If you have been pregnant recently, or are currently pregnant, you know how many pregnancy whole-body sleeping pillows are on the market, many at a hefty price. Many pregnant clients ask if these support systems are worth the price tag, especially when there are so many other things to buy for the pregnancy and baby. My answer is usually no. It may seem effective to have an all-in-one system for sleeping, and there are some people who prefer them, but no two bodies are the same. What fits one Mom comfortably, will not fit another at all. My recommendation is a combination of different pillows that will help you stay lying on your left side while sleeping, keep your hips and shoulders in alignment and support the baby. Lying on your left side moves the baby off of the vena cava, and should be the sleeping position when at all possible starting in the second trimester.
The most important pillow to purchase early in your pregnancy is the prenatal wedge pillow. These can be a little difficult to find in retail stores, but they are highly recommended for abdomen support in all trimesters. It can also be used in the first trimester under the right hip when laying on the back to shift the growing fetus to the left and off of the vena cava. It can also be used as a support wedge under your arm when breast or bottle feeding. My favorite on the market is made by Spinal Care Products in Arizona. It’s durable and comfortable, and just the right size.
Second most important is the head or neck pillow. I prefer to use a memory foam pillow to give the best neck support possible. The key with a firmer, memory foam pillow is to make sure the long edge of the pillow is positioned on the top of your shoulder where the neck starts. If your shoulder is laying on the pillow also, there is no support for the neck.
The remainder of the pillows can be firm feather or alternative fill: One between the knees (bottom leg straight and top leg positioned over the pillow) and one to hug. Both help to prevent the hips and shoulders from collapsing overnight. You can also put a pillow or two behind your back to prevent you from rolling over onto your back.
With the majority of these pillows being ones you may already have at home, and the wedge a small investment that can be used after pregnancy, this practical combination of pillows will give your body comfort and allow you to spend more money on your little bundle of joy!