Pregnancy pillows are an excellent tool for getting the best rest possible during pregnancy. They support you in all the ways your body needs so you can comfortably rest before the baby comes. When searching how to find the right pregnancy pillow, it can seem overwhelming. However, it's quite straightforward once you understand the different considerations for a pregnancy pillow.
What is a Pregnancy Pillow?
Pregnancy pillows are specially made to accommodate the whole body as it changes and grows during pregnancy. They're not just pillows for your head. They are on offer in a range of shapes and sizes so that they can be twisted and moved around to better support your body during pregnancy. The growing baby's added weight will put a lot of pressure on your bladder, back, and other organs. It can also make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position, and you need your sleep now, before the baby arrives, and ensures you don’t sleep for months on end.
Pregnancy pillows can include wedges, body pillows, and U or C-shaped varieties that are bigger than your body. These can range from inexpensive wedges to the investment of U or C-shaped body pillows.
Benefits of Pregnancy Pillows:
- More Comfort
- Deeper Sleep
- Less Pain
- More Support
- Nursing Support
How to Find the Right Pregnancy Pillow
The size of the pregnancy pillow is going to determine a lot of the other aspects of it, so it's good to narrow down what size you need early. Pregnancy pillows come in a massive variety of sizes, so don't worry about variety to start with. Instead, focus on how your body feels and how you want to be supported. If you're already pregnant and feeling uncomfortable, pay attention to what you do to make yourself more comfortable. Whether it's rolling onto specific sides, jamming pillows between your legs, piling pillows in one spot, or having your partner support you in a certain way. These will help you figure out a size and shape that will work well for you.
A few questions you can ask yourself to help figure out what size you need include:
- How big is your bed? Will there be anybody else sleeping in that bed with you?
- Where do you need the most support?
- Do you need or prefer spot support (as in one specific spot) or full-body support?
- Do you roll or shift positions a lot when you sleep?
- Do you have room to store the pillow when it’s not in use?
- Will you need to travel with the pillow?
Wedges are either triangle or crescent-shaped and are (like the name implies) used to wedge underneath your body. This supports specific areas of your body that need a little extra something. So, you can slide it under your belly to support the extra weight or elevate your knees and ankles if you’re experiencing swelling.
Beans are bean-shaped and used for the same idea as a wedge. They target specific spots where you need a little more support to rest more easily and feel better.
Straight tubes are long, full-length body pillows. They're perfect for supporting the front half of your body. They’re excellent when you’re lying on your side between your legs so that one leg is above the pillow and underneath. You can essentially sink into this pillow, and it’ll keep your whole body aligned without any extra effort.
Alphabet shape pregnancy pillows are similar to head pillows in that the shape you choose will vary depending on the way you sleep. What they all have in common is that they offer 360-degree support.
This U-shape covers you on all sides. The opening goes at your feet, so your head is resting on the lump of the U, and your neck, back, and belly are all supported. This option is awesome for supporting your neck and belly at the same time, and you can roll to either side and still get the same support without having to move the pillow. The potential downside to this pillow is that if you share a bed, your bed partner might feel like there’s not much room left for them.
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The C-shape is a great option for those who need support for everything, including their ankles. Unfortunately, the opening for this one is on the side, and many pregnant people put their bellies in the opening, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it too. The biggest downside to this is that if you’re a roller, you’ll have to flip it every time you switch sides.
These candy-cane-shaped pillows take up less room than the C or U pillows. They’re used primarily for supporting your back or belly, and you can choose whether to use the curved part for your head or between your legs. This is a good option for those with less bed space, but the downside is that you can't support both your belly and back at the same time.
How to Find the Right Pregnancy Pillow: Fabric
Although pattern and color are important, we’re also talking about texture and material. Many people who get pregnant are sensitive to textures, and for those who plan to continue to use the best pillow after birth, smooth and gentle material is essential for the baby.
Questions you can ask to ensure you get a great fabric are:
- Is it breathable?
- Does it feel good against the skin?
- Is it easy to wash and dry?
- Is it warm or cool enough?
- How does it smell?
- Do you have clothes in this fabric? If so, do you love them and want to wear them every day?
How to Find the Right Pregnancy Pillow: Filling
The filling of your pregnancy pillow is going to be a major deciding factor in how comfortable you are. Understand the different fillings and how they will impact support, softness, and sensitive skin or noses.
- Air- Adapts to body contours easily.
- Wool- Soft and supportive while being warm but not overly hot.
- Memory foam- Firm, these pillows will take on the shape of your body while you sleep. They’ll reduce body aches and provide good support.
- Polyester fibers- Contours to the body while staying moldable and malleable and being soft and cool.
- Styrofoam balls- Lightweight, these pillows will conform to your body easily, although there are significant complaints about the noise within the pillow.
- Natural filling- There are a few variations of natural fillings for pregnancy pillows, from bamboo to kapok. These are environmentally friendly, free from chemicals, and great for people with dust allergies.
How to Find the Right Pregnancy Pillow: Noise
While this might not be the first thing you think about, it is important. After all, if you have your head resting on this pillow, having a bunch of noise next to your ear is bound to drive you insane. For those who have sensory sensitivities, considering the noises a pregnancy pillow is likely to make is critical. It's also important to consider if you'll be using it for nursing because your baby might be sensitive to the noise.
Filling and fabric can both make noises, so choosing a filling that won't rattle or crinkle is important. Starchy or stiff fabrics on the pillow's outside might also crinkle. The two could even interact in a way that makes noise. Not to mention the noise your sleeping partner might make if there’s no room for them in the bed!
Consider Your Options
Picking the best pregnancy pillow is an involved decision with a lot of parts to consider. We recommend starting your search for a pregnancy pillow before you're likely to need one, so you can start the consideration and ordering process early. Check out our website for more tips and tricks on having a great sleep.