What Makes A Good "Pregnancy Pillow," Anyway?

Photographed by Ashley Armitage.
Even the least pregnant among us enjoy the snuggly comfort that a body pillow offers. But, for those who are with child, curling up with some additional cushion may provide the support that your aching back craves during pregnancy.
"As your uterus and baby grow, the extra weight in the front of your body causes your posture to change, which can result in back pain," says Erin Higgins, MD, clinical instructor in obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Langone Health. "Placing a pillow between your legs or under your belly can help alleviate these pains and may result in a better night of sleep."
To be clear, Dr. Higgins says, this added support won't affect the overall health of your pregnancy (and if your pain is more intense than general aches, you should speak with your doctor). But, sleeping through the night, without your back waking you up, can be a wonderful thing. Pregnant or not, a bad night's sleep can negatively impact your mood, immune system, and overall health. So, if an additional pillow is the only thing standing between you and those much-need ZZZs, get thee to the bedding section ASAP.
Dr. Higgins says any pillow will do, as long as it makes you feel more comfortable, but she adds that there are a few varieties particularly well-suited for the most common pain points. Ahead, take a closer look at them and find the right one for you. You'll be sleeping like a baby in no time.
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Its flat "joints" make this pillow the Choose Your Own Adventure of pregnancy pillows. Depending on where you need more support, you can sleep with the long side against your back or under your tummy. You can tuck one of the shorter ends between your knees or under your head.
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This shape will fit perfectly under your growing belly or between your legs while you're sleeping on your side (Dr. Higgins says left-sided rest is recommended, but don't sweat it if you shift in the night and wake up on your right side).
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Curl up with the long side of this pillow against your back and one of the short ends between your legs if you want to avoid rolling around in your sleep.
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For the sleeper who needs to feel cuddled on all sides, look no further than a U-shaped pillow. This one in particular, with its hourglass cutout, is made to conform to your body's shape — and the broad, closed end provides you with ample head support to boot.
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Like Dr. Higgins says, any type of pillow that alleviates your discomfort is the right way to go. So, if you already have a normal body pillow lying around, that's perfect. If you like that shape but want just a smidge more support, a jumbo-sized version might be your ticket to dreamland.
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If you're a major, rock-'n'-roll-level tosser-and-turner, Dr. Higgins says you might prefer a particularly dense pillow. This cooling memory-foam pillow weighs several pounds and maintains its shape through the night, so you can stay in place and snooze peacefully.
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While a wedge-shaped pillow is always an option if you want more cushion between your legs, a rectangular one offers a more consistent, even-keeled sort of support if you sleep with your knees stacked on top of each other. As Dr. Higgins says, comfort means something different for every person, so don't be afraid to try both before settling on your favorite.

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