Toss and Turn! Toss and Turn! Sound familiar? There is nothing worse than being uncomfortable when you are sleeping whilst pregnant it is definitely no exception, in fact, it is the height of agony. You not only have an extended stomach, among other extended parts, but you have a living and often busy little human inside that makes it almost impossible to lay still.
While some old wives tales tell us that the reason a pregnant woman doesn’t sleep well during pregnancy is to prepare her for when the baby will come and all those seemingly endless nights of waking to feed. Well, that may be the case but our belief is that you should rather get as much sleep as you can during this waiting period, given that not much will be allowed once that little cherub arrives. Sleep? Easier said than done, I hear you say.
Yes, we know. But we have a few little gems, in the form of the best pregnancy pillow, that can lend a helping hand in those wee dark hours when you just cannot find a comfortable spot to lay. Yes! Yes! Yes! Two thumbs up! But before we lay our lifesavers at your swollen feet, let us explore briefly why it is so difficult for you to sleep at this delicate time.
Our Best Pregnancy Pillows Guide
Let us start with the most obvious. As your belly grows, so does the weight. That extra bit of weight can make finding the perfect laying position impossible. Placing something under your stomach as a little wedge between the bed and your belly will greatly assist.
Due to your bladder having shrunk to make space for the growing uterus it cannot hold as much as it used to. Drinking less before bedtime will help in limiting all hours of the night loo visits.
Due to a lack of magnesium you may find you have either crampy or irritable legs and mostly at night. A little massage, a warm beanbag on the spot or a quick walk around may help to alleviate the issue.
To lift that dull nausea that often hits an empty stomach, keep a few crackers or a banana at your bedside. Make sure you eat 6 small meals throughout the day and avoid spicy foods as well as foods heavy in oils. This will ensure the heartburn and indigestion stay at bay.
Worrying about baby’s well-being can cause sleepless nights, especially if you are a first time Mom. Keeping yourself up to date with the stages of your baby’s growth will ease your worry a little.
Hot flushes, sticky, slippery legs and just plain struggling to breath. Normal in pregnancy but oh so irritating. A cool shower before bed or a simple pillow between the knees can do a world of difference. So now that we know why you are not sleeping, let us explore ways to get you more comfortable, which will aid you in getting a bit of shut-eye.
What to Look Out for in Finding the Best Pregnancy Pillow
Size is important. No, we are not referring to your size, but the size of the pillow. Some pillows require you to either have a King Size bed so to make room for hubby, you and your pillow or hubby must go sleep somewhere else.
Pregnancy pillows come in different shapes i.e. U-shaped, C-shaped, J-shaped and some variations in between. We will go into depth further along on the different shapes. Flexibility is key too. Again, the pillow, not you. Depending on how much support you want i.e. under the head, between the legs, under the belly, under your arm, your pillow needs to be adaptable to your unique way of sleeping. Some of the pillows are pretty firm and fixed in their shape but others are made from a softer, more pliable material and filler so that you can mold them to your needs.
A further advantage of these types of pillows is that they assist with temperature control by allowing you to slot the pillow between your legs. We all know how your water retention legs can get during the night. All sticky, sweaty and hot.
There is so much to buy for the expectant baby that we do not think or remember to think about ourselves during this period up to the birth. While it is a relatively short period that you will be pregnant, as opposed to the length of time your baby will be a baby, it is important that you be comfortable. However, without breaking the bank. This is absolutely possible with pregnancy pillows.
You may not always be at home and when you take that much needed weekend away before baby arrives, or go on that last camping trip, you still want to be comfortable whilst sleeping, especially when the bed you will be in won’t be your own. Check if your pregnancy pillow is portable. As mentioned, some can be quite large, so it may not be practical to lug it along. Some pillows can dual not only as your sleeping partner but support you during the day like when you are sitting up or driving in the car. Further, they can double as a feeding pillow to rest your new honey on.
The Shape of Things to Come
Just one look at the options available on the market can make your head go moggy and we really don’t need to add to that already preggy-mush brain, now do we? The different shapes alone are confusing. How can you know what shape will suit you if you don’t try them out first? But me thinks that the shop assistant wont be too happy with you laying down and snuggling into their pillows and besides you more than likely are going to buy a pillow online, making trying it out literally impossible.
So let us help you by laying out, excuse the pun, the types of shapes that our best pregnancy pillow will take form in.
The U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillows
The U-shaped pillow allows you to have support from both sides. You can curl your arms and legs around the one leg of the U and have the 2nd leg support and comfort your back from behind. If you don’t like to be surrounded then this pillow is not for you.
They are generally very large pillows and you will need to consider whether your bed has space for all three of you! I.e. You, pillow and dad. The U-shaped pillow also has even legs, that is, that they are the same length on both sides.
This is an important factor which will come up in the J-shaped pillow info. With the U-shaped pillow you can turn in the middle of the night without having to move the pillow over to the other side.
The J-shaped Pregnancy Pillows
The J-shaped pillow is long on one side with shorter curls on each side or sometimes just one curl on one side. The idea is to wrap your legs around the longer leg and slot into the J-curl with your shoulders and torso.
You still get the support at your back but without that long piece all the way down, which may not work for you if you turn from side to side often in your sleep. The U-shaped pillow is better for that.
The C-shaped Pregnancy Pillows
C-shaped pillows are generally smaller than their siblings and allow for the one curl side to extend up to your belly, giving further support in front.
They make better sense if you have a smaller bed as well. And once baby is born make good feeding pillows due to their size.
Worm-type Pregnancy Pillows
This type of pillow is a simple tube, which you can bend into a few shapes to accommodate your favorite sleeping position. Not the most popular pillow but worth mentioning as it is smaller and will allow more room on your bed.
This pillow can also be used for feeding due to its flexible nature.
The E-shaped Pregnancy Pillows
Strangely not a popular shape although I feel that the little bump in the middle is quite a nifty feature. The one part of my aching body that wanted relief and comfort, when I was pregnant, was my actual belly, especially when laying down.
This pillow provides that relief by cushioning the tummy as you wind your arms and legs around the rest of the pillow. While there are many shapes to choose from we are going to explore the most popular shaped pillows, being the C, U and J-shaped pregnancy pillows.
Four Best Pregnancy Pillow Options
Designed to contour and shape your body for ultimate comfort, this guy is the Rolex of pillows. I know how my body ached while I was pregnant and this pillow really helped to release a lot of tender spots. Mine was everywhere – back, hips, tummy and yes, definitely my neck! I eventually found a comfy way to lay with the pillow that worked well.
Shaped in a “human” sized C, or horseshoe shape as they call it, this pillow didn’t take
e up my entire bed and leave hubby stranded. (lucky for him!) The Snoogle also has a sham-style covering which is removable and machine-washable. However, big however! It is a real pain to remove and put back on. I think I used a few swear words that my mother wouldn’t be proud of! Once baby was born the pillow dual-ed as a snug spot to place baby when breastfeeding. I have even used it to prop her up now that she is 6 months old.
With a 400 Thread Count feel, super soft microfiber polyester shell and fill, as well as just loads of ways to position this pillow, you are assured of finding that perfect snuggle spot. Anyway, that’s what I read and well, they weren’t lying. If you like the feeling of being surrounded by soft comfy arms, like I do, then this is the ideal pillow for you.
I, literally, wound this baby around me, under me and over me! It’s that large and long!
Yes, it’s huge! This U-shaped pillow will take up your entire double and even queen sized bed. It’s so big that hubby and I could even share it! If size is an issue, then this pillow is not for you. I did find it a bit cumbersome.
On the plus side it does come with a zippered cover available in a few different colors. The cover is machine-washable as well, so you could purchase 2 colors and be able to swap them as you wash. Because it is so long you can mold the shape to practically any position you want to be in, whether it’s laying, sitting or even standing. I found it was perfect for propping myself up whilst watching television. Not much room for anyone else on the couch, but what the hey!
Okay, one big gripe here! The stuffing tends to clump a bit, so constant fluffing up is required. And in addition the quality of stitching wasn’t great either. A bit disappointed in this.
This much smaller pregnancy pillow also from Leachco is designed to target those specific body areas that need support. Compact and soft, this mini pillow allowed me to place my belly on its mid section, breasts on the upper C curl and slots neatly between my legs. I must say it was super comfy! I always liked to lay on my tummy and because it’s also small enough to shape into an “O”, I could sleep on my front, belly supported in the donut area. Well, at least up to about 6 months or so, then it just became too awkward.
Due to its size it didn’t take up loads of space on my bed. (meets hubby’s approval and the dogs) When I traveled with it, I could just loop it under your arm quite easily. The material wasn’t super soft, but it wasn’t scratchy either.
The casing was machine washable so I didn’t need to worry about those odd messes ruining my new best friend. Although on the down side, it was a bit of a problem removing it. A zipper would have been helpful. When baby rocked up, all I needed to do was curl it around my mid section and place my new bundle of joy down for an easy nursing session. For those tiny preggy Moms this pillow is just perfect for you. Not too big and not too small.
The soft, pliable filling makes for a mold-able pillow and can be used for pretty much any position possible. It is bigger than the Boppy predecessor but that’s a good thing, because it gives you more to work with.
Just one thing the insides can get a little lumpy, so you need to move them around a bit to make a comfy settling. I like a full pillow generally and this one doesn’t have much filling, I’m afraid. I just slipped my legs over the lower curl, wrapped my arms around the middle and laid my head on the upper curl – sorted! It is compact but perfectly sized. This pillow didn’t have my partner hanging off the edge of the bed!
I am a constant turner in my sleep and I found I could easily move this baby over as it is not too heavy, but heavier enough to be firm. If you love to have your partner spoon behind you, as I do, this pillow is accommodating, as it fits in front of you and doesn’t run down your back like some of the pillows do. I just slipped the cover off when I was ready to give it a wash. It was that simple.
So sleep, glorious sleep isn’t just a myth whilst pregnant. With so many options to choose from, you should be feeling that little bit more relaxed about your nights of sleep ahead. Choose a shape, choose a brand, click on that button and know that your best pregnancy pillow will be on its way soon!