How to use a pregnancy pillow: Everything you need to know
Your body goes through a variety of changes during pregnancy, many of which can make it difficult to get comfortable and sleep well. The sleep pattern of a pregnant woman can affect the development of the unborn baby, so it’s important to get at least six hours of sleep each night.
A pregnancy pillow gives you a much better chance at getting a good night’s rest. For obvious reasons you probably don’t want to lie on your stomach while you’re pregnant, so the pregnancy pillow gives you the support you need as you lay on your side.
Visit our Pillow Choosing Guide for more information on how to select the perfect pillow.
What are the benefits of a pregnancy pillow?
Aside from helping you sleep, there are a variety of other benefits to using a pregnancy pillow:
Enhances blood circulation: when you sleep on your side, it’s easier for the heart to pump blood around your body. This is just one of the reasons why side sleeping is recommended for pregnant women.
The sleep you do get will be better: not only can a pregnancy pillow help you sleep for longer, but the sleep you do get will be deeper and more relaxed – and the chance of waking up from discomfort is minimised.
It stops you from rolling onto your back: sleeping on your back in the first trimester of pregnancy is fine, but as your bump gets bigger sleeping in this position can be risky. A pregnancy pillow can stop you from rolling onto your back in your sleep – so it’s safer for you and your baby.
Post-delivery comfort: you don’t have to stop using your pregnancy pillow once you’ve given birth!
What pregnancy pillow shapes are available?
Pregnancy pillows come in lots of different shapes and sizes, so it’s important to choose one that’s right for you. Here are some of the most common pregnancy pillow shapes:
U shape pregnancy pillow: The classic ‘U’ shaped pregnancy pillow is designed to support your whole body, and is ideal for women who prefer sleeping on their back. This is the biggest pregnancy pillow, so it’s worth checking that you have room on your bed before purchasing one of these.
C shape pregnancy pillow: Perfect for those with smaller beds, the ‘C’ shape pillow provides support for your head, back and neck, while also being great for relieving pelvic tension. The shape of this pillow does, however, mean you’ll have to adjust the pillow if you switch sides during the night.
Wedge shape pregnancy pillow: Wedge pillows are smaller than other pregnancy pillows, so they’re great for taking on holiday. You will, however, still need to use a normal pillow to support your head.
Full-length pregnancy pillow: These pillows are essentially the same as a normal pillow, just longer. They’re perfect for smaller beds, but don’t provide much back support.
How to position a pregnancy pillow
Pregnancy pillows are versatile, so you can use yours whatever way you find most comfortable. However, here are a few positions we recommend:
Put the pillow next to you and wrap your arms and legs around it. This works best for U, C and full-length pillows.
Place the wedge pillow under your bump for extra support. Alternatively, you could place your wedge pregnancy pillow beneath your normal pillow for additional head and neck support.
If you have a C-shaped pregnancy pillow, you could wrap it around your back, so that the upwards curl sits between your legs and supports your bump.
For more sleep tips and news, be sure to visit the Bensons blog.