As time goes by you can notice that your tummy is bigger and bigger by the week. That is a good thing; your baby is growing, but you become more and more uncomfortable. Sleeping has become a real challenge, and you cannot get enough rest. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem: a pregnancy pillow.
Using one will not only make you sleep comfortably, but your partner will be just as happy because you will not be tossing and turning in bed all night long. This article will enlighten you on the subject and will help you choose the best pregnancy pillow that will suit your needs.
About pregnancy pillows
You may be wondering what a pregnancy pillow is. You heard about it from your friends; it has been recommended to you by your midwife, or you just simply found the concept online. Well, a pregnancy pillow (or a maternity pillow) is a specially designed pillow that will offer the appropriate amount of support to your pregnant body during pregnancy.
I know what you may be thinking: ‘Why won’t a regular pillow do the job?’ And you may be right. Some women find regular pillows more than satisfactory, but the majority of women regularly complain about them. Why? Because they do not offer adequate support. They do not have that unique shape that allows a pregnant woman to lay down comfortably. Not to mention the fact that regular pillows always seem to be in the habit of running from under you when you move. A pregnancy pillow would never have the chance, precisely because of its particular shape.
If you are in luck and a regular pillow is enough for you, then very well. You are one lucky lady, and you shouldn’t think of spending money on a pregnancy pillow. But if you are not, then you should search for the best pregnancy body pillow there is. Trust me. It’s one of the best investments you can make.
I say this because there are a few issues women experience while pregnant. While some of them are unavoidable, there are a few that can be quickly put to rest with the help of a pregnancy pillow:
- certain medical conditions (such as Sciatica)
- pain when waking up (pelvic, hip or lower back pain in the morning are relatively common)
- back or tummy sleeper (if you used to sleep on your back or your belly before the pregnancy, then a maternity pillow will make your life a lot easier)
- pillow collection (most women who use regular pillows instead of a pregnancy pillow are practically buried in pillows to make them more comfortable)
If you find yourself admitting that these issues are a part of your life, then go and buy yourself the best pregnancy pillow you can find. Also, be careful to make the difference between a pregnancy pillow and a body pillow. While a body pillow is comfortable, its straight shape will not do you much good. You need the unique shape of a pregnancy pillow to get satisfaction.
Types of maternity pillows
Now, don’t think that there is just one kind of pregnancy pillow. There are different types, each coming with its advantages and disadvantages.
I suppose you can guess what a pregnancy wedge pillow looks like, right? A wedge, obviously. You can easily slide it under your belly or your back for the much-needed support during the night.
This type of maternity body pillow is the most popular mostly because it’s the cheapest pregnancy pillow available. Moreover, you can use this maternity pillow even after you give birth. You can sit comfortably watching TV or put it under your pillows for more elevation.
The pregnancy wedge pillow is designed to be used in three ways:
- under your regular pillow – an elevated head means less reflux and heartburn
- under the belly – relieves the pressure on your back and hips
- behind the back – it will stop you from tossing and turning during the night.
Pregnancy wedges also come in two forms: Round pregnancy wedge pillow and Triangular pregnancy wedge pillow.
As for the advantages and disadvantages of a pregnancy wedge pillow, there isn’t much to be said. The benefits are that this type of pregnancy pillow is cheaper than other forms. Also, they do not take much room in the bed, so your partner can still sleep comfortably by your side. As far as the disadvantages go, this pregnancy pillow is inconsistent in design; it supports only a small section of your body (your back, belly or head, not all at once) and you still need another pillow to put under your head.
Other than that, the pregnancy wedge pillow seems to be a favorite still, because it is the most popular pregnancy pillow on the market. That doesn’t mean there is no room for better, though.
As you can tell from the name, this type of pregnancy pillow goes along the entire length of your body. They are also known as body pillows, and they are meant to be cuddled. While they are comfortable, they are less supportive than other pregnancy pillows.
This one is mostly made to replace the habit of putting many pillows along your body. By doing so with regular pillows, they will ultimately scatter all over the bed, but a full-length body pillow will stay in one place.
This type of pregnancy pillow can also be found in two forms: straight and flexible. The flexible one can be bend in whichever way you may need it and will prove itself to be adequate for your needs. A little word of advice: try your best to go for a more expensive pregnancy pillow because it contains microbeads instead of styrofoam balls. Microbeads make for a better supportive filling than styrofoam.
The advantages of a full-length body pillow are that you don’t need another pillow for your head and that it gives support to your entire body. The downsides are that it occupies a lot of space in the bed and back sleepers will not be satisfied with the product.
A total body pregnancy pillow
This is the best pregnancy pillow if you ask me. It gives support for the entire body, all at once. You can just wrap it around your body (it measures 5 to 6 feet long) and you will feel immediate relief and superior support. You cannot fail with a total body pregnancy pillow. This one also comes in two styles: C-shaped pregnancy pillow and U-shaped pregnancy pillow. My favorite one is the U-shaped because you can put it all around you. In my opinion, this is the best body pillow there is.
The advantages of this type of pregnancy pillow are evident. You don’t need another kind of support, not even a head pillow. Also, this is considered to be the best pregnancy body pillow on the market. The support it gives is incomparable. As for disadvantages, we have a size (this one is big and bulky) and price. While it’s the best maternity pillow, the total body pregnancy pillow is the most expensive.
What features to look for in a pillow
As you can see above, there are many types of pregnancy pillows. Now, the question remains: how do you know which one is the best? What do you need to look for when purchasing one? Here are a few tips.
The filling is, in my opinion, one of the most important aspects. The pillow filling is in charge of your degree of comfort. Fortunately, there a few good options you can choose from.
Styrofoam ball filling: while they are comfortable enough, they are found in the cheaper pregnancy pillows. These are the same balls that can be found in bean bags. The reason they are cheap is that they tend to make a lot of noise when you move around.
Polyester fiber filling: this is relatively popular among pregnancy pillows. The more polyester fiber in the pillow, the firmer it gets. It doesn’t make noise when moving, but it doesn’t seem to breathe as well as other fillings.
Micro-Bead filling: microbeads are incredibly small balls. The pillow resembles a sand-filled pillow, the difference being that it is a lot lighter. It doesn’t make too much noise and is a lot more comfortable than the pillow filled with styrofoam balls.
Natural and organic filling: you ca find pregnancy pillows filled with kapok, spelt or wool. You must be careful with these. Make sure to air them regularly. Otherwise, they will smell.
Memory foam filling: this is my favorite. As you press your body against a memory foam pregnancy pillow, it will take the form of your body. When you get up, the pillow will return to its original form. To avoid overheating, manufacturers shred the memory foam. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to sleep all night on this pillow.
Other aspects you should look for when looking for the best pregnancy pillow are:
- Does the pillow have a removable cover? You will have to clean it somehow.
- Are the materials hypoallergenic? You don’t need any surprises.
- How noisy is the pillow and how big?
As you can see, there are a few things you should consider before spending money on a pregnancy pillow. Finding the best one may seem difficult, but I am sure there is one for everyone.
Best Pregnancy Pillows
C-shaped – Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow
This Leachco pregnancy pillow seems to be the most popular, It has been on the market for the last ten years, and people are still buying it. It is very comfortable; you cannot overheat, and it has a removable zipper cover, which makes it easy to remove and wash.
The Snoogle pregnancy pillow is perfect for expecting mothers. It offers the so needed support, especially in the last month of pregnancy. It can relieve any pain you may have, or you can just use it to get more comfortable.
U-shaped – Leachco Back ‘N Belly Contoured Body Pillow
The most appealing benefit when it comes to this Leachco body pillow is that it offers support for both back and tummy. During the night, if you want to change the sleeping side, you don’t have to take the pillow with you. All you have to do is turn around.
This pregnancy pillow will help elevate the hips, which means that your joints will be free of pain. It is also recommended for carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, nasal congestion, and gastric reflux. The cover can be removed, and it is machine washable.
Memory foam – Pregnancy Memory Foam U-Shape Total Body Pillow by Dreamsweet
Memory foam is, in my opinion, the most comfortable pillow filling on the market. The curves on this pregnancy pillow wrap perfectly around the body offering excellent support for both back and tummy. It is made from memory foam chunks. That means your body will not overheat during the night.
The material is anti-dust mites and antimicrobial, which makes it perfect for pregnant women (before birth and after, when nursing). The cover is velour, removable and machine washable.
The best full-length – Snuggle-Pedic Shredded Bamboo Combination Memory Foam Body Pillow With Kool-Flow Cover
The Kool-Flow cover makes this pillow perfect for those people who overheat easily during the night. Pregnant women go through this on a daily basis, which makes this pillow perfect for them. The shredded memory foam filling will never allow for the pillow to get flat. Conforming shape orthopedically supports the body for sleeping on the side, stomach, and back.
The cover is hypoallergenic, dust mite resistant, completely removable and machine washable. The pillow will arrive rolled and vacuum sealed for friendly shipping.