After years of campaigning, pregnancy pillows, like maternity dresses and bras, have finally become a normal part of pregnancy. This is because women have learned that using a pregnancy pillow can prevent most pregnancy-related pains and aches.
Pregnancy puts a ton of pressure on your hips, pelvic area, back, and legs, causing pain and discomfort. Thankfully, a pregnancy pillow can offer support and take some pressure off your lower body so you can sleep and live comfortably.
But as it turns out, not any pregnancy pillow will make you comfortable. These pillows come in various shapes, materials, firmness, and sizes. So for optimum support and comfort, you need to pick a pregnancy pillow that’s the right size for you, even before you go into materials.
But before that…
Where Do You Buy Pregnancy Pillow?
Pregnancy pillows are sold everywhere you can find baby stuff. This includes baby shops, Target, Wayfair, and Bath & Body Works. If you don’t have any of these near you, or the selection is limited, Amazon is the most convenient place to buy one. Amazon lets you compare prices, sizes, and reviews from different customers, and you can do it from the comfort of your couch.
When Should I Start Using My Pregnancy Pillow?
The question of when during the pregnancy you should start using a pregnancy pillow is subjective. Some say around 20 weeks when the belly starts showing, while others suggest you start immediately that pregnancy stick turns positive. It’s really about preference and when you feel the need to use one.
I think it’s better to prevent back and leg pain by using the pillow as early as possible. Start training your body for side sleeping and putting a pillow between your legs for spinal alignment. This way, sleep will not be challenging when the belly gets bigger.
Pregnancy Pillows Types and Sizes
As I said, pregnancy pillows come in all shapes and sizes. Each type is designed to support a specific body part, but some support everything. The type of pillow you get dictates the size, so I will outline the types and discuss their benefits and sizes.
For Maximum Comfort, the Extra Large Pillow: U-shape pregnancy pillow
The name of this type of pregnancy pillow gives it away. It’s a pillow shaped like a capital U, and the two adjacent sides are known as arms. A u-shaped pillow is the most popular among pregnant women because it offers full body support from back to front. The best thing about it is that you don’t have to adjust or move with it when turning in bed at night.
As for size, the arms of a pregnancy pillow are usually 55”-60” long and 6-8” wide. The bottom part of the U, which joins the two arms is 25-30”. As you can see, this is a big pillow, so you should consider the space in your bed before getting one of these.
For Side Sleeper, Medium Size Pillow: C-shape pregnancy pillow
C and J-shaped pillows are the next best thing after a u-shape pillow because they support the most important parts-back, the tummy, head, and knees. You can hug the pillow, position the bottom part between your legs, or place it on your back for better support. The only downside to these pregnancy pillows is that you must reposition them when turning.
Size-wise, the pillows are smaller than a full-body pillows. Dimensions range from 57”-63” long and 28” wide.
The classic choice, Adjustable and Versatile: Long Body Pillows
Typically, Long pregnancy pillows are straight and do not take on the shape of any letter. The pillow is flexible, so you can position it around your body for support. They are the perfect option if you want to use your normal head pillow as well. But again, you must reposition the pillow every time you turn in bed.
Long pillows range from 72” to 78” and 20” wide. Every brand decides how thick or wide they want their pillows to be, so the numbers here can vary.
The Compact Choice: Wedge pillows
The last pregnancy pillow we will discuss is the wedge pillow which is small and only supports one area of your body. If you want full body support, you’d have to buy several wedge pillows to place behind your back, under the belly, and between your knees.
Typically, wedge pillows measure 20-24”, length and width with varying heights. You want a pillow that’s at least 7” high for gradual incline and support. If you suffer from acid reflux or sleep apnea, 8-10” high is best to provide the best elevation. Depending on your sleeping position, you will place the pillow under your head or below/between your legs.
Once you get the best shape and size for you, consider the materials used to make the pillow. For instance, you want a pillow made of comfortable and supportive material like memory foam or downs. The pillow should also have a breathable removable cover that you can machine wash regularly. In short, get a pillow that’s comfortable, supportive and cooling.