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Pregnancy health

How to Use a Pregnancy Pillow to Relieve Discomfort

Cuddle alert! Here's how to use a pregnancy pillow the right way.

How to Use a Pregnancy Pillow to Relieve Discomfort

Photo: iStockphoto

Being pregnant is simultaneously exciting and uncomfortable. One of the top ways to alleviate discomfort while sleeping is by using the best pregnancy pillows. Hot tip! If this is your first pregnancy, you’ll want to check out this newborn checklist for all of your future baby needs.

Below, a guide on using a pregnancy pillow and our favorite options.

How to use a pregnancy pillow

According to prenatal chiropractor Dr. Lizzie Sobel of Wholesome Healing Chiropractic, there are several ways to use a pregnancy pillow.

“Pregnancy pillows support your body and allow for greater comfort during sleep and rest. Many people like having some support behind their lower back, between their knees, or even under their pregnant belly. Some like having a big wedge to allow them to safely and comfortably rest on their back, even in late-stage pregnancy," she explains.

Ways pregnancy pillows can relieve discomfort

Dr. Sobel says pregnancy pillows can support the belly and back, which puts less strain on our muscles and ligaments. "Used between our legs, they can also help maintain pelvic balance, which can prevent or alleviate discomfort."

Pregnancy pillows can also keep the upper body and wrists in a neutral supported position to avoid carpal tunnel or upper back compression. Sobel notes wedge-shaped pillows are useful if someone is experiencing acid reflux while lying down.

The best pregnancy pillows to try now

Best overall

BBHUGME Adjustable Pregnancy Pillow

bbhugme pregnancy pillows, best pregnancy pillows Merchant
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Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial during pregnancy, and this adjustable one is a no-fuss choice. Developed by female health professionals, this pillow is filled with BPA-free microbeads, which are soft yet supportive.

The all-star reason to go with this pillow is it has an extra-long shape designed to support the areas that need it most including the belly, lower back, pelvis, ankles and knees. Since it’s adjustable, the beads can be used to make parts of the pillow more or less firm—this means you can get comfortable no matter what position the baby is in!

Pros

  • Made of eco-conscious materials
  • Adjustable
  • Extra long size makes it ideal for taller women or wrapping it around the body
  • Available in three colors
  • Several reviewers noted how comfortable this pillow is

Cons:

  • More expensive than other options

Best budget

Boppy Side Sleeper Pregnancy Pillow

boppy side sleeper pregnancy pillow, best pregnancy pillows Merchant

Children and pregnancy are expensive, but a pregnancy pillow doesn’t have to be. This side sleeper pillow from Boppy is an excellent choice at a great price. If the brand sounds familiar, it’s because Boppy is known for breastfeeding pillows, which you might want to consider ordering before baby arrives.

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Made from a combination of cotton and polyester, the stretch panel of the pillow is designed to stay in place whether you're using it for sleeping in bed or lounging on the sofa. The compact design also makes it ideal for traveling—so feel free to bring it along on your baby moon!

It's also good for the head and neck in a pinch, and comes the brand behind some of the world's most popular nursing pillows.

Pros

  • Can help encourage side sleeping, which is the position that doctors recommend
  • Trusted brand
  • Removable cover
  • Machine washable
  • Helps relieve aches and pains from side sleeping

Cons

  • Doesn’t support the entire body
  • May need to be fluffed more often than other options

Best organic

Newton Baby Maternity Pillow

newton pregnancy pillow, best pregnancy pillows Merchant

Moms who to lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle can appreciate this preggo pillow. Made from a combination of CERTI-PUR memory foam and fiber cluster core, it supports the body throughout all stages of pregnancy. 

In addition to being extra large, this full-body support pillow is extra versatile. It has a detachable arm to be used in a U, J or C-shape. Whether mama-to-be is sitting up or lying down, they can be comfortable and supported.

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Thanks to an eco-conscious cover made from OEKO-TEX-certified organic cotton, it’s one of the safest choices for moms. Better yet, it’s machine washable–we just wish it came in more than one color!

Pros

  • Loads of extra support for all body parts
  • Makes sleeping with a pregnancy pillow easy
  • Trusted brand
  • Ideal for all sleep positions
  • Breathable for moms who sleep hot

Cons

  • May need to be re-fluffed more often than other options

Best wedge style

S.O.S. Sleep On Side Pregnancy Pillow

sos side sleeper pregnancy pillow, best pregnancy pillows Merchant

Back sleepers, rejoice! If you find it challenging to stay asleep on your side during pregnancy, this wedge pillow kit can be helpful. Developed by an OBGYN, it can help you sleep safely and soundly.

With a unique design, this three-piece set is easy to use and adjusts to your changing body throughout the second and third trimesters. In addition to the wedge pillow, there’s a separate back support pillow—both of which are connected through a velcro strap!

Unlike whole-body pillows, this one won't take up your entire bed. It's ideal for napping on the couch and television binge-watching sessions in maximum comfort.

Pros

  • Has a travel bag
  • Encourages side-sleeping
  • Trusted brand
  • Easy to store
  • Adjustable type of pillow for every style sleeper

Cons

  • Synthetic materials may be uncomfortable for hot sleepers

Best rated

Pharmedoc Pregnancy Pillow

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With nearly 90k ratings and 4.3 stars on Amazon, this pregnancy pillow is a fantastic choice. The U-shaped design features a detachable extension that can be used for additional back and belly support.

One of the best things about this pillow is it comes with a cooling cover that’s ideal for hot sleepers. Machine-washable, it’s designed to keep its soft texture even after 300 washes. It's a smart investment for anyone planning to have multiple children. Better yet, the fabric is OEKO-TEX certified, which makes it a safer choice than other options.

Pros

  • U-shaped pregnancy pillow for total support
  • Prevents toss-and-turn insomnia
  • Great price
  • Can be used as a body pillow after pregnancy
  • Available in 15 colors/styles
  • May be used with or without a regular pillow under the head

Cons

  • Some colors/styles are more expensive than others

Experts:

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