage restful and happy night's sleep in a comfortable position, particularly in the second and third trimesters.
Pregnancy pillows make life so much easier for pregnant women and even for breastfeeding mothers.
Invest in your very own pregnancy pillow today and feel the benefits of using one!
With the information above on pregnancy pillows, check out some of our other guides below:
- The Ultimate Guide to Sleeping With a Pregnancy Pillow
- Pregnancy Pillow Benefits: Do I Need a Pregnancy Pillow?
- What Size Are Pregnancy Pillows: The Ultimate Guide
- 4 Sleeping Positions To Try During Pregnancy And After Your Baby Is Born
- Guide To The Best Pillows For Pain During Pregnancy
- Best Pregnancy Pillows for Queen Pillows
- How to Use a Pregnancy Pillow to Stop Rolling Onto Your Back
- Best Pregnancy Pillow for Side Sleepers
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