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For anyone not already aware, I’m here to let you in on a not-so-secretive secret: pregnancy is not always enjoyable. Between problems like hyperemesis and lightning crotch, plus the continual burgeoning of your belly, it’s no surprise that sleep often doesn’t come easy to expectant mothers. Thankfully, a new addition to your bedroom could make a world of difference. Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about a pregnancy pillow!
As someone who sleeps with no less than three pillows on a regular basis, I assumed I had pregnancy rest covered. I knew how to work a mountain of pillows to my advantage and figured my swelling bump wouldn’t make much of a difference.
Oh boy, how naive I was.
By my second trimester, I was already experiencing some of the discomforts I’d heard other moms groan about. I dreaded the thought that things would continue to get worse. Luckily for me, my godsend of a husband surprised me with a u-shaped pregnancy pillow one day.
My mind was blown. I was left wondering how any pregnant woman survived the experience WITHOUT a pregnancy pillow!
If you’re on the fence about whether to purchase one, or you’re trying to figure out which option is the best pregnancy pillow for you, we’re here to help.
Thanks to our incredible community, we’ve put together a collection of trusted information available about whether or not you need a pregnancy pillow and which one(s) should be sitting in your wishlist.
Do You Have to Use a Pregnancy Pillow?
Let’s clear something up to start with – you don’t HAVE to use a pregnancy pillow if you don’t want to.
The gestational process comes with a vast collection of strange rules, myths, and guidelines – some of which you should pay attention to (like not drinking or smoking) and others that have no factual basis.
While many doctors might suggest sleeping on your side during pregnancy, for example, the rule that you should always sleep on your left side is not a real thing.
Along these same lines, nothing states that you have to sleep with a pregnancy pillow.
When push comes to shove (sorry, I couldn’t help myself), the most important thing to remember about sleeping while pregnant is just to figure out what works for you.
Getting enough sleep is vital while you’re expecting. Not only does it benefit the overall health of you and your baby, but it can also improve your labor and delivery, plus it can lower your chances of developing conditions, such as preeclampsia.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Maternity Pillow?
If you don’t have strong opinions either way about using a pregnancy pillow, you’re probably trying to figure out why other women rave about them so much. Well, in addition to helping them get more sleep, there are many great benefits of using a maternity pillow, such as:
- Better overall comfort when trying to rest or sleep
- Improved blood circulation
- Reduced aches and pains
- Longer and better quality sleep
Maternity pillows aren’t just things a pregnant woman needs, however. They’re also a great option for enhancing comfort during your postpartum period.
U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow vs. Pregnancy Pillow Wedge (Plus, Everything Else In Between)
As with most other baby and maternity-related items you end up buying, pregnancy pillows are not one-size-fits-all. Depending on what you think will work best for you, there are tons of different styles and options.
Here is a list of the most common pregnancy pillow types:
1. Pregnancy Pillow Wedge
Usually available in either a round or triangular shape, a pregnancy pillow wedge is one of the more simple options available. They’re also some of the more budget-friendly products. Most women use this type of maternity pillow by placing it under their stomachs to support the changing shape of their belly.
2. Full Body Pillow
This is essentially the same thing as a standard body pillow (just marketed towards pregnant women.) If you’re looking for support along your entire body, this could be a good option. The only problem is that these pillows can only support one side of your body at a time.
3. Total Body Pillows a.k.a C and U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillows
If you’re wondering what the best pregnancy pillow on the market is, it will likely be either a C or U-shaped pregnancy pillow.
These are the most commonly purchased type of maternity pillows and provide full-body comfort. Where normal body pillows are only big enough for one side of your body, these products wrap around you to cover your left and right sides at the same time.
They’re also easily maneuvered to support whatever problem areas you’re dealing with throughout your pregnancy. In fact, they’re a preferred choice among shoppers who are looking for a pregnancy pillow for back pain.
4. Bean-Shaped Pregnancy Pillows
Bean pillows are shaped like, you guessed it, a bean. They’re much smaller than some of the other styles on this list, but they’re great for adding a little extra comfort to your back, belly, neck, or other areas.
Many women also use them in their desk chairs at work for a little extra cushion during the day.
Is There a Right Way to Use A Maternity Pillow?
While there are common ways most women use certain types of pregnancy pillows, there’s not a right or wrong way to do it. It’s essential to try out different positions with them to determine what works best for your body’s needs.
Overall, most expectant moms use them in similar fashions.
If you have a total body pillow, place the top of the pillow at the head of your bed and lie down. Rest your head on the pillow and wrap the sides around your body, making sure to support your back and belly.
It’s also comfortable to place one side of the pillow between your thighs for additional belly support and to keep your spine aligned.
The Best Pregnancy Pillows from Your Favorite Stores
Whether you’re looking for the best pregnancy pillow on Amazon, or you want to find an option at a local store such as Walmart or Target, we’ve pulled together a list of the best products currently on the market!
With an astounding 58,494 reviews, the PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow is by far the favorite pregnancy pillow on Amazon.
A U-shaped pregnancy pillow (also available as a C-shape,) the PharMeDoc is available in several different colors and goes for the low price of $42.95. It’s also one of the best pregnancy pillows for back pain and other pregnancy-related problems, such as sciatica, gastric reflux, and more.
It also comes with a jersey-knit cotton cover you can easily remove for convenient washing.
As if the high-density fiber filling inside the INSEN C-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow wasn’t enough to keep you comfortable, it also features an elegant velvet cover that most expectant moms would swoon over.
This is another top-rated pregnancy pillow on Amazon that most pregnant women LOVE. It is worth noting, though, that some users noticed the pillow starting to flatten out quicker than expected, which lessened its comfort.
“Warning: You may not want to get out of bed.” – Wise words from one reviewer of the Chilling Home U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow on Amazon!
This product is essentially the Rolls Royce of maternity pillows. Not only does it have a top-notch filling that’s easy to sink into, but it will also hit every nook and cranny on your aching pregnant body.
Be aware, though – just because it has the word “chilling” in the name, it’s not the best cooling pillow. While this would be an excellent feature for pregnant women who usually run warm, many reviewers say they didn’t notice any cooling elements.
If you’re looking for a comfortable maternity pillow that won’t take up as much real estate on your bed, the Leachco Sleeper Keeper body pillow from Wal-Mart is a best-selling solution.
Plus, it’s available in really cute patterns, such as chevron and vintage turquoise.
Not every expectant mother wants to deal with a total body pregnancy pillow. If this sounds like you, the Boppy Side Sleeper Pregnancy Pillow could be the ideal option. While it’s much smaller than some of the other items on our list, it’s just enough to provide some extra support for your growing belly.
Many users like to use this as a pregnancy pillow for back pain, as well.
Similar to the previous Boppy product, the Hiccapop Pregnancy Pillow Wedge is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want a full-body pregnancy pillow.
One of the best things about this pillow is that it features a 2-sided design to fit the needs of any mom using it, and one side is much firmer than the other. This option is also great for women who are dealing with swelling during their pregnancy.
Comfort, cooling, and quality – three things you’re sure to get when you purchase the Queen Rose Cooling U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow on Amazon!
Customers love how comfortable and versatile this maternity pillow is. Plus, the soft removable cover provides a refreshing coolness while you sleep.
When you don’t want to fill your bed up with a total body pillow, but you still need some additional support for your growing baby bump, why not try the Boppy Pregnancy Support Pillow?
As a brand that’s made a name for itself as one of the top manufacturers of nursing pillows, it should come as no surprise that their maternity pillows provide first-class rest, even with round ligament pain and backaches.
Are you interested in a pregnancy pillow that offers a simpler design? Then you’re sure to love the Original Body Pillow from Coop.
This is listed as one of the leading pregnancy pillows by the Sleep Foundation.
During your search for a pregnancy pillow for back pain, there will be many options available.
If you want one of the most popular choices, you can’t go wrong with the AngQi Full Body Pregnancy Pillow.
This maternity pillow not only features an innovative ergonomic design but also allows moms to remove or add stuffing until they find a fill that makes them feel good.
Not everyone has the budget to spend tons of money on a pregnancy pillow they might not use after their baby is born.
If this sounds like your situation, the Boppy Pregnancy Wedge is a low-cost alternative that still provides reliable support until you give birth!
As one of the longest pregnancy pillows on Amazon at 57” long, the Victorstar maternity pillow is undoubtedly a leading pick for soon-to-be moms.
Its removable cover is easy to clean, and it comes in three colors that are sure to blend seamlessly into the overall look of your bedroom. Many moms continue to use the pillow for nursing and sleeping long after their babies are born.
It’s Time to Get Comfy During Pregnancy
The time has come to put an end to your tossing and turning during pregnancy. Whether you’re looking for a pregnancy pillow for back pain or simply a pregnancy pillow wedge, there are many outstanding options just a short drive or click away!
Stop worrying about how little sleep you’re getting during the night. Any of these pregnancy pillows are sure to send you to the Land of Nod in no time.
Did you use a pregnancy pillow before your baby was born? Which one? Tell us all about it in the comments below!
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.