Pregnancy Pillows: When to Start Using One and How to Choose the Best One for You

A pregnancy pillow is a specially designed pillow that helps pregnant women sleep more comfortably and get better rest. It is typically large and U-shaped, but there are also other shapes and sizes available, such as C-shaped, wedge-shaped, and side sleeper pillows. Pregnancy pillows are made of a variety of materials, such as memory foam, polyester fiber, and down alternative.

Benefits of using a pregnancy pillow

  • Alleviates body aches and pains. Pregnancy pillows can help to relieve back pain, hip pain, leg pain, and other aches and pains associated with pregnancy. This is because they provide support to your head, neck, back, hips, and legs.
  • Enhances blood circulation. Pregnancy pillows can help to improve blood circulation by elevating your legs and keeping your spine aligned. This can help to reduce swelling in your feet and ankles, and improve your overall health and well-being.
  • Improves sleep quality and duration. Pregnancy pillows can help you to get a better night’s sleep by providing support and comfort. This can lead to improved sleep quality and duration, which is essential for both you and your baby.
  • Prevents supine sleeping. Supine sleeping, or sleeping on your back, can be dangerous for pregnant women, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. This is because it can put pressure on the inferior vena cava, a major vein that carries blood back to the heart. Pregnancy pillows can help you to avoid supine sleeping by keeping you on your side or at an angle.

Statistics and facts

  • A study published in the journal Sleep found that pregnant women who slept on their side were 5.8% less likely to experience a stillbirth.
  • A study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that pregnant women who slept on their side were less likely to develop gestational hypertension and preeclampsia.
  • A study published in the journal Pain found that pregnant women who used a pregnancy pillow reported less back pain and improved sleep quality.

Key takeaways

  • Pregnancy pillows can offer a variety of benefits to pregnant women, such as alleviating body aches and pains, enhancing blood circulation, improving sleep quality and duration, and preventing supine sleeping.
  • There is no fixed time to start using a pregnancy pillow, but it is generally recommended to start using one around 20 weeks of pregnancy, when the belly starts to expand and cause discomfort.
  • You can use a pregnancy pillow as early as you like, or as late as you need, as long as it helps you sleep better and more comfortably.

When to start using a pregnancy pillow

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when to start using a pregnancy pillow. Every woman is different, and her body will change differently during pregnancy. However, there are a few factors to consider when deciding when to start using a pregnancy pillow:

  • Your body size and shape. If you have a larger belly or are carrying twins or multiples, you may need to start using a pregnancy pillow earlier. This is because your belly will put more pressure on your spine and other body parts, and a pregnancy pillow can help to relieve this pressure.
  • Your sleeping position. If you prefer to sleep on your back, you should start using a pregnancy pillow as soon as possible. This is because supine sleeping can be dangerous for pregnant women, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. A pregnancy pillow can help you to stay on your side or at an angle, which is safer for you and your baby.
  • Your level of discomfort or pain. If you are experiencing any discomfort or pain during pregnancy, such as back pain, hip pain, or leg pain, a pregnancy pillow can help to relieve this pain. You may want to start using a pregnancy pillow as soon as you start experiencing any discomfort.

When to start using a pregnancy pillow by trimester

  • First trimester: You may not need to start using a pregnancy pillow in the first trimester, unless you are experiencing a lot of discomfort or pain.
  • Second trimester: This is a good time to start using a pregnancy pillow, as your belly will start to expand and put more pressure on your body.
  • Third trimester: This is the most important time to use a pregnancy pillow, as your belly will be at its largest and your body will be carrying the most weight.

Different types of pregnancy pillows and how to use them

There are a variety of different types of pregnancy pillows available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The most common types of pregnancy pillows include:

  • U-shaped pillows: These pillows offer support to your head, neck, back, hips, and legs. They are ideal for women who switch sides during the night.
  • C-shaped pillows: These pillows also support your head, neck, back, hips, and legs, but only on your front side. They are good for women who prefer to sleep on one side.
  • Wedge pillows: These are small pillows that can be placed under your belly, back, or between your legs to provide support and relief to specific areas.
  • Side sleeper pillows: These pillows support both your stomach and back, and allow you to sleep on your side comfortably.

Tips for choosing the best pregnancy pillow

When choosing a pregnancy pillow, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Size: Pregnancy pillows come in a variety of sizes. Choose a pillow that is large enough to support your whole body, but not so large that it takes up too much space in your bed.
  • Shape: Pregnancy pillows come in a variety of shapes, such as U-shaped, C-shaped, wedge-shaped, and side sleeper pillows. Choose a pillow that is the most comfortable for you and your sleeping position.
  • Material: Pregnancy pillows are made of a variety of materials, such as memory foam, polyester fiber, and down alternative. Choose a pillow that is made of a material that is soft and comfortable for you.
  • Price: Pregnancy pillows can range in price from around $20 to $200. Choose a pillow that fits your budget and needs.
  • Your sleeping position: Pregnancy pillows are designed to suit different sleeping positions, such as side, back, or stomach. You should choose a pillow that matches your preferred sleeping position, or that allows you to switch positions easily.
  • Your personal preference: Pregnancy pillows are also a matter of personal taste, as you may prefer a certain material, color, or design. You should choose a pillow that you like and that makes you feel good.

Here are a few specific recommendations for pregnancy pillows

Snoogle Total Body Support Pillow

This pillow is U-shaped and provides support for your head, neck, back, hips, and legs. It is also adjustable, so you can find the most comfortable position for you.

C-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow

This pillow is C-shaped and provides support for your head, neck, back, and hips. It is also good for women who prefer to sleep on their side.

Wedge Pillow

This pillow is wedge-shaped and can be used to support your belly, back, or between your legs. It is also good for women who travel frequently, as it is small and portable.

Side Sleeper Pregnancy Pillow

This pillow is designed specifically for side sleepers. It provides support for your belly, back, and hips, and helps to keep your spine aligned.

Which is better: U-shaped or C-shaped pregnancy pillow?

Both U-shaped and C-shaped pregnancy pillows can be helpful, but they offer different benefits. U-shaped pillows provide more support for your entire body, including your head, neck, back, hips, and legs. C-shaped pillows are ideal for women who prefer to sleep on one side, as they cradle your body and help to keep your spine aligned.

Conclusion

Summary of main points

  • Pregnancy pillows can offer a variety of benefits to pregnant women, such as alleviating body aches and pains, enhancing blood circulation, improving sleep quality and duration, and preventing supine sleeping.
  • There is no fixed time to start using a pregnancy pillow, but it is generally recommended to start using one around 20 weeks of pregnancy, when the belly starts to expand and cause discomfort.
  • You can use a pregnancy pillow as early as you like, or as late as you need, as long as it helps you sleep better and more comfortably.
  • When choosing a pregnancy pillow, consider your body size and shape, your sleeping position, and your level of discomfort or pain.
  • Some popular pregnancy pillows include the Snoogle Total Body Support Pillow, the C-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow, the Wedge Pillow, and the Side Sleeper Pregnancy Pillow.

Making the most of your pregnancy pillow

  • Wash and dry your pillow regularly, according to the instructions, to keep it clean and fresh.
  • Experiment with different positions and angles, to find the most comfortable and effective way to use your pillow.
  • Use your pillow for other purposes, such as reading, relaxing, or nursing, to get more value and enjoyment from it.

If you are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, I encourage you to try a pregnancy pillow. It may just be the thing you need to improve your sleep quality and comfort during this special time in your life.

Ressources

FAQs

Can I use a regular pillow instead of a pregnancy pillow?

You can use a regular pillow instead of a pregnancy pillow, but it may not provide the same level of support and comfort. A regular pillow may be too soft, too hard, too small, or too big, depending on your needs. A pregnancy pillow is specially designed to fit your body and your sleeping position, and to offer more benefits, such as relieving pain, improving blood circulation, and preventing supine sleeping.

How many pregnancy pillows do I need?

The number of pregnancy pillows you need depends on your preference and comfort. Some women may only need one pregnancy pillow, while others may need two or more. You can use different types of pregnancy pillows, such as a U-shaped pillow for your whole body, and a wedge pillow for your belly or back. You can also use regular pillows in combination with pregnancy pillows, to create your own customized arrangement.

Can I use a pregnancy pillow after delivery?

Yes, you can use a pregnancy pillow after delivery, as it can still provide support and comfort for your body. You can use a pregnancy pillow to prop up your head or feet, to ease your back or pelvic pain, or to support your baby while feeding or playing. You can also use a pregnancy pillow to help you recover from a C-section or a vaginal delivery, as it can reduce the pressure on your incision or stitches.

What is the best material for a pregnancy pillow?

The best material for a pregnancy pillow depends on your personal preference and comfort. Some of the common materials for pregnancy pillows are:
Memory foam: This is a dense and firm material that conforms to your body shape and provides good support and pressure relief.
Polyester fiber: This is a soft and fluffy material that is also breathable and hypoallergenic.
Down alternative: This is a soft and luxurious material that feels like down, but is also hypoallergenic.

What is the number one rated pregnancy pillow?

The Snoogle Total Body Support Pillow is consistently rated as one of the best pregnancy pillows on the market. It is U-shaped and provides support for your entire body. It is also adjustable, so you can find the most comfortable position for you.

Can I use a pregnancy pillow if I’m not pregnant?

Yes, you can use a pregnancy pillow even if you are not pregnant. Pregnancy pillows can be helpful for anyone who experiences back pain, hip pain, or other aches and pains. They can also be used to improve sleep quality and comfort.

Why can’t I sleep on my right side while pregnant?

Sleeping on your right side can put pressure on the inferior vena cava, a major vein that carries blood back to the heart. This can reduce blood flow to your placenta and baby. Sleeping on your left side is best, as it improves blood flow and reduces the risk of complications such as preeclampsia and stillbirth.

What happens if you accidentally sleep on your back while pregnant?

If you accidentally sleep on your back while pregnant, don’t panic. It is unlikely to cause any harm to you or your baby. However, if you find that you are frequently sleeping on your back, try to switch to your side or use a pregnancy pillow to help you stay on your side.

What household chores to avoid during pregnancy?

There are a few household chores that you should avoid during pregnancy, such as:
Lifting heavy objects
Cleaning with harsh chemicals
Using a step stool or ladder
Gardening with your hands
Changing diapers (if you have other children)
These chores can put you at risk of injury or miscarriage. If you must do any of these chores, be sure to take precautions and ask for help when needed.

When should you stop sleeping on your stomach when pregnant?

You should stop sleeping on your stomach as soon as your baby bump starts to show. This is typically around 20 weeks of pregnancy. Sleeping on your stomach can put pressure on your baby and placenta, and it can also be uncomfortable.

When should I stop lying on my back during pregnancy?

You should stop lying on your back after 28 weeks of pregnancy. This is because lying on your back can put pressure on the inferior vena cava and reduce blood flow to your baby.
I hope this answers your additional questions. If you have any other questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.