Last Updated: May 24, 2018.
It can get pretty uncomfortable when you have a baby coming. The extra weight around your belly puts a strain on all the different parts of your body. When you need to move around, the stress on your back and body can be a little too much to bear. Luckily, there are pillows designed for pregnancy back pain. Although they won’t completely make you better (having the baby might!), using one of the best pregnancy pillow for back pain will mean suffering much less than necessary.
Reviews of the Best Pillow for Pregnancy
Different Shapes of Pregnancy Pillow
These are the shapes of the designs that can provide different support for you throughout your maternity. Down below, I go through the different shapes and designs, and how they can be used to your benefit.
Shaped pregnancy pillows
The most commonly seen shape are the C-shape and U-shape. W-shape is another less popular design. Any of the two ‘C’ and ‘U’ letters can get the job done, so you can pick whichever your gut feeling tells you will be best for your need. The W-shape will be covered in the next type of pillow. Below are some tips and advice on how other women use the particular shaped pillow.
They each serve a special position and set of needs, with pros and cons for each shaped pillow. Let’s cover them here:
C-shape pillows: One great thing about the C-shape is the head support without impeding the area in front of your chest. During breastfeeding, this is particularly helpful. The feeling from your back and between your thighs provide a reassuring support. The drawback is the open natural of the C. You won’t feel the cuddle behind you or in front of you depending on how you position yourself. This is where the U-shape comes into play.
U-shape pillows: The U-shape allows the support of your neck and full legs. You can take a fetus position and place your knees and ankles onto the pillow. If you ever feel uncomfortable on one side of your body, you can turn around and still have the same support you need, without flipping the entire pillow with you. You can also proactively snuggle your U-shape pillow as it provides support from your head to toes. The drawback is that some people may find it a little too hot for their comfort. The open C-shape gives some breathing space for this issue.
Full body pillow
The full body pillow is known to be best pillow for pregnancy back pain. It is a one-sided design compared to the other shaped pillows. There are three types of designs available:
Full length body pillow: This design is commonly used by others, besides during pregnancy. It’s the classic, low-cost choice that provides you necessary support to your torso, a surface to rest your head and support your neck, and allow you take a fetus position by curling your legs and wedging between your legs. However, because of the straight shape, it may not conform as well to your body unless you are a walking stick. This is where the flexible full body pillow comes in.
Pro-tip: Full body pillow may not conform well to your body, but the length makes it a suitable Weapon of Choice for making a statement.
Flexible full body pillow: The flexible full body pillow is a softer design compared to the full body. Frankly, it may be too soft in certain areas. However, what makes this design suitable for pregnancy is that not everyone enjoys a firm pillow. You may want a flexible full body because you have hot flashes during your sleep, but want one that is just soft enough to twist and turn. In that case, this is the right design for you.
Wedge pillows for pregnancy
Also known to be great for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), sleep apnea, snoring, or simply to prop up your legs or wedge between your knees. They provide a wide range of useful positions with a consistently flat from a well-supported angle. There are two types of wedge pillows:
Square (triangular) wedge pillows: They provide a solid support for your lower back, upper back, and sides. A common position to use the wedges is when you sleep or lay on your side. The wedge can go underneath your baby belly and provide some relief to your torso. However, some women aren’t a fan of the square corners as they aren’t as easy to flip or rotate while laying down.
Round wedge pillows: An alternative to the pointy corner wedges are round wedge design. They let you use the wedge to support your body, legs, or head, without making it difficult for you to flip the pillow. One notable drawback is that if you use it when laying on your back, the lack of corners means you won’t have the support to stay completely balanced.
Fun tip: wedge pillows are well known to support beer bellies!
Considerations When Shopping For Your Pregnancy Pillow
Length. Longer than usual is fine, shorter can be bad. Tossing and turning during your sleep will be one of the biggest nuisance. Having that full body support from both sides and ends of your body will help you sleep much better throughout the night. It also helps to be able to cuddle your pillow, too!
(Warning: Your babe, hubby and partner may complain that there isn’t enough space on the bed!)
Firmness. Some women absolutely need firm pillows. Others demand soft and fluffy. Most women, however, shop for a body pillow that has a soft surface and firm center. The soft surface gives you contour and loft that feels like sleeping on a cloud, while the firmness provides the much needed support to keep you still and prop up your knees, ankles and back.
Budget and price. It’s no secret. Not everyone wants to spend the money. Having a price range and budget in mind prevents you from breaking the bank. In your best interest, however, I want you to really consider the nine and some months of maternity. We all come from different places, but most pregnant women will go through the similar or same kinds of pain. Learn from the other ladies who swear by the pillow they used for their maternity. You deserve the best!
What To Expect During And After Pregnancy
- Tossing, turning and flipping around frequently may be the one of the biggest sleep disturbance to you
- Not everyone enjoys having something between their knees and legs
- Throughout your pregnancy, you may find that the way you sleep in your earlier weeks will completely change in later weeks
- You may want to cuddle and be cuddle like a teddy bear
- Really bad back pain and leg cramps may be inevitable
- You don’t want to have 500 regular pillows, start using towels or sofa cushions (ew!) to hug and prop you up during the day and night
- Hospital pillows really suck
- You keep kicking out of falling off your regular pillow
Although body pillows may not relieve all your pains, you don’t need to suffer more than you should during this nine month period. Some women that have gone through pregnancy find themselves using and swearing by it for life!
Need a pillow for post-pregnancy/nursing? Click here for our guide on nursing pillows.
Other plus sides to having a body pillow include:
- Being able to take them with you when you head to the hospital because hospital pillows aren’t known to be the most comfortable
- You can use it way after your maternity
- Some women didn’t expect how well their pillows help them during breastfeeding
- It’s also great when you are reading or watching television
- If you feel cold at night and enjoy being snuggled, the can provide for you!
- They’re big and can support your legs, torso, back, and sides
Make things easier for yourself. Don’t use regular pillows or towels or sofa cushions to support yourself.
There will be a lot of pain during your pregnancy and having an ideal pillow for pregnancy will take away a lot of headaches. Besides swearing by their full body pillows, some women find themselves buying two instead of having only one!
Our Final Thoughts
If you are looking for a general purpose pillow, you can’t go wrong with the Leachco C-Shape Snoogle Total Body. It is one of the best pregnancy pillow for back pain with over 7600+ customer reviews. It comes with a patented design that provides comfortable support to the hips, back, neck and tummy (without the extra body heat). It’s also available in 6 different colors: ivory white, sage green, grey, brown, khaki light brown, and mauve pink. The Leach C-Shape Snuggle Total Body Pillow also uses a removable and washable 100% cotton cover.
For a U-shape design, I think the Today’s Mom U-Shape is one of the best out there. It’s such a gigantic soft cushion, it can provide all the cushion support you need for your back, belly, neck, and legs. There are also four soft colours available: almond, expresso, sky blue, and white. It’s on the softer end of the comfort spectrum, but because its so big, it can provide a lot of support, especially on the shoulders if you lay on your side often (which most ladies find themselves in). The material is 50% polyester and 50% cotton, with a thread count of 200.
If you need a wedge pillow, my recommendation is the rounded Boppy Wedge. It comes as a pretty “pete trellis grey” design that look like little four leaf clovers. It’s very compact and easy to move around because of the lack of corners. The cover is a pima cotton slipcover that is removable and machine washable. Use this wedge while you’re laying on your side, either slipping it behind your back or to support your tummy. It’s firm enough to provide you with steady support.
For a cheap, budget pillow, the Aller-Ease will be best for you. It comes with a 2-year warranty and can be machine washed or dried. It uses a cotton fabric that is allergy proof so small particles that causes allergies or asthma aren’t easily caught in the fabric.