Adequate sleep is crucial to good health, strong immunity, and the well-coordinated work of internal organs. According to a Sleep Foundation study, 50% of expectant mothers often have trouble falling asleep.
It might be hard to find a comfortable position, you may have disturbing dreams and awake at night. But there are many ways to improve the quality of your night’s rest. One of the most effective and safe ways is to choose the right pregnancy pillow.
Why is sleep important during pregnancy?
All pregnant women are familiar with such problems as fatigue, sleepiness, touchiness and forgetfulness. A good and proper sleep helps to cope with them. A Healthy Sleep research proved that sleep deprivation negatively affects the well-being of the mother and the fetus.
Why it is important to get enough sleep during pregnancy:
- Quality sleep helps the child’s formation and growth, and at the same time reduces the risk of abnormalities in their development and appearance;
- Sleep helps to recover and activates the synthesis of hormones and new cells;
- A good night’s rest helps to normalize the mental and emotional health;
- A constant sleep deficit increases the risk of cardiovascular system diseases by 20%;
- Chronic insomnia could also cause problems with the baby’s delivery, including insufficient dilatation of the cervix, prolonged attempts and the need for a Cesarean section.
You need to sleep at least 9 hours every night during your pregnancy and add a 1–1.5-hour nap a day in the last trimester. Don’t forget to ventilate the room, use humidifiers, choose cozy bedding and a comfortable orthopedic pillow. It is also important to fall asleep and wake up at the same time. A Pubmed study helped identify the root causes of the sleep problems faced by pregnant women.
Why is a pregnancy body pillow an essential part of quality sleep?
Orthopedic pillows are essential for every expectant mother. They support the abdomen and anatomically correct body posture from crown to heels. This special type of pillow will help you find a comfortable position for night and day sleep. A high-quality product reduces the load on your spine and back muscles, preventing the inferior vena cava from being squeezed in late pregnancy stages.
Pregnancy pillows are also used after the baby is born. You can lean on this kind of pillow while breastfeeding, thus freeing your hands and reducing the load on your back muscles. You can make a cozy and safe place for your baby to play and sleep.
How to choose the best pillow?
Pillows for pregnant women differ by shape, filling, cover material, and price. To choose a quality product, you need to consider the following important points. WhattoExpect experts have identified the main criteria to keep in mind when selecting your pregnancy pillow.
There are various materials used as orthopedic pillow fillers. Expectant mothers need to choose models with hypoallergenic fillers, like expanded polystyrene or holofiber.
|Holofiber||– No glue used while manufacturing;|
– Spring well;
– Do not absorb moisture or odors;
– Durable, easy to care for;
– Free from dangerous microorganisms and parasites.
|– builds up static electricity.|
|Styrofoam||– remember the form;|
– immune to microorganisms;
– moisture-resistant material that does not absorb odors;
– durable, easy to wash and tumble dry.
|– high price|
– small balls could rustle when moving.
High-quality pillows are made of multi-layered fabric. The first layer is dense to hold the filler and it is usually made of coarse calico or satin. The second layer is the pillowcase. We recommend choosing models with natural fabrics. Flax is good to use because it cools the skin in the heat, and cotton and knitwear are versatile, safe and durable materials.
Pros and Cons of Pregnancy Pillow Shapes
Pillows for expectant mothers come in various shapes. A list of the pros and cons of the models available on the market will help you choose the right product to get a good night’s sleep.
These are the pillows available on the New Zealand market for pregnant women now:
- U-shaped. The big horseshoe pillow is one of the most popular models.
Pluses: evenly supports your abdomen and back, giving you a comfortable cocoon feeling. The product wraps around both sides of your body and it does not need to be shifted when you are changing your sleep posture.
Minuses: you need a large bed, you will not be able to sleep embracing your loved one.
- G-shaped. This is a new model that is becoming popular.
Pluses: it supports your body well and helps to eliminate muscle tension. It is convenient, as it is easy to put under different parts of your body.
Minuses: some women get in the way of the upper process.
- C-shaped or “banana”.
Pluses: you can choose a model by height. It’s compact, but it helps to support your abdomen and back. Minuses: none.
- I-shaped or pillow-roller.
Pluses: compact, will relieve stress from your spine and neck, get rid of muscle cramps. Low price.
There are no remarkable downsides.
The shape you choose depends on your personal preference. The main criteria for pregnant women are quality, safety and comfort. If there are serious problems with your spine, it is better to consult a doctor before purchasing an orthopedic product.
Our rating of the best models for pregnant women contains products that vary by shapes and prices. All of these pillows have certificates that confirm their quality and safety. When compiling the rating, the opinions of gynecologists and women were taken into account.
Best choice of pregnancy body pillow: Ortorex Full Body Pregnancy Pillow
The ORTOREX Full Body Pillow is a high-quality versatile model with holofiber filling.
The main advantages are versatility and increased level of comfort. This pillow will help you get into a comfortable position while relaxing. You don’t need to worry about accidentally rolling over your stomach.
Advantages of this model:
- Great support of your neck, lower back, entire spine and abdomen at the same time;
- Takes off the load from your spine and relaxes muscles;
- Helps to eliminate pain in your lower back, hips and legs;
- Prevents leg edema;
- Flexible, folds into several positions. It can be used for relaxation, daytime sleep, while reading, watching TV or working on a laptop;
- Big choice of colors for the pillowcase, which is made of high-quality cotton fabric that does not irritate your skin;
- Hypoallergenic filler that doesn’t roll. The amount can be adjusted if needed;
- Keeps its shape and medium hardness;
- Сover and pillowcase are machine-washable;
- Perfect quality/price ratio.
After childbirth, the Full Body Pillow can be used while breastfeeding and as a crib guard. The pillow is perfect for anyone who likes to sleep on their side. Doctors recommend using the Full Body Pillow after surgeries, to those who suffer from back pain and elderly people.
Best Budget Pregnancy Pillow: AIFUSI Pregnancy Sleeper Pillow
The AIFUSI Pregnancy-Sleeper-Maternity-Pregnant Pillow is a small butterfly-shaped piece. These are two compact pillows connected together.
This comfortable and compact pillow ideally supports your lower back and abdomen while sleeping on the side. According to the reviews, this is an inexpensive yet high-quality orthopedic product.
Advantages of this model are:
- Handy to take with you while travelling;
- Compact and suitable for beds of any size;
- Elastic insert gives sufficient support to your abdomen at any stage of the pregnancy;
- Variety of colors to choose from;
- High-quality and hypoallergenic materials of the covers and pillowcases;
- Pillowcase is machine-washable;
- Flexible and resilient, it keeps its shape well;
- The filler doesn’t roll;
- Can be used as a knee pillow to relieve pain and edema in the legs;
- After childbirth, it can be used for breastfeeding and as a safe place for the newborn to sleep on.
The product is vacuum-packed, so it can be flat right after the unpacking. Just pat the pillow for a few minutes to give it a volumetric shape.
- No support for your neck and head;
- Might be inconvenient if your belly is very large.
Best Extra-Long Body Pillow: Leachco Back ‘N Belly Bunchie Pregnancy/Maternity Body Pillow
The Leachco Back ‘N Belly Bunchie Pregnancy/Maternity Body Pillow model is an elongated orthopedic product that guarantees a comfortable sleep to pregnant women at any time.
The elongated pillow is a godsend for expectant mothers. The comfortable ergonomic shape allows your entire body to be comfortably positioned from head to heels. There is no discomfort during sleep, which has a positive effect on your physical and psychological condition. The elastic center sections can flex and stretch.
Advantages of this model:
- Maximum comfort and relaxation during the night or when taking a nap;
- Helps to get rid of lower back and neck pain, headaches, as well as edema and cramps in the legs;
- No muscle cramps or stiffness after sleeping;
- Multifunctionality, it can be folded in various shapes to make it comfortable for sitting or lying down;
- Elastic, medium hardness;
- 100% polyester fiber filling, and pillowcase and cover fabric suitable for allergic mothers-to-be;
- No need to move the pillow when switching to the side;
- Removable cotton and polyester pillowcase that is machine-washable;
- Pillowcase available in a wide range of colors;
- Ergonomic, the product follows the contours of the body.
After childbirth, breastfeeding will be much easier with the Leachco Bunchie Pregnancy Pillow. Hands, shoulders, and back will not get tired when feeding a newborn. This model is often bought by people who have back problems or can’t fall asleep.
- Large size and weight;
- Suitable only for large beds;
- Difficult to sleep embracing a loved one;
Best C-shaped Pillow: PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow
The PharMeDoc Pregnancy Jersey Shaped Pillow is the perfect balance between size and comfort. This pillow with holofiber filler and a microfiber pillowcase will become an indispensable assistant at any stage of pregnancy.
Thanks to its rounded shape, it allows you to get settled comfortably during day and night rest. One rounding supports the head and shoulders. The second one is placed between the legs, which helps to avoid knee pain and swelling of the legs. The long section supports the back or abdomen.
Pluses of this pillow:
- Transforms easily and can be used in many cases;
- Evenly distributes body weight, relieving lower back pain;
- Provides the correct posture on the side, memorizing the shape of your body;
- Folds easily and is handy to take with you while travelling;
- Machine-washing is allowed;
- The filler does not roll, bounces well and keeps its shape;
- Lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
The pillow can also be used after childbirth – just wrap it around the waist for comfortable breastfeeding. If you connect the ends, you get a safe sleeping or playing place for the baby.
- Heavy, weighs more than 3 kg.
Best U-shaped Pillow: Pregnancy Pillow for Sleeping with Nursing Baby Design by Callerpan
The Pregnancy Pillow for Sleeping with Nursing Baby Design by Callerpan is very popular among expectant mothers. Indispensable at any stage of the pregnancy, it is comfortable and supports all parts of your body. After childbirth, it can be used as a playpen for the newborn or for a safe sleep together with the baby.
- The set includes additional small pillows for back support;
- Even support of the abdomen and back, helps to avoid unpleasant sensations in the lower back, neck and legs;
- Does not need to be turned over during sleep, both sides perform their orthopedic functions equally well;
- Raises the legs, improves blood circulation, prevents edema;
- Gives a feeling of complete security;
- Only safe materials used in filler, covers and pillowcases;
- The filler keeps its shape, the product is quite soft and elastic;
- The cover and pillowcase are machine-washable.
This full body pillow is ideal for anyone who needs extra back support, is recovering from surgery, feels stiff after waking up, or suffers from insomnia.
- High price;
- Large dimensions and heavy.
According to women’s reviews, the Ortorex Full Body Pregnancy Pillow is the best model in terms of price-quality-comfort ratio. The product perfectly matches all the anatomical features of pregnant women. Made from high quality, durable and hypoallergenic materials.
You should be happy and excited while waiting for your baby. However, it can be hard to stay in a good mood if you can’t get a decent night’s sleep. We hope we’ve managed to help you find your perfect pregnancy pillow.