What Is the Best Pregnancy Pillow Shape?

Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life, but it can also be one of the most uncomfortable, especially when it comes to getting a good night's sleep.

I remember a patient of mine, when she was pregnant with her first child, tried every pillow under the sun, even stealing her husband’s favourite one. Eventually, she realised that regular pillows just weren’t cutting it. That’s when I suggested a pregnancy pillow, and her life, and sleep, changed.

We believe the wedge pillow is the best pregnancy pillow shape. Its versatile design provides targeted support to your belly, back, or knees, helping alleviate common pregnancy discomforts. While other shapes like C-shaped, U-shaped, and full-length pillows offer various benefits, the wedge pillow stands out for its adaptability and effectiveness in providing comfort. 

Why Do You Need a Pregnancy Pillow?

Woman Laying on side showing why using a pregnancy pillow is very important for expecting mothers

Pregnancy pillows aren’t just a luxury; they’re a necessity for many expectant mothers. Quality sleep is vital for both the mother and the developing baby. Poor sleep can lead to adverse effects such as increased stress, impaired immune function, and difficulty managing the physical demands of pregnancy.

Furthermore, a well-rested mother is better equipped to support the healthy growth of her baby, maintain her overall health, and prepare for labor and delivery. 

  • How pregnancy affects sleep quality: Many pregnant women struggle with insomnia and discomfort due to their changing bodies. The growing belly, hormonal changes, and general discomfort can make it difficult to find a restful position. Additionally, sleeping on your back can pose risks, such as increased chances of stillbirth, making it crucial to find a comfortable side-sleeping position.
  • Benefits of using a pregnancy pillow: A good pregnancy pillow can help reduce back pain, improve circulation, and make side sleeping more comfortable. By keeping the spine aligned and relieving pressure points, these pillows support better sleep and overall health. Using a pregnancy pillow can help you avoid the dangers of sleeping on your back by encouraging a safer, more comfortable side-sleeping position. If you're still not conviced, check out our article on whether pregnancy pillows even really work
  • When to start using a pregnancy pillow: It's advisable to start using a pregnancy pillow as soon as you begin to feel discomfort, which is usually around the second trimester. Early use can prevent many common pregnancy-related sleep issues and promote healthy sleep habits throughout pregnancy. If you want to go into detail on exactly when you should pick up a pregnancy pillow, check out our article here

What Are the Different Shapes of Pregnancy Pillows?

There are several shapes of pregnancy pillows, each designed to support your body in different ways. Let's rank them from least to most effective.

Full-Length Pregnancy Pillow

  • Description and features: Full-length pregnancy pillows are long, straight pillows that you can hug or place along your body for support.
  • Benefits and limitations: They’re great for women who prefer a simple design, but they may not offer targeted support to specific areas like the belly or back.

J-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow

  • Description and features: The J-shaped pillow combines elements of full-length and C-shaped pillows. It’s curved at one end for neck support.
  • Unique benefits: This pillow can be used in multiple positions, but it may not provide as comprehensive support as some other shapes.

C-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow

  • Description and features: C-shaped pillows wrap around your body, supporting your head, neck, back, and legs.
  • How C-shaped pillows support the body during pregnancy: They help align your spine and reduce pressure on your hips and back. However, they can be bulky and take up a lot of space in bed.

U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow

  • Description and features: U-shaped pillows are like two long pillows connected in a U shape, providing support on both sides of your body.
  • Advantages of U-shaped pillows for pregnant women: They offer full-body support, which is great for women who toss and turn at night. However, they can be cumbersome and may not be practical for smaller beds.

V-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow

  • Description and features: V-shaped pillows are shaped like a "V" and provide support for the back and legs.
  • How V-shaped pillows support the body during pregnancy: These pillows are great for supporting the back while sitting up in bed or on the couch. They can also be used between the legs to help align the hips and relieve pressure.

Wedge Shaped Pregnancy Pillow (The Winner)


Wedge Shape Pregnancy Pillow Is The Best Shape For Side Sleeping
  • Description and features: Wedge pillows are small, triangular pillows that can be placed under your belly, behind your back, or between your knees.
  • Benefits of using a wedge pregnancy pillow: They’re compact, versatile, and provide targeted support where you need it most.
  • Why the wedge shape is versatile and popular: The wedge pillow is adaptable for various needs and sleeping positions, making it the best option for most pregnant women.

How to Choose the Best Pregnancy Pillow for Your Needs? 

Woman hugging her maternity pillow wedge shape

Choosing the right pregnancy pillow depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here are my tips to help you make the best choice:

  • Sleeping position: If you already sleep on your side (which is recommended during pregnancy), a C-shaped or U-shaped pillow can provide excellent full-body support. However, the wedge shape, like our Butterfly Maternity Pillow® wedge, is ideal for helping you stay on your left side optimally throughout the night, regardless of your usual sleeping position.
  • Specific pain points: For women experiencing back pain, placing a wedge pillow under your belly can provide additional support and relieve pressure on your spine. If you have hip pain, placing a wedge pillow between your knees can help align your spine and relieve pressure. The Butterfly Maternity Pillow® wedge is particularly effective for these targeted reliefs.
  • Bed size: Consider the size of your bed. U-shaped and C-shaped pillows can be quite large and may not be suitable for smaller beds. A wedge pillow is more compact and can fit comfortably in any bed.
  • Mobility: If you tend to move around a lot during the night, a U-shaped pillow can provide support on both sides, allowing you to switch positions easily. For more targeted support that doesn’t require much repositioning, a wedge pillow is ideal.
  • Personal preferences: Some women may prefer the feeling of hugging a full-length pillow, while others might find the compact size of a wedge pillow more convenient. Think about what feels most comfortable for you and your sleeping habits.

If you think the wedge shape is the right choice for your pregnancy comfort, head over to our store at Butterfly Maternity to explore our high-quality, versatile pregnancy pillows. Experience the difference and enjoy a better night's sleep!

How to Care for Your Pregnancy Pillow?

Most pregnancy pillows come with removable, washable covers. The Butterfly Maternity Pillow® comes with Tencel removable covers that are machine washable. 

We also offer extra covers that you can purchase, ensuring you always have a clean one available. Be sure to follow the care instructions to keep your pillow clean and hygienic.

FAQs About Pregnancy Pillow Shapes

Can I use a regular pillow instead of a pregnancy pillow?

Regular pillows may not provide the necessary support for pregnant women.

When should I start using a pregnancy pillow?

There's no set answer; start using a pregnancy pillow as soon as you feel discomfort or find yourself rolling onto your back at night. Many mums prefer to get one early in their pregnancy to establish a good habit of side sleeping.

Can I use a pregnancy pillow postpartum?

Yes, many pregnancy pillows are useful for postpartum support as well.

Is a wedge pillow suitable for all sleeping positions?

The wedge pillow is versatile and can be used for various sleeping positions.

How do you use a curved pregnancy pillow?

Place it around your body to support your head, neck, back, and legs.

Closing Thoughts

woman layign on her pregnancy pillow on her side holding her belly

Finding the right pregnancy pillow can make a world of difference in your comfort and sleep quality during pregnancy. At Butterfly Maternity, we're dedicated to giving mums-to-be the support they need with our versatile wedge-shaped pillows. 

Whether you need targeted relief for your back, belly, or knees, our pillows have got you covered. Check out our high-quality maternity pillows and experience the difference for yourself. Sweet dreams and comfy nights await!

*The shape of the Butterfly Maternity Pillow® is a registered trade mark of Weekly Sales Pty Ltd


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