How to Use a Pregnancy Pillow for Back Pain

How to Use a Pregnancy Pillow for Back Pain

Expecting a little one is among the most joyful experiences in life. There’s much to look forward to, plan, and hope for. At the same time, being pregnant can place a burden on your body. 

The transition includes hormone fluctuations, and with increasing weight in the front come changes in posture and your center of gravity. All of these can cause back pain, especially and worsening, as your pregnancy progresses. Back pain and other discomforts can impact sleep, make you feel miserable, and detract from this joyous time.

Besides less space for your bladder, hormonal challenges, and a growing load on your joints, back pain is a discomfort you don’t need. That’s why many rely on pregnancy pillows. These ergonomically supportive products help keep them comfortable, enhance sleep quality and quantity, and maintain the energy required to produce a happy, healthy baby.

What Is a Pregnancy Pillow for Back Pain?

This cushion is explicitly designed to provide belly support to help prevent and ease the pain associated with side sleeping (a must when expecting). Pregnancy pillows come in various shapes and sizes, typically large body pillows that support your back, hips, belly, neck, and knees. 

Studies have confirmed that sleeping on your side, particularly your left side, is best when pregnant. The position can help you breathe more easily, reduce acid reflux and heartburn, and boost gut health. When pregnant, sleeping on your back can also stress your body. It can restrict uterine blood flow, potentially resulting in low birth rates and other newborn health issues. Additionally, left-side sleeping is associated with reduced late-term stillbirth rates.  

Additionally, side sleeping can increase pressure on your joints. Instead, choose an ergonomically designed pregnancy pillow. It helps align your spine, take a load off your joints, and limit issues like lower back pain or aches in your hips, shoulders, or neck. 

While using several standard pillows or cushions can help, these may slip out of position during sleep. In contrast, pregnancy pillows are one-piece contoured shapes to fit your body and belly, staying in place while you move. However, how do you choose the right pregnancy pillow for you?

Choosing a Pregnancy Pillow

Everyone’s body is unique, especially when pregnant. So, selecting a pregnancy pillow means understanding your body and sleeping needs. 

For example, where do you experience pain when you sleep? Wherever you experience pain is where you need the most support. Do you often change position while you sleep? If yes, choose a U-shaped pillow that doesn’t need adjustment when changing sides. Do you already have a neck support pillow? If so, you may not need as much neck support from your pregnancy pillow. Knowing how to use a pregnancy pillow for back and other pain can also add insight into the type of pillow you need. 

How to Use a Pregnancy Pillow for Back Pain

How to Use a Pregnancy Pillow for Back Pain

Using your pregnancy pillow is no different from using any other support pillow. Once you’ve decided on the shape and size, position it to support the areas where you feel pain while sleeping on your side. There are some tips for optimal comfort, however. For example:

If you choose a U- or C-shaped pillow, place your head on the bend in the U or the tail of the C. Now, wrap your arms around the middle of the pillow and position the end in front of you between your knees. In the case of a U-shaped product, you can also place the other leg of the U (behind you) under or against your back. Place smaller or semi-support cushions where you need them and boost support with standard pillows. 

Don’t forget that you can also use your pregnancy pillow after the baby is born. It can help you sleep when you have time and support your little one during breastfeeding and cuddles. You may even continue using this exceptionally comfortable extra for better sleep.

Pregnancy Pillows Types Available for Back Pain

Pregnancy pillows come in assorted sizes and shapes to support different bodies. For example:

  • Total body pillows are the largest option. They are designed to support you everywhere. The pillows come in C and U shapes. The former covers one side of the body; the latter covers the entire body.
  • Full-length body pillows fall in between these alternatives. The full-length body version’s contours support your belly with increased flexibility for further customization. Usually, you would also need to use regular pillows for additional support for the neck and head.
  • Other types of pregnancy support include wedge-shaped pillows (also known as maternity cushions). These are small and designed to fit wherever you need support. 

Each item will also offer unique firmness, flexibility, filler, cover material, and slight shape and size variations. Selecting a versatile pillow for ongoing usage is essential to enhance value for money. Always evaluate the available options—your comfort is paramount. 

Pregnancy Pillow Inspiration

There are numerous options on the market to choose from. So, to help, Select spoke to physical therapists, sleep consultants, and an OB-GYN to yield a list of highly rated pregnancy pillows to inspire and help you make your decision. They’re all available from Amazon. 

Boppy Pregnancy Pillow Wedge

Boppy Pregnancy Pillow Wedge with Cover, Gray Stripe, Belly Support Maternity Wedge, Firm Pregnancy Wedge Pillow for Pregnancy from Boppy Line of Pregnancy Pillows for Sleeping, A Pregnancy Must Have
  • COMPACT DESIGN: Shaped for versatile, compact support and easy to pack for home, office, and travel
  • SUPPORT PRE- AND POST-BIRTH: Helps you get comfortable by supporting body alignment during pregnancy and post-birth while nursing and sitting
  • MACHINE WASHABLE PILLOW COVER: Machine washable easy-zip slipcover for simple care

This “maternity cushion” with a machine washable modern gray strip cover offers firm support in a compact design. It’s easy to take wherever you go and offers pre- and post-natal comfort, whether lying or sitting.

What We Like:What We Don’t Like:
Perfect slant

Can be tumble-dried



The price

User rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars
Inconsistency across products 

It may be too firm or not firm enough for some.

Cauzyart U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow

cauzyart Pregnancy Maternity Pillows for Sleeping 55 Inches U-Shape Full Body Pillow Support - for Back, Hips, Legs, Belly for Pregnant Women with Removable Washable Velvet Cover
  • [Ultimate Sleep Through The Night ] Cauzyart Body pillows can served ideally as back support pillow , pain relief pillow , also for hips, knees, neck, and head to help relieve discomfort associated with pregnancy, sciatica, fibromyalgia, gastric reflux, and more.
  • [Multi Purpose Pregnancy Pillow] This pillow not only can be used as pillow for sleeping, but also can create comfy positions for extra support on bed, couch, sofa or floor for watching TV , or other relaxation. It works great as nursing pillow for postpartum moms ,reading pillow for office workers and helps as a post-surgery supportive cushion where necessary.
  • [Premium filling material] Environmental protection, no harmful substances, good resilience, durable, soft touch. The thickness can be adjusted freely by increasing or decreasing the filler. 100% velvet cover, skin-friendly.The body pillows for adults U shape will provide you a quiet and comfortable night.

The Cauzyart U-shaped pregnancy pillow provides total body support with a removable, washable slip. The luxurious velvet cover is available in nine beautiful colors. 

What We Like:What We Don’t Like:
The price plus value for money

Eco-friendly, non-toxic filling

Zippered inner and outer covers

Comfortable and soft 


User rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars
Loses shape/flattens too quickly

It may be too large and bulky for some.

It is less suitable for taller people.


Bbhugme Adjustable Pregnancy Pillow

bbhugme Adjustable Pregnancy Pillow – Full Body Support for Side Sleeping - Adjustable Firmness and Shape - Supports Back, Legs, Belly, HIPS for Pregnant Women - Removable Cover - Dusty Olive
  • DEVELOPED BY FEMALE HEALTH PROFESSIONALS — award-winning adjustable pregnancy and breastfeeding pillow keeps your changing body comfortable and supported, a mom must have throughout pregnancy
  • ADJUSTABLE AND ERGONOMIC — extra long shape and micro-bead filling offers 5-point body support where new mom's need it most: belly, pelvis, lower back, knees and ankles; fasten pebbles on both ends to increase or decrease firmness
  • DESIGNED FOR SLEEP AND COMFORT — will support you and your changing body by helping you relax and avoid unnecessary strain or tension in your back while sleeping or feeding your baby

Enjoy full body support with adjustable shape and firmness. This S-shaped pillow is lightweight and portable, with a removable cover for washing. The dusty olive cover is also cooling to keep you comfortable. 

What We Like:What We Don’t Like:
Moldable – can be C-shaped



User rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars


Not ideal for nursing

Difficult to replace cover after washing

It may not be firm enough for some

Reports that it arrived stained

Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow

Leachco Snoogle® Supreme │ Total Body Pregnancy/Maternity Pillow │ with a Zippered Removable Cover - Ivory
  • One pillow that takes the place of multiple pillows
  • Can help provide support for neutral positioning
  • Can help provide support to tummy, back, hips, and legs

This total body pregnancy pillow in attractive ivory has a removable, washable cover. It offers neutral upper and lower body support. 

What We Like:What We Don’t Like:
Good back support


Material quality

Easy to roll out of bed

User rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars
Some find it too long with a curve that is less than expected

Stitching uncomfortable

Reports of pillows arriving dirty

Too little filling

The price

PharMeDoc U-Shaped Pillow

Pharmedoc Pregnancy Pillows, U-Shape Full Body Pillow -Removable Jersey Cotton Cover - Grey - Pregnancy Pillows for Sleeping - Body Pillows for Adults, Maternity Pillow and Pregnancy Must Haves
  • Our U shaped body pillow helps support your back, hips, knees, neck, and head to help ease discomfort associated with pregnancy, sciatica, fibromyalgia, gastric reflux, and more.
  • The pregnancy pillow features a detachable extension that can be used as its own full body pillow, or attached the main body pillow for additional back or belly support, making this an excellent pillow for pregnant women and just about anyone else!
  • This maternity pillow measures 53" inches long, 31" inches wide, and 7" inches high, making this the ideal contoured support pillow for your back, belly, legs, and neck... all in one!

This beautiful full-body pillow provides U-shaped support. The Rolls-Royce pregnancy pillow, the PharMeDoc, offers alignment for bellies, backs, legs, and hips. 

What We Like:What We Don’t Like:
Versatile, full-body support

Adaptable support

Removable, washable cover



Available in over ten colors

100% satisfaction guarantee 

User rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars
Report of irregularities and damage on receipt

It may be too flat for some.

It may be too cumbersome for some. 

Moves around during sleep

They may not be “tall” enough for some.

Numerous options mean you can shop around until you find the pregnancy pillow that keeps you comfortable at night and while sitting. It can offer value for money before your baby is born and beyond. With the help of one or more pillows, you should be able to keep your back, hips, legs, neck, and head aligned and pain-free. 

Enjoy Less Back Pain With the Perfect Pregnancy Pillow 

A supportive pregnancy pillow can provide comfort, ease pain, and make your experience more memorable for the right reasons. Always consult with your medical professional to make the safest choice for your situation. 

Disclaimer: Last update on 2024-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

This content is provided solely for educational reasons and should not be seen as medical guidance. It’s important to consult with a healthcare expert prior to making any changes to your health regimen, including dietary adjustments or the use of supplements.

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