Why You Need a Pregnancy Pillow (and How to Find the Perfect One)

A pregnancy pillow can help you get the sleep you desperately need. But which one is right for you? Find out in this comprehensive review!

A pregnancy pillow can help you get the sleep you desperately need. But which one is right for you? Find out in this comprehensive review!

You knew you’d spend your pregnancy picking out nursery décor and baby diapers, but did you know you’d be on the hunt for the perfect pillow?! A pregnancy pillow, that is! The holy grail of pillows, the pregnancy pillow can help you get the sleep you desperately need. But which one is right for you?

In this post, we’ll share everything you need to know, including:

Why You Need a Pregnancy Pillow

First things first: do you really need another pillow? The answer? A resounding YES! Pregnancy pillows are your best friend during pregnancy because they can help you sleep comfortably. Let’s take a look at the specifics.

When you’re pregnant, the ideal sleep position is on your left side. (You can learn more about sleeping safely while pregnant in this post.) While sleeping on the left side is good for you — and baby — it can make your hips or lower back sore after night after night. Pregnancy pillows can help you sleep safely and alleviate some of the common problems of sleeping with a growing belly.

The Right Pillow for Your Pain Points

Struggling with hip pain?

Put a wedge or C-shaped pillow between your legs. Sleeping with a pillow between your knees can help keep your hips aligned, which can also prevent back pain.

Struggling with neck and shoulder pain?

Hug a U-shaped pillow. Hugging pillows can do the same thing for your neck and shoulders: hugging a pillow forces your arm to stay elevated, keeping your neck and shoulders in a neutral position.

Rolling over on your stomach?

Use a wedge behind your lower back. Tucking a pillow or wedge under your belly can also prevent you from rolling over onto your belly.

While you could use separate pillows — one for between your legs, one to hug, one for your head, one to support your back — a pregnancy pillow can do it all.

What Is the Best Pregnancy Pillow?

The best pregnancy pillow is what that checks all the boxes on your list. Are you looking for a little extra support? Maybe you want a U-shaped pillow to hug all of your curves? Maybe you need a smaller pillow to fit in your bed? No matter what you’re looking for, you can find a pregnancy pillow in the shape that fits your needs:

And if you don’t want a behemoth pillow? No worries? Boppy makes a smaller “cuddle pillow” that fits between your legs (or under your belly) without taking up too much space in your bed.

How to Use a Pregnancy Body Pillow

How you sleep with a pregnancy pillow depends on which type of pillow you choose. Keep in mind that each pillow can have multiple uses, so feel free to use it however it makes you most comfortable!

If you have a U-shaped pillow:

If you have a u-shaped body pillow, you can nestle into the center of your pillow. The bend in the “U” serves as the pillow for your head. Your back rests against the back of the U, and you can wrap your leg around the other side of the U. You can hug the pillow too, which keeps your neck and shoulders aligned. Ahh bliss!

U-shaped Why You Need a Pregnancy Pillow and How to Find the Perfect One post by Mama Natural

U-shaped pregnancy pillows offer the most amount of support for your body, providing support for your head, neck, knees, ankles, back, and belly.

Consider a u-shaped pillow if toss and turn a lot while you sleep. Because the sides of the U are identical, you won’t have to flip your pillow over.

If you have a C-shape pillow:

C-shaped pillows are also super easy to use. You can wrap your pillow around your back, using one end of the C as a pillow for your head; tuck the other end of the C in between your legs to support your pelvic area.


Tip: You can also wrap the C around your belly, instead of your back. Doing this provides extra support for your growing baby bump.

If you have a wedge:

While a wedge isn’t normally what you think of a full-body pillow, this pregnancy pillow can be incredibly helpful if you have round ligament pain. Tuck the wedge under your belly. Not only does this hold up your belly (and prevent stretching those ligaments even more), it also helps to improve spine alignment.

Body pillows for mamas with acid reflux Why You Need a Pregnancy Pillow (and How to Find the Perfect One) post by Mama Natural

You can also use a wedge pillow under your head. This is helpful if you have acid reflux because sleeping at an incline helps prevent unwanted symptoms like heartburn.

If you have a J-shape pregnancy pillow:

Did you opt for the J-shaped pillow? You can use this pillow in two ways:

J-shaped Why You Need a Pregnancy Pillow and How to Find the Perfect One post by Mama Natural

  1. Between your legs: Hug your pregnancy pillow, and place one leg on top of the pillow, and place the other leg underneath the pillow, so it provides support for your belly. This also keeps your hips and spine aligned.
  2. Around your back: Lean into this pillow and it will support your back. This helps prevent you from rolling onto your back during the night.

If you have a straight body pillow:

A very versatile pillow (both now and after your baby is born), use a straight body pillow to prop up any part of your body, including your head, belly, or back.  Many mamas use this pillow to support a growing belly by hugging the pillow with one leg above and the other below it.

Where to Buy Pregnancy Pillow

You can buy pregnancy pillows online at Target and Amazon. Both offer convenient delivery options, including delivery straight to your home and curb-side pickup (Target). You can also add a pregnancy pillow to your baby registry.

Here are links to the popular styles of pregnancy pillow on Amazon.

When to Buy a Pregnancy Pillow

It’s never too early to buy a pregnancy pillow, although you might find that how you use your pillow changes throughout your pregnancy.

In your first trimester, you might use your pillow to keep you from rolling onto your stomach or back. As you progress throughout your pregnancy, you’ll probably find your pregnancy pillow is invaluable. If you buy your pillow during your late first trimester, it’ll be ready the second you need it, whether that’s for hip support, belly support, or help you sleep at an incline.

What About You?

Did you use a pregnancy pillow? What was your favorite pregnancy pillow? We’d love to know!


Genevieve Howland

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 85,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.

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