As your belly grows during pregnancy, sleeping becomes more challenging. Supporting your back, hips, and belly can make it easier to sleep. Special pregnancy body pillows are designed to fit your changing contours. Here’s how to decide if a pregnancy body pillow is worth it.
Pregnancy Body Pillow Advantages
Most pregnancy body pillows come in a large C or U shape. They’re designed for you to curl up inside, letting the pillow cushion and support your body. Unlike smaller pillows, these large options can provide welcome relief from back pain. Some of the large options also accommodate more sleeping positions than smaller pillows, which is good for people who naturally have a more restless sleep style.
The main benefit of a pregnancy body pillow is longer sleep. That perk alone makes the purchase worth it for many expecting parents! You may also find it easier to sleep on your side with the cushioned support, which doctors recommend to improve blood circulation. After the baby arrives, a full-length pillow can also aid breastfeeding. Using the pillow as a posture aid and prop can make it easier to get the hang of a side-lying breastfeeding position. Some U-shaped pillows even hook together into a nursing pillow for when you’re sitting up.
Pregnancy Body Pillow Disadvantages
Anyone with a small bed can spot one immediate downside to buying a pregnancy body pillow. There’s a decent chance your partner will have to find alternate sleeping arrangements! Bulk is definitely a factor to consider before splurging on a body pillow. Consider whether a partner has room to sleep (or wouldn’t mind sleeping elsewhere for a few months), as well as how much you prefer to turn over in the night, since you may need to shift or flip the pillow accordingly.
Price may be a concern, too. Many of the larger pregnancy body pillow options start around $40, and may cost more than $100. It’s a significant expense for an item you’ll likely only use for a short time.
Finally, pay attention to noise and cleaning features. Crinkly stuffing or fabric may disturb your sleep. A non-removable cover leaves the pillow very difficult to clean. Give a pillow a good squeeze before buying and get one or two removable covers to improve your pregnancy body pillow experience.
Alternate Pregnancy Pillow Options
If a pregnancy body pillow doesn’t sound like the right fit, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Many smaller options exist. A straight body pillow takes up less room and still provides support, although it doesn’t offer as much back support. Wedge pillows are the smallest options. As the name suggests, they’re shaped like a wedge of cheese. You can use it to support one area at a time. Slipping it under your belly or tucking it against your back are the most common placements. You can also use it to hold a warm compress in place. These options are smaller and cheaper, but they don’t offer the full spectrum of support.
In a pinch, you can also put together a DIY pillow support system with regular pillows. Try folding a thin pillow in half and putting it between your legs to correct hip alignment, and wedging two more pillows behind your back and under your stomach to keep you in place.
Wishing you a restful night with whatever pillow option is right for you!