When Should You Start Using a Pregnancy Pillow?

Wondering when to start using a pregnancy pillow? While there is no

Wondering when to start using a pregnancy pillow?

While there is no “right” answer (you don’t even have to be pregnant to use one!), we’ll clue you in on when you’ll REALLY want to start thinking about grabbing one to add some support to your aching back and growing belly.

Related ►► 5 Things No One Tells You About Pregnancy 

Benefits of using a pregnancy pillow

Pregnancy pillows help with sciatica pains, carpal tunnel, back pains, and can even help with heartburn if you’re suffering from that. Propping yourself up helps eliminate the reflux.

I don’t think I have to tell you that pregnancy is very taxing on the body. Lack of sleep typically comes with the territory, especially later in your pregnancy when your belly seems to grow overnight. That lack of sleep can be caused by everything from hormones to aches & pains.

While a pregnancy pillow can’t help with hormone-related causes of sleep deprivation, it can do wonders for the pain-related causes. They provide great support for back, joints, and also provide a higher level of comfort. They wrap around your body to make sure there is support in all of the places that need it most.

In fact, I loved my pregnancy pillow so much that I used it long after my pregnancy!

RELATED Is there a Right Way to Sleep with Pregnancy Pillows?

When should I start using a pregnancy pillow?

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As mentioned above, there really is no right or wrong time to start using a pregnancy pillow, but there are certain weeks where you might find that using a pregnancy pillow is more beneficial.

Typically, 20 weeks and up is where you’ll feel the most comfort using a pregnancy pillow, but you can certainly start before if you feel the need. Around 20 weeks is when the womb starts to get bigger to accommodate for the growing baby. This can result in round ligament pain and other aches.

Discover the best pregnancy pillows for your office chair.

How should a pregnant woman sleep with a body pillow?

Along with “when should I start using a pregnancy pillow,” a lot of moms-to-be ask “how should I sleep with my body pillow?” Short answer- however you want but try to stick to side-sleeping. If you Google the question, you’ll see some rather strict guidelines for sleeping during pregnancy. They’ll tell you to sleep on your side, don’t put the pillow between your knees, keep every part of your body perfectly aligned.

Sure, that’s probably the “best” way to sleep, but let’s get real for a moment: we’re not posable dolls! I don’t know about you, but I move around a lot when I sleep!

So, my answer to how you should sleep with a pregnancy pillow: however you’re most comfortable! For me, that was with the lower part tucked between my thighs and the middle part either propping up my belly or supporting my back. Go ahead and experiment a bit, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.


Watch this video for the best pregnancy pillow techniques

Why should you stop sleeping on your back when pregnant?

There is are a few caveats to “sleep however you want.” Once your belly starts growing, you should try to avoid sleeping on your back. Your heavy uterus can compress major blood vessels and your intestines. When that happens, you’re not only reducing blood flow to your baby, but to the rest of your body as well.

The result: you’ll wake up feeling dizzy, nauseas, and miserable. Don’t worry if you roll onto your back in the middle of the night, your body will let you know if you or your baby is in danger.

You should also avoid sleeping on your stomach during your pregnancy. Honestly, though, I don’t think that will be a problem! For me, sleeping on my stomach wasn’t even an option. My body let me know right away that it just wasn’t happening!

Most doctors will also recommend that you sleep on your left side, but in the average healthy pregnancy, if you toss and turn over to your right side it’s not going to hurt your baby. If you have preeclampsia or another major pregnancy complication, though, it is actually very important to you try to stay on your left side as much as possible.

Where can I find a good pregnancy pillow?

Amazon is my go-to source for buying pregnancy pillows. I have Prime, so I can get it quickly and start sleeping comfortably within a few days. If you need it right now, mass-retailers like Walmart and Target carry a limited selection in the store.

As for the best pregnancy pillow, I recommend the Leachco Back ‘N Belly Contoured Body Pillow because it supports both your belly and your back at the same time.

If that one is out of your price range, though, there are a bunch of other brands that sell a myriad of pregnancy pillows for every budget. If you don’t want to go with a pillow that envelopes your whole body the way the Leachco one does, opt for an S or C shaped one. The only downside to these: if you already have the perfect pillow for your head, it’s kind of a pain to push the head part aside.

I love my regular pillow. It elevates my head to just the right position. Adding anything to it will make my head and neck feel awkward. In that case, here’s what I do: rather than lining the top part up with my head, I use it as the front to support my stomach area, then push the middle part between my thighs and loop the bottom part around to support my back. The Boppy Pregnancy Pillow is ideal for this.

Pairing the use of a pregnancy pillow with a pregnancy support belt is a great way to tackle pregnancy pains, and you can start using the support belt around the same time, or when you experience pain. Pregnancy, while physically and emotionally taxing, is also a beautiful thing and much more enjoyable if you’re able to tackle some of the harder symptoms.

RELATED: 7 Great Pregnancy Body Pillow Covers You’ll Love!

Overall, there is no right or wrong time to start using a pregnancy pillow, but you’ll find the most help from one after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

When did you start using a pregnancy pillow? What “mom to be product” would you recommend to an expecting mom?


28 thoughts on “When Should You Start Using a Pregnancy Pillow?”

  1. Thank you so much for all the helpful hints! I already use Fairfield stuffing and I agree that paying more is fine, the end result will prove it! Somewhere in your copy I now know some small things I could improve upon. Once I get this all down, I would love to enter one of your pillow contests.

  2. Honestly, I still use my pregnancy pillow and I’m not even pregnant! :-). I’ve slept so much better when using one with my pregnancies and it helps sciatica quite a bit!

  3. I had twins with both pregnancies so I started using a pregnancy pillow pretty early on. I never stopped using after the second pregnancy as I got so used to it.

    1. Do you remember when you started with the twins? I’m 19 weeks pregnant with twins and have been having back pain recently. Do you think it’s time

  4. I’ve never had an experience with a pregnancy pillow, but one of my friends said that it meant the world of difference to her. I don’t she would have been able to sleep without one.

  5. Pillows are a life saver when you are pregnant. I started using one around 4 months along. My husband actually bought a pregnancy pillow for me when I wasn’t pregnant. The pillows have come a long way.

  6. I have always used my normal pillows during both my pregnancies. It has been so comfortable & gives a relaxed mind to sleep peacefully without worrying about the belly pain or other issues.

  7. i’m 34 weeks pregnant and for both pregnancies I have not used these pillows! I’m perfectly happy with a body pillow :) Plus my hubby would get so mad at the space these take up!

  8. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    I actually just used a regular pillow between my knees when I slept. Worked like a charm.

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