pregnancy pillow

Everything You Need to Know About the Pregnancy Pillow

Are you an expectant mother having trouble sleeping? Do you find it difficult, switching from one side to another? Are you afraid something wrong with your baby will happen while you sleep? Worry no more because the pregnancy pillow is here for you.

To give the best quality sleep both for the mother and her baby, companies have created a unique pillow for pregnant mommies like yourself! Pregnancy pillows are specifically to fit your needs!

Importance of Sleep

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Studies say that a person sleeps one-third (1/3) of his lifetime. This one-third will have a direct effect on the other two-thirds (2/3). Therefore, the quality (and lack thereof) of sleep is crucial to a person’s wellbeing. 

Experts cannot stress enough how vital sleep is for the development of the human body. Sleep is essential for the repair of cells, and the overall rejuvenation of our health. A good night’s sleep might spell a big difference in a person who sleeps typically less than prescribed. A miserable night’s sleep leads to the degradation of the physical and mental state of humans. Not only would a person be at risk for different diseases, his or her psychological health will also be vulnerable. According to the National Institute of Health, “Getting inadequate sleep over time can raise your risk for chronic (long-term) health problems.”

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On the flipside, some of the proven benefits of quality sleep are: keeping the heart healthy, thus lowering the risk of a heart attack. It might even reduce the risk of cancer. Further, sleep reduces stress. Also, it sharpens one’s mental state by improving memory and keeping a person alert. It also helps in reducing inflammation or infections. Finally, sleep aids in the mental wellbeing of a person by supplying the sufficient chemicals (serotonin) to the brain.

According to research, the ideal number of hours of sleep at night is 6 hours for adults and at least 7 hours for children. Children and teenagers need more sleep compared to adults because they still need rest to grow and develop. While the numbers vary, no doubt getting quality sleep will work wonders for a person’s general health.

Sleep and Pregnancy

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If it is ideal to have a good night’s rest for an individual, what more during pregnancy? Studies suggest that not only would it benefit the mother, getting proper rest would also be beneficial for the baby. It will also help the baby grow healthy inside the womb. Besides, a healthy mother means a bouncing baby boy or girl. 

However, there are sleep problems that may occur during pregnancy. Insomnia is the most common problem. This condition manifests in difficulty sleeping, staying asleep, or waking up too early or feeling unrested. Another sleeping problem is called Restless legs syndrome (RLS). It is the unpleasant feeling in one’s legs, characterized by tingling, aching, etc. 

Pregnant women also experience sleep apnea or the disorder in which a person’s sleep is repeatedly interrupted by difficulty breathing. This disorder is noticeable when a person is snoring heavily and gasping for air. Usually, frequent nighttime urination is also very noticeable.

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Traditionally, eating the right food and drinking the prescribed medicines and supplements while getting proper rest and sleep will keep a mother healthy.  But one very helpful way to get proper sleep is by using a pregnancy pillow at night. These are special pillows that provide comfort to a pregnant woman.

Getting enough sleep while pregnant is vital. According to an NCBI article, “Sleep deprivation during pregnancy has been associated with longer labor, elevated perception of pain and discomfort during labor, higher cesarean rates, preterm labor, and higher levels of pro-inflammatory serum cytokines.” In short, it could make giving birth even more painful.

What is a Pregnancy Pillow?

Simply put, a pregnancy pillow (also called maternity pillow or pregnancy support pillow) is a cushy pillow specifically for pregnant women. Various designs and sizes are available in the market. These pillows offer comfort and relief when sleeping. And as much as the baby inside the womb needs proper nourishment, the mother must secure the child from any external harm.

When do mothers use pregnancy pillows? This pillow is used most notably during the middle to the late stages of pregnancy when sleeping might be extra unmanageable. This pillow supports the mother while sleeping, while keeping the baby safe as it develops in the womb. 

How is the Pregnancy Pillow Different from a Regular Pillow?

Aside from its unique shape, pregnancy pillows specifically cater to pregnant mothers. It is far from the traditional rectangular (or square-shaped) pillows we have at home. Pregnancy pillows have a definite and medical purpose. In terms of availability, while your typical pillow is available almost anywhere, not all department stores sell these. 

In terms of price, concededly pregnant pillows are more expensive than the normal ones. But this is understandable since the former is more specific than the latter.

Different Types of Pregnancy Pillow

There are various designs in the market catering to the specific needs of a mother. It may be half-body or full-body. These come in different shapes as well. In terms of size, it has three classifications: wedge, full length, and total body.

Wedge pillow

This is the smallest of the three. It has the shape of a wedge and is frequently placed at the back, supporting the side of the stomach.

Full-length pillow

As the name suggests, this pregnancy pillow extends from head to toe. However, there is not much support on the stomach or back if one uses this. But it can be a great and comfy pillow to hug at night.

Total body 

This type offers the best support in the vital parts of the body. It also comes in different shapes.


A C-shaped pillow that provides head support, back support, thigh support, and stomach support connected end-to-end. Its back support is curved. In its 2009 original patent design, a cover encloses the four supports. Each support has air chambers with separate valves. There is also padding, which fills a portion of the hollow between the cover and the supports.

This pillow primarily provides support to a pregnant woman lying on her side. As advised by doctors, expectant mothers must sleep on their sides. It is due to the disturbances in blood flow caused by the baby on large blood vessels as the baby matures.


This is suitable for mothers who want to sleep on their backs. This pillow cushions the weight of the tummy on the organs of the mother, thus, keeping both herself and the baby safe.


There are prior designs to the C-shaped pregnancy pillows. There are body pillows with a horse-shaped top and a J-shaped bottom. However, these designs do not have enough air chambers and valves, or worse, they do not have them at all. 

But whatever design pregnancy pillows may come in, one thing is for sure – they help pregnant mothers sleep better.

How to Choose the Best Pregnancy Pillow for You?

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right type of pregnancy pillow best for you. An expectant mother may base it on the price, the materials used, the shape and size, softness, and more. Different companies sell various pillow fillings such as microbeads, polyester fiber, memory foam, and much more. There are also hypoallergenic ones.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, “the best sleep position during pregnancy is ‘SOS’ (sleep on side) because it provides the best circulation for you and your baby.” What is important is to pick the pillow that best fits your and your baby’s needs, and also allows you to sleep on your side..

What are Its Benefits?

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There are a lot of health benefits when using a pregnancy pillow during and after pregnancy. Not only that, but there are also practical benefits! It might  save you a trip to your doctor or money since you wouldn’t need to buy pain relievers for your back pain.

It relieves pain and discomfort. 

Pain and discomfort while sleeping is typical in pregnancy. To alleviate this, pregnancy pillows are helpful, considering the technology incorporated in its design. Some brands have air chambers and valves while others have softer materials.

It is useful for joint and back pain. 

Because of the growing fetus inside the womb, a mother may feel back pains. This condition puts tremendous pressure on the knees and hips of the mother. Thus, a pregnancy pillow, in a different shape and with air chambers, can give adequate support in these areas.

It promotes the proper circulation of blood. 

Doctors require mothers to sleep on their side for adequate flow. It is because the weight of the baby puts pressure on the arteries and veins of the mother. Any shape can provide a flexible space for the mother to rest sideways while supporting her back, thighs, and legs.

It can relieve heartburn. 

Pregnancy can cause heartburn, or the burning sensation coming from the stomach, and acid reflux. A pregnancy pillow elevates the upper body, which aids in the relief of acid reflux or heartburn.



It is relaxing, hence, results in longer and quality sleep. 

Without a doubt, a pregnant mother needs at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep to remain healthy for her baby’s sake. However, long sleep is not enough – it must be a relaxing and pain-free sleep. And so pregnancy pillows are manufactured precisely for this purpose.

It is hypoallergenic. 

Allergies may act up during pregnancy and sometimes, pillows and mattresses can cause allergies. Most pregnancy pillows are hypoallergenic, which is excellent to keep allergies at bay.

It is useful after giving birth. 

Not only are these useful during pregnancy, but these can also be functional after giving birth! This pillow can be helpful, particularly as a means of support while nursing the baby.

Source: Pixabay

Where is it Available?

Certain stores and big supermarkets sell a wide array of choices for pregnancy pillows. But if you cannot find one in your nearest malls or supermarkets, you can also order this product online through Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and others. You may have your pregnancy pillow delivered right at your doorstep. 



Final Thoughts

It is already proven by science that sleep is essential to the health of an individual. Pregnancy pillows are commercially available for mothers like yourself. Gone are the nights when you cannot sleep because of discomfort! Say hello to peaceful, safe, and quiet sleep!

Getting proper rest also benefits not only the mother but also the unborn child. Living a healthy lifestyle gives the child a chance for a better life. More tips and information on maternity and motherhood can be found here in Preggy to Mommy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. When should you start using a pregnancy pillow?
  2. Is C-shaped or U-shaped pregnancy pillow better?
  3. Are pregnancy pillows necessary?
  4. Which is the best pillow for pregnancy?
  5. Why do you put a pillow between your legs when pregnant?
  6. Where do you put your pillow when sleeping while pregnant?
  7. How many pillows should you sleep with when pregnant?
Kathy Urbanski

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