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Why You Need a Pregnancy Pillow and How to Find the Best One

by Vannessa Rhoades 16 Dec 2022
Why You Need a Pregnancy Pillow and How to Find the Best One

Growing a new human comes with a lot of aches, cramps, and discomforts. The increasing extra weight puts more and more pressure on your spine, hips, and feet as the months progress. It’s estimated that 2 in 3 women experience lower back pain and sore muscles during pregnancy, which in turn result in sleep disruptions. Not only is it more challenging to get quality sleep at night, but you’ll also experience daytime fatigue due to your changing body. For many people, a pregnancy pillow is a great natural remedy for getting better sleep, as well as preventing and treating some of the most common aches and pains.

What Is a Pregnancy Pillow?

A pregnancy pillow (also known as a maternity pillow) is specifically made to provide additional support to a pregnant body’s changing shape and silhouette. They tend to be longer, but are available in a variety of shapes. A pregnancy pillow offers more support to the entire body by reducing strain on your changing pressure points, fitting into all the shifting contours, and relieving pain in those critical areas.

The Snuggle Me Organic Feeding Pillow is designed to fit you and your baby’s unique feeding needs. Crafted with narrow ends that easily tuck behind your back and a thick center that brings baby right to you. This modern feeding pillow places your baby in the perfect feeding position, allowing you to lean back and relax while nursing or bottle-feeding your little one. 


Why Do You Need a Pregnancy Pillow?

Clearly, the biggest benefit of using a pregnancy pillow is more comfortable, restful sleep for the pregnant person. Pregnancy pillows are most effective at relieving pain and pressure between the legs, behind the back, and underneath the belly. Here are a few more advantages to using one: 

Improved blood circulation 

Doctors generally agree that side-sleeping is the ideal position in the third trimester, with your legs slightly tucked up towards your chin. This position improves blood flow to the uterus and helps deliver nutrients and oxygen to the fetus. The improved circulation and kidney function also reduce swelling, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins. A pregnancy pillow allows you to sleep comfortably sideways, offering support beneath the belly and between the legs. 

Eases pain and discomfort

As your body becomes increasingly heavier, the stress on your spine, hips, and legs becomes more intense. Good, comfortable sleep is essential to giving these body parts the rest and recovery time they need. A maternity pillow keeps your neck, back, and hips aligned, providing enough support to allow you to find a comfortable sleep position.

Useful after childbirth

You can continue to use your pregnancy pillow even after delivery! They’re ideal for helping you position your baby during nursing and offer an extra measure of comfort for those who’ve undergone cesarean delivery (C-section).

Nursing moms appreciate comfort while they sleep, yet still need support. The Medela Nursing Sleep Bra has a new racer-back design that gives plenty of both. The improved fabric blend has unique wicking properties to keep moms cool and comfortable all night long. The seamless design with a crisscross front makes it easy to handle those nighttime feedings.


When Do You Need a Pregnancy Pillow?

There’s no specified time. It really all comes down to your personal preference. Some people get them early in their pregnancy to get into the habit of side sleeping. For many people, the third trimester is the most difficult, bringing back pain, heartburn, and sleep apnea. As the belly grows and expands, causing pain in ligaments and other parts of the body, many people turn to a pregnancy pillow for relief.

What to Look for in a Pregnancy Pillow

Pregnancy pillows are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials. From wedges to full-length pillows to C-shaped pillows, each has different advantages for individual preferences. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a pregnancy pillow.


Each shape of pillow caters to a different set of needs. Determine what type of pain or discomfort you're dealing with in order to select the most helpful pillow.

    • Round or triangular wedge pillow: Place under the tummy or behind the back to provide the necessary support. It can also be used as a standard pillow to ease heartburn and reflux as it raises your head.
    • Full-length pregnancy pillow: Designed to hug and cuddle, these long pregnancy pillows offer comfort to the arms and legs and support the tummy. It does not provide significant support to the back. 
    • Total body pregnancy pillows: These pillows are perfect for women of any height but are especially useful for petite people. It is ideal when used during the second trimester and beyond, as it provides immense support to the spine and helps reduce hip and back pain.
    • C-shaped pillow: This pillow provides support to the head, tummy, legs, and back. It’s ideal for plus-sized people and those who prefer sleeping in a “riding” position. Place your head on the top of the pillow and slide your back into the curve.
    • U-shaped pillow: These work well for those who prefer sleeping on their back (but can’t because of the belly). It supports the entire body, including the tummy and the back. It’s a great choice for those who switch sleep sides during the night as it requires less readjustment.

Material or cover

Pregnant people tend to sweat a lot, and your pillow cover will absorb it. Select a pillow that has a removable cover. A cotton cover will be cooler and offer more breathability than polyester.


The filling in the pillow will have an impact on the comfort and quality of your sleep. Polyester fiber, styrofoam balls, buckwheat, microbeads, memory foam, and organic fillings all offer different advantages and drawbacks. Some make awkward noises when you move around on them. Some are hypoallergenic. Others may have a chemical smell. Do your research to learn which one may work best for you.


Very soft pillows may not provide adequate support. Firm pillows are preferable when it comes to providing support to the head and the body.

The Takeaway

A pregnancy pillow isn’t necessarily a “must-have” for everyone, but it can certainly help you get better quality rest throughout those nine months. For those with chronic pain, feeling more comfortable during pregnancy is worth every bit of the investment. Assess your needs and choose one that works best for you – and look forward to more restful days ahead (at least until the baby arrives)!

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