Body Pillows--Not Just for an Expecting Mother
A pillow that properly supports your head and neck is important for proper sleep. But if you’re an expecting mother, a typical pillow is no longer enough. Perhaps you’ll want support for your back or abdomen. Or there might be other pressure points on your body that need relief. There are a number of body pillows that can address all of these problems.
We’ll see that there are a number of different shapes of body pillows, which can help support your back, knees, head, and abdomen all at the same time. Some allow you to adjust the pillow’s filler, while others let you detach sections of the pillow, to fit your particular preferences. They can also provide relief for people suffering from sciatica or back pain, heartburn, or gastric reflux. Or you can use them just for lounging or cuddling in the house!
What is a body pillow?
A body pillow is a pillow designed to be used in a lying position and can be used to support different parts of the body. Besides providing comfort for pregnant women, it can also help people who suffer from sciatica, heartburn, or lower back, hip, or knee pain.
What kinds of body pillows are there?
There are many different types of body pillows, including those designed for pregnancy, for people with back pain, and for people who want extra support when sleeping on their side.
Types of Body Pillows
Looking over the Best Reviews Guide of the best body pillows, we see a number of options available:
C-Shaped Body Pillows: These can support your head, back, abdomen, and legs simultaneously. It can thus serve the purpose of several individual pillows, conserving space in your bed. An example is the Resterology Store C-Shaped Maternity Pillow.
Resterology Store C-Shaped Maternity Pillow
U-Shaped Body Pillow: There also are U-shaped pillows, which also provide support for the back, hips, legs, and abdomen for pregnant women. An example is the PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow. They make a pillow that comes in a single piece, as well as a model made of separate sections connected by zippers. This allows you to choose to use particular sections, or adjust the construction to your sleeping position. If you have to wash it, you can remove the pillowcase by means of a zipper. (The filling cannot be washed.)
The PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow, in sections (left) and a single piece (right)
J+G Shaped Body Pillow: There are also J+G-shaped pillows, an example of which is the Battop Pregnancy Pillow. You can adjust it so that it provides support for your infant when nursing. Alternatively, you can prop it up and use it as a backrest when sitting in bed, or for reclining. Also, you can remove the filler so that it gives you exactly the height that you prefer.
Battop Pregnancy Pillow
Rectangular pillow: This shape is designed for people who sleep on their side, to support pressure points such as your knees, hips, and back. But many rectangular body pillows allow you to adjust the filling so that it’s comfortable for people who sleep on their backs or stomachs as well. An example is the Coop Home Goods Adjustable Full Body Pillow. It’s 20” wide and 54” in length.
Coop Home Goods Adjustable Full Body Pillow
What reviewers say
Here are some of the impressions of customers regarding their choice of body pillow:
Good even after the baby is born: A customer who bought the rectangular Snuggle-Pedic Full Body Pillow preferred it because she wanted a pillow that won’t take up too much space after she gives birth. A long, rectangular pillow can stretch across a king-size bed to provide head and neck support for you and your husband.
Pillow can be rearranged: We saw a number of pillow shapes, but there’s still a way of adjusting the shape. As we saw, some pillows can be opened up, and you can remove or add filler. Also, a customer who bought the Leacho Snoogle Original Maternity Pillow said that she was pleased that the pillow can be twisted into other shapes. You can use it to lean on, or while practicing prenatal yoga. It can also help elevate your upper body so as to avoid heartburn and can be used for back support, or support for the baby while nursing.
Here are some tips and essential features to look for when selecting a body pillow:
Materials: You’ll notice body pillows made from a variety of materials: cotton, memory foam, down alternative, microfiber, and polyester to name a few. Each material has its advantages:
Cotton is considered a more breathable, cooler material than polyester. However, some pillows derive their materials from eucalyptus, which requires 1/10 of the water required to grow an equivalent amount of cotton! The Leachco Back ‘N Belly Chic Supreme Pillow uses a 100% cotton cover, but a polyester fiber filling.
Memory foam is designed to conform to your body’s contours. But it tends to retain heat. Thus, many memory foam pillows are infused with gel as well, so as to dissipate heat. The Sleep Innovations Embrace Memory Foam Body Pillow uses this construction.
Down alternative is a polyester microfiber material that tries to imitate the softness of down feathers. But down feathers may trigger allergies in some people. It’s also prone to infestation by dust mites. A down alternative pillow doesn’t have those drawbacks. It’s also more breathable than down feathers.
Vacuum-packed pillow: When you first receive one of these body pillows, they typically will be vacuum-packed. Allow 48 hours for the pillow to expand properly after unpacking. You can accelerate the process by fluffing the pillow up every few hours.
We went through some of the body pillows in the Best Reviews Guide list. Among the four different shapes, we saw that there’s a wide range of combinations of materials. The determining factor should be how you like to sleep (on your side, abdomen, or back), and which parts of your body need the most support. A good body pillow will provide a restful sleep for you and your baby, both before and after childbirth!