Pregnancy Pillow Buying Guide: Expert Tips And Advice

sleeping woman with pregnancy pillow

Whether you just found out you’re pregnant or your due date is any day now, a pregnancy pillow is a great addition to your nighttime routine.

You can even use a pregnancy pillow after your little one arrives to support your body as it recovers and help with breastfeeding and other postpartum activities.

Which pregnancy pillow is right for you? We can help with that!

We’ve created this buying guide full of expert tips and advice to help you choose the pregnancy pillow that matches your sleeping style and provides the comfort you need to sleep your best!

What Is A Pregnancy Pillow?

pregnant woman sleeping with pregnancy pillow

A pregnancy pillow is a cushion that you can use to support your back, belly, hips, shoulders, head, and legs — sometimes all at the same time! — as your body grows and changes during pregnancy.

Some pregnancy pillows are simple wedge- or bean-shaped cushions for your belly or lower back. Others are large, tube-shaped cushions that provide support for your whole body.

The largest pregnancy pillows even offer 360 degrees of support to help you sleep comfortably during your first, second, and third trimester.

With so many options available, choosing the right pregnancy pillow for your unique situation can be a challenge. Don’t despair! We’ll give you a trick to make the choice easier.

But before we get to that, we’ll discuss the benefits of using a pregnancy pillow to help you decide if you need one in the first place.

Benefits Of Using A Pregnancy Pillow

upclose of pregnant belly and pregnancy pillow

Some moms go through multiple pregnancies without the help of any sleep aids. Other moms need a sleep aid within the first few weeks of their pregnancies.

In fact, your preference for sleeping with a support cushion — or the placement of that cushion — may change from one pregnancy to the next, or even trimester to trimester.

Regardless of how you choose to sleep, most moms agree that there are some unique benefits to sleeping with a pregnancy pillow.

1) More Comfort

The main reason for using a pregnancy pillow is comfort. Adding extra support where you need it helps you stay as comfortable as possible during the months that your baby is growing inside you.

That can translate to longer, more restful sleep over all 40 (or more!) weeks of your pregnancy.

2) Deeper Sleep

As we mentioned above, when you’re comfortable in bed, you’ll sleep longer and wake up rested.

You’ll also sleep deeper and wake up less often during the night when you’re not tossing and turning trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in.

This deeper, longer, more restful sleep promotes your baby’s healthy growth, helps your body recover from the stresses of the day, reduces the effects of pregnancy brain, and gives you energy to adjust to your changing body.

3) Less Pain

A quality pregnancy pillow can improve the alignment of your spine, back, and hips; relieve pressure while you sleep; and help you wake up with less pain in the morning.

Even a simple belly wedge can prevent pain in your abdominals and lower back.

It will also keep you from rolling onto your belly during the night — which, as any mom can attest, is an uncomfortable and painful experience, to say the least!

Tips For Choosing The Right Pregnancy Pillow

top view of woman with pregnancy pillow

Size

Pregnancy pillows come in a wide variety of sizes — from simple one-foot by one-foot wedges for your belly and back all the way up to 10-foot long U-shaped tubes for every part of your body.

To help you choose the right pillow for your circumstances, consider the following questions:

  • How big is your bed?
  • Will others be sleeping with you?
  • Where do you need the most support?
  • Do you prefer spot support (e.g., between your knees) or full-body support?
  • Do you have room to store the pregnancy pillow when you’re not in bed?
  • Do you need to travel with your pregnancy pillow?

Answering these questions can help you choose the pillow that will keep you comfy during the next nine months and beyond.

Shape

Pregnancy pillows also come in a wide variety of shapes. The more common options include:

  • Wedge
  • Bean
  • Straight tube
  • U-shape
  • C-shape
  • O-shape

The wedge and bean options are ideal for targeted support exactly where you need it.

The straight tube provides support for the front half of your body, while the “alphabet” pregnancy pillows are perfect for 360-degree support no matter how you sleep.

Fabric

When choosing a pregnancy pillow, don’t neglect to consider the fabric on the outside. Ask:

  • Is it breathable?
  • Does it feel good against your skin?
  • Is it easy to wash?
  • Is it easy to dry?
  • Is it warm enough?
  • Is it cool enough?
  • How does it smell?
  • Do you like the color?

If you buy a pillow early on in your pregnancy, you’ll be spending a lot of time with it, so it’s important to choose the one that feels, smells, and looks the best to you.

Filling

The filling inside your pregnancy pillow can mean the difference between a bad night’s sleep and a good night’s sleep.

Common fillings include:

  • Air
  • Wool
  • Memory foam
  • Microbeads
  • Polyester fibers
  • Styrofoam balls
  • Natural filling

When choosing the filling for your pregnancy pillow, it all comes down to comfort. Which one feels the best to you? Which one provides the comfort you’re looking for?

Selecting a filling is a very personal decision, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different options.

Noise

If you’re like most first-time (or maybe even long-time) moms, you’ve probably never thought about noise as it applies to a pillow. But some pregnancy pillows are definitely noisier than others.

Those filled with seeds tend to crinkle when you move. Similarly, the fabric on the outside may rustle loudly when you turn. The filling and the fabric may even interact in a way that’s noisier than you’d like.

A noisy pillow may wake you up in the middle of the night or keep you from falling asleep in the first place. Avoid noisy pillows of any kind to sleep better during your pregnancy!

Sleeping With A Pregnancy Pillow: Expert Advice

top view of woman sleeping holding her pregnant belly

When shopping for and sleeping with a pregnancy pillow, keep in mind that there’s no universally perfect option for everyone. What works for your friend may not work for you. That’s OK!

Comfort is personal, so always go with what feels best rather than what someone says. Take their advice as a starting point, but always do what’s right for you.

Remember that trick we mentioned at the beginning of this article that can make choosing a pregnancy pillow super easy? Here it is!

One of the best ways to find out what you need from a pregnancy pillow before you buy is to arrange loose pillows on the bed around you until you feel the most comfortable.

What general size and shape do those pillows take?

Experiment with the loose pillows for a few nights — and a few naps! — and then start shopping for a cushion that meets your needs.

As you’re looking around at all the options, remember the advice of the National Sleep Foundation: sleep on your left side during the second and third trimesters of your pregnancy.

Even if you feel good sleeping on your back at the moment, eventually, the weight of your belly will compromise your circulation and make it unsafe to sleep in that position any longer.

That’s when it’s time to sleep on your side. What type of pillow do you need to make this transition easy and comfortable?

If you’re still early in your pregnancy, think ahead to the changes to come — the weight of your bump, sore breasts, loose joints, tight muscles — and choose a pregnancy pillow that addresses those issues.

And don’t be afraid to ask for advice or, better yet, try your friend’s pregnancy pillow before you buy one of your own!

Help Your Baby Sleep Comfortable After They’re Born

newborn sleeping on a newton baby crib mattress

After your baby arrives, you’ll want them to sleep as comfortably as possible, too!

For newborns, that means a crib or bassinet with a soft, supportive, breathable mattress — like those from Newton Baby — and nothing else. Not even bumpers, pillows, or a top sheet!

Placing your little one in an empty crib for their nap or at night helps eliminate the risk that they’ll roll onto their stomach while sleeping and not be able to breathe.

With Newton Baby’s Wovenaire® and Breathe-Thru technologies built-into every mattress, you can rest easy, secure in the fact that your baby will get the best, safest night’s sleep possible.

If you’re worried about keeping your baby warm and secure while they sleep, we recommend wrapping them in a Newton Baby Swaddle. They’re super simple and mimic the feeling of being in the womb.

That, in combination with a properly sized breathable and supportive mattress from Newton Baby, will keep your precious little one comfortable all night long!

For more information on helping your baby sleep through the night and to check out our crib mattresses, sheets, pads, and swaddles, visit NewtonBaby.com today.

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