How to Use Maternity Pillow: 6 Recommended Poses

How to Use Maternity Pillow: 6 Recommended Poses

It can be challenging to sleep while pregnant. Needless to say, the growing belly is accompanied by pain and suffering, not to mention that any attempt to change your sleeping position can cause you to flop around like an air dancer at a car dealership.

A pregnancy pillow is a wise investment because it can be used both during and after the pregnancy. Long after delivery and the baby’s weaning, many women still use maternity pillows. Depending on your aches and pains, you can position your maternity pillow in a variety of ways. Various sizes and shapes are available for maternity pillows as well. Consider your specific needs when selecting the pillow.

This article will explain how to pick the best pregnancy pillow, how to use it, and some important considerations.

Related: When to Start Using Exercise Ball in Pregnancy: Best Time&Usage – Tips for Health Care

What is a Maternity Pillow?

Pregnancy pillows are body support pillows that enable the best positioning to increase comfort and, consequently, sleep quality. Due to their reputation for easing pregnancy-related aches and pains, particularly hip and low back pain, pregnancy pillows can be useful. The two most popular pregnancy pillows are the C-shaped and U-shaped pillows, though there are many different types. There are also pillow wedges that are much smaller and usually fit just behind the back or underneath the belly.

What matters is how the pillow is positioned to support neutral spinal alignment, which is the position in which the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar curves of the spine are in line with one another. This is true regardless of the type of pillow you select. This enables the pelvic and hip muscles to loosen up. Whether you’re using a regular standard pillow, a U-shaped pillow, or a rolled-up towel, the recommendation is that it be placed between the thighs and knees, supporting those achy muscles and joints from the hips to the knees.

How to Use Maternity Pillow: 6 Recommended Poses

How to Choose the Right Maternity Pillow?

Wedge-shaped Pillow

To support your back or belly while lying on your side or while sitting or reclining, use wedge-shaped pillows to prop up your head or back. Even using wedge-shaped pillows, you can support a hot water bottle against your back.

Wedge-shaped pillows are convenient because they are small and easily portable. However, because they are small, you will still need to use a regular pillow for your head. Whichever wedge pillow shape you prefer—a crescent-shaped or a triangular-shaped one—is yours to choose. There are no differences in the advantages offered by the various shapes.

Full-length Pillow

These straight pillows, which are also referred to as I-shaped pillows, run the full length of your body. They look like regular pillows, only longer. Your hands and legs can be coiled around them. However, they do not provide much back support.

Flexible versions of the full-length pillow are available as well. Although generally more expensive, the flexible ones bend and adapt to your body.

C-shaped pillow

If you have a mid-sized bed, C-shaped pillows are ideal because they are smaller than U-shaped ones. Your head, neck, back, and pelvic area are all supported by these pillows. They are excellent for releasing pelvic tension and lowering water retention in your legs and ankles.

The pillow will need to be adjusted every few hours as you switch sides during the night, which is the only drawback. Since its asymmetrical shape enables you to shape the pillow in a variety of ways, this pillow shape is also suggested for plus-size women.

J-shaped Pillow

The J-shaped pillow resembles the U-shaped pillow, but it is smaller and lacks the additional side. So if you have a mid-sized bed, look into this pillow. This pillow is excellent for supporting the head, neck, and back.

How to Use Maternity Pillow: Step by Step

Placement of Pillows

Put the pillow under your stomach. Put a U-shaped, full-length, or wedge-shaped pillow beneath your belly while lying on your side. This will support your back muscles and stomach while you sleep.

Adjustment of Pillows

Put the pillow in the space between your arms and legs. Your arms and legs should be encircled by a full-length or U-shaped pillow. You should have your belly supported by the pillow’s middle. Similar to hugging or cuddling the pillow, this position.

Knee and ankle joint tension can be reduced by putting the pillow between your legs and arms.

Your back should be covered. Wrap a C, U, or J-shaped pillow around your back and in between your legs. While you sleep, this position will support your pelvis, lower and upper backs, and shoulders. If you are uncomfortable sleeping on your back, these pillows will prevent you from rolling on your back while you sleep as well.

To support your lower back, you can also position a pillow in the shape of a wedge behind your head.

Head Support

Hold your neck and head steady. Underneath your primary pillow, place a wedge-shaped pillow to support your head and neck. This position will help relieve symptoms such as acid reflux and heartburn.

Place your head and neck on the pillow as if you were using a standard pillow if you are using a C, U, or J-shaped pillow to maintain spinal alignment.

How to Use Maternity Pillow: 6 Recommended Poses


Try a firm pillow. Although it may be tempting to get a soft pillow, it is recommended that you get a pillow that is at least slightly firm. A firmer pillow will offer more support and maintain its shape longer. At first, it might feel uncomfortable, but with time, you might grow accustomed to it.

Note the dimensions. Look into getting a pillow that is 8 to 11 feet (250 to 350 cm) long if you are taller than the average woman. A pillow that is 5 to 6 feet (160 to 170 cm) long would be appropriate if you are of average height. The size of the pillow you desire will also depend on your personal preferences and the size of your bed.

Pick a pillow that has a removable cover. Removable-cover pillows are excellent because they make cleaning your pillow a breeze. All you have to do is take the cover off and wash it according to the directions on the tag. Buy pillows that have slip-on or zip-on covers.

Tips for Better Sleep During Pregnancy

A great pregnancy pillow is the first step to more comfortable sleep, but there are other things you can do to catch Zs before the baby arrives:

  • Exercise during the day to reduce nighttime cramping, if deemed safe by an expert
  • Cut back on fluids a few hours before bed to avoid waking up to use the bathroom
  • Snack on bland and filling foods like rice and avoid spicy ones to reduce the likelihood of nighttime nausea and heartburn
  • Ease yourself into sleep by doing something comforting before bed, like having a warm shower or stretching
  • Where possible, take short naps during the day to make up for the sleep you’re losing at night
  • Avoid screen time before bed and consider reading a book or meditating instead
  • Talk to your healthcare provider before opting for a supplement or medication during pregnancy


Most pregnant women discover that they can no longer turn over without struggling around the 20-week mark. Instead of trying to make a comfortable sleeping area out of all the pillows you stole from the living room, now might be a good time to give a maternity pillow a try.

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