Choosing a pregnancy pillow can feel a bit like a glass slipper search - it's tricky to find the perfect fit.
But the right one will be worth the wait!
You're growing a new life, and your body needs plenty of time to recover each night. The best pregnancy pillow won't only help you to get to sleep for longer, but you'll also wake feeling more refreshed and ache free after being correctly supported throughout the night.
So why is the right pillow so important? And how do you choose the best pillow for you?
Why do you need a pregnancy pillow?
Health experts often recommend pregnancy pillows for those struggling with sleep because they keep them in the recommended side position.
Side sleeping, especially on your left side, is recommended as it can lead to better health outcomes for mum and bub. Studies show that this way of sleeping increases blood flow to essential organs and decreases the risk of heartburn and sleep apnea.
They're also comfortable and help you get better sleep. These specially designed pillows ease the pressure on your legs, hips, tummy, and back.
And these benefits are going to be tenfold if you find the right pregnancy pillow. Australia and worldwide, there is a staggering variety of pillows to suit different needs and bodies.
Here's why the right pillow is so vital!
The Perks of a Perfect Pillow
If you're investing in something to make you sleep better, you might as well find the perfect support that will help you throughout your entire pregnancy.
Here are some of the benefits of the right pillow:
- Helps you to fall asleep more quickly
- Stay asleep for longer
- Wake up feeling refreshed
- Decrease aches and pains
- Reduce pressure on legs, tummy, hips, and back
- Keeps you sleeping on your side
- Reduce common pregnancy conditions such as headaches and heartburn
- Increase circulation.
So, it's worth getting it right, so your pillow will help you sleep better right up until your baby is born.
Make sure you know what your non-negotiables are before you go hunting for the best pregnancy pillow for you.
How to Choose Your Pregnancy Pillow
A quick search online will reveal that choosing a pregnancy pillow isn't always a five-minute task. With thousands of options at your fingertips, there's plenty to consider, which can feel confusing.
Let's break it down to the main things you need to consider.
Finding the right size
Pay attention to the dimensions, especially if you're opting for a full-body pillow,
you might not want a pillow that will take up three-quarters of the bed or alternatively one that's not big enough for you to feel supported.
You also need to consider the size of your maternity pillow if you're sharing a bed with a partner. One of the most common complaints pregnant women have with their pregnancy pillow is that it's too big and prevents their partner from sharing the bed.
Whip out the measuring tape and check out the pictures of people using the pillow, so you can get an idea of scale.
One of the beautiful things about the Sleepybelly is its versatility. The pillow's compact, yet adjustable design means you feel fully supported (plus the Sleepybelly prevents you from rolling onto your back) while still fitting in your bed, alongside your partner.
Choosing the right shape
Another key consideration to make when shopping for a pregnancy pillow is understanding what shape you want.
Are you after a big U-Shape pillow for full-body support or a C-Shape which targets lower-body, back and belly support? Or do you want something versatile and smaller, like an I-Shape, wedge shape or O-Shape?
It get can get super confusing!
If you're unsure and want something that you can change as your body and needs change, it's worth considering an adjustable pillow set.
Three-piece pregnancy pillow sets are becoming increasingly popular for mums who want to adjust the shape and size of their pillow arrangement as their pregnancy progresses.
Sleepybelly is a three-piece pregnancy pillow that provides the versatility for you to adjust it exactly how you need it. With the Sleepybelly you're able to create a simple C-Shape or use the back support piece to provide both back and tummy support. Having the extra pieces also allows you to place them under your back or between your knees; whether support is required.
Choosing the right materials for you
Get familiar with the suitable materials available. The best maternity pillows are firm enough to provide support yet mouldable so you can get comfortable. The best materials are typically latex or a latex blend.
While foam is lovely and firm, it doesn't provide the same moulding or cushioning as latex or blends do.
You also want to ensure your pillowcase cover is breathable and washable too.
The Sleepybelly uses a high-quality desiccated latex as its internal compound which strikes a balance between firmness and mould-ability.
The external case is a premium air-layer material which feature an anti-bacterial shield which stops the build-up of dust-mites, mould and other nasties (oh and it's washable too!).
What will you use it for
There's no point in getting a small circle-shaped pillow if you need full-body support.
Being clear on what you need will make it easier to choose. Consider the size, the shape and the material you're after will make your search for the perfect pregnancy pillow so much easier.
Choosing Your Pregnancy Pillow Type
From U-Shapes to pillow wedges, there's truly something for everyone. So let's break down the most popular shapes and what they're best for.
The most compact and versatile option. While wedges are not made to support your entire body, they can be put around specific areas, such as the tummy, back, or between your legs, to ease pressure and align your spine while sleeping on your side.
I-Shape or 'full-body' pillows
This long, straight pillow is the perfect spooning pillow and fantastic for anyone suffering from back pain. This is a wonderful option for anyone who wants a versatile pillow but with full-body support, especially when it's paired with a wedge pillow.
Another great benefit of Sleepybelly is that given it's a versatile three-piece pregnancy pillow, you get the benefit of an I-Shape and a C-Shape depending on your needs.
O-Shape (circle) pillows
The small donut shape is perfect for under your tummy, between your legs, or behind your back while sleeping. It's a good option if you want a smaller pillow that can be used as a maternity pillow once your little one has arrived.
This tends to be the biggest pillow, with the most full-body support and lots of cushioning. It provides comfort, ease of pressure, and lots of front and back support.
However it leaves little room for tossing and turning and also takes up plenty of room in bed. Not the best option for people sharing a bed.
C-Shape pillows are incredibly popular at the moment; they're made to target the lower body providing specific support around your belly and back, you can use the C-Shape for sleeping, sitting, and breastfeeding.
C-Shape pillows are sometimes referred to as cup shape pillows.
The Sleepybelly's two smaller wedges form a perfect C-Shape pillow with the added benefit of being adjustable, so that the pillow grows as you grow.
Adjustable three-piece pillows
If you're not sure what will be most comfortable for you, a three-piece set is probably the perfect option. Three-piece pillow sets provide more versatility and flexibility ensuring the pillows provides you the right support at different stages throughout your pregnancy.
Check out our five-star rated Sleepybelly pillow set for a high-quality option that will ease your body and mind for a perfect night of sleep.
It comes with 2 x side wedges and 1 x long back support pillow, so you'll be comfortable and supported throughout your entire pregnancy, and able to customise the shape to meet your specific needs.
Choosing the best pregnancy pillow for you and your needs can feel a little overwhelming, but it's well worth it.
Use this as your pillow-finding guide, and enjoy your eight hours of rest each night.