how to use pregnancy pillow

Tips on How to Use a Pregnancy Pillow

When you first get pregnant, most people tell you to get all the sleep now. Because once the baby comes, you won’t be sleeping (like at all). Pregnancy can take a toll on your body, and you want to ensure you can keep yourself comfortable. A great tool to help maintain a restful night’s sleep is a pregnancy pillow. And this article will give you tips on how to use a pregnancy pillow. 

What is a Pregnancy Pillow?

Pregnancy pillows are specifically designed for use in pregnancy (and after). To alleviate pain and give you more comfort during sleep. They come in different shapes, sizes, and fill options. To provide you with a customized pillow for your support and sleep needs.

Many people wonder how to use pregnancy pillow after pregnancy. But there can be many uses for postpartum support. You can use the pillow after pregnancy for postpartum comfort. And you can use it as a nursing pillow by wrapping it around your body.

The type of pillow will allow for different options for postpartum support. For example. The wedge can be used to wedge yourself up in bed, which can be helpful if you have a c-section, or the c-shaped pregnancy pillow can be wrapped around your body for total support and used as a nursing pillow (more on that later).

What is the Ideal Sleep Position While Pregnant?

A pregnancy pillow can help support various parts of your body to ease discomfort associated with pregnancy. In the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy, doctors advise not to position yourself on your back. Due to the increasing size and mass of your uterus. It can put pressure on various parts of your body. Such as your back, intestines, and vena cava. The primary vein that blood is carried from your heart to your lower body. It can cause a drop in blood pressure if it is compromised or pushed by your growing uterus. But experts urge you not to worry about waking up on your back and to just reposition to your side. 

Speaking of sides. Are both created equal? Not really. Sleeping on your left side is traditionally recommended as the ideal sleep side for pregnant women. Because it boosts the function of your kidneys and increases blood flow to the placenta. Even with all this information, sleeping specifically on your left side for the entire night is unrealistic. Since we move around a lot in our sleep. It also may not be your ideal sleep position either. If you need help getting comfortable or sleeping in a position optimal for pregnancy, a pregnancy pillow may help.

How Does a Pregnancy Pillow Help?

A pregnancy pillow can help back pain. By ergonomically positioning your body into an ideal sleeping position while providing support and comfort for you and your belly. The pregnancy pillow can wrap itself around you and offer a supportive hug for your bump. Also can relieve pressure points and keep your body in an ideal position. There is no set time of when you should or can start using a pregnancy pillow. Some people use pregnancy pillows in the 1st trimester. And find them extremely comfortable and comforting. When getting used to one’s growing bump and the aches and pains that can come with it.

How to Use Pregnancy Pillow for Back Pain?

There are many benefits to using a pregnancy pillow. And if you’re wondering how to use a pregnancy pillow for back pain, keep reading.

  • Helps keep your body in alignment (hips, back, spine, neck), which can relieve pain
  • Supports your back and bump by relieving pressure 
  • Can reduce pressure around your hips and pubic bone by having your legs parallel to one another and not crossed. Which can help with back and sciatic pain.
  • Improves circulation 
  • Can improve your sleep quality 

Four Types of Pregnancy Pillows 

There are different shapes of pregnancy pillows, and it’s all a personal preference on which one you find most comfortable. 

The top 4 common shapes of pregnancy pillows ranging from the most support to the least are:

U Shaped

Provides head-to-toe and back-to-belly, full body support. Usually very large and can take up a lot of room in the bed. But it provides maximum support for you and your growing bump. You can use this instead of a pillow for total comfort.

C Shaped

Provides head-to-toe support, but only one side. You can rotate the pillow either to your back or belly. Depending on which side needs more support at the moment. It takes up less room, so it’s easier to transport or move around in the bed. And you can still use it in place of your pillow.


Looks like a giant candy cane but provides less support than U and C-shaped pillows. You can use the rounded part of the “candy cane.” Either in between your legs to support your hips or flip it around to use it as a pillow. It doesn’t take up as much room as the ones above. Many people wonder if a smaller pregnancy pillow is a good option. And it totally depends on your wants and needs. 


This pillow looks like a giant wedge of cheese and is a smaller option. How do you use a pregnancy wedge pillow? You can use it to relieve hip pain, elevate yourself in bed, put it under your legs to alleviate your bump, and more. Since the wedge doesn’t provide head or neck support, you’ll also need a regular pillow.

When debating a pregnancy pillow shape, it is hard to answer which pillow is the best. All of these pillows can assist you in getting an ergonomic and comfortable position, which can be hard to do during pregnancy.

When debating if a U-shaped or C-shaped pregnancy pillow is better, a lot depends on your bed size and if you want back and belly support. A U-shaped pregnancy pillow may be perfect if you have a large bed (or don’t care if your pillow takes up a lot of room) and want full-time support. If you have a smaller bed or don’t necessarily care about both back and belly support at all times, a C-shaped pregnancy pillow may be an excellent fit for you. 

Pregnancy Pillow Materials and Filling

It is also essential to consider the pillow’s material and filling. 


Most pregnancy pillows have a cover that allows easy cleaning. Some covers are organic cotton, jersey knit, polyester, Minky, bamboo, and more. If you sleep super hot (or are getting hormonal hot flashes), organic cotton might be an ideal material due to its breathability. The Minky fabric may be good for you if you want extreme softness and comfort. When looking for a pregnancy pillow, ensure you can wash the cover or the entire pillow. This Boppy pregnancy pillow is machine washable, has an organic cotton cover option, and can be used as a breastfeeding pillow. 


Pregnancy pillows have different fill types just like regular sleep pillows. Most pregnancy pillows have a cotton or polyester filling, but there are other options on the market if you want something different. The Frida Mom pillow has a breathable micro-bead filling and fabric which stays cool to the touch, and the Yana pillow has an organic bamboo cotton cover and a shredded cooling gel fill. 


No matter your pregnancy sleep woes, there is likely a pregnancy pillow that can help. Reading reviews online and researching materials can be important when deciding which style and brand are best for you. 

Here’s to wishing you restful and comfortable sleep! 

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