Welcome back to PregnancyPillows.org! We’ve done a lot of talk about the uncomfortable-ness of pregnancy. Now, it’s time to talk solutions. We’ve already gone through the basic types of pregnancy pillows, why to use them, how to use them, and how they can help overcome any discomfort you are having as a result of your pregnancy. Today, we’re going to go a little further into one of your many options: The Wrap-around pregnancy pillow.
Introduction to U-shaped Full Body Pillow
So you’re ready to dive into the world of body pillows. You’ve heard the benefits, you can’t wait to get a full night’s sleep, and you’re ready to go! Now, how to choose. There are lots of options, most of them outlined in other articles on this site. You can get a good intro to body pillows in general here, but today we’re going to be really diving into the U-shaped, or wrap-around body pillow. Perhaps when we’re done, you’ll want to dive into one, too!
The doctors at Medical News Today recommend a high-quality, U-shaped body pillow for optimum sleep during pregnancy. A U-shaped, wrap-around, or all-around body pillow is a pillow that does just what its name says. It wraps all around the sleeper, giving support to the hips, belly, back, and head simultaneously. This can be a huge help to a pregnant woman with a growing belly. Not to be confused with smaller, travel-sized U-shape pillows that go only around the neck, this type is typically shaped like a giant letter “U”, with the apex, or curve of the U going beneath the sleeper’s head, and the two arms of the U wrapping around her belly, between her knees, and down her back. It is the largest type of body pillow, but also the most supportive.
Benefits of a Total Body Wrap Pillow
The experts at Babyzone.com tell us that 70% of women suffer from back pain during their pregnancy! You don’t have to be one of them! A good pregnancy pillow, and especially a wrap-around pregnancy pillow, can help alleviate and even eliminate that pain for you.
Why not just get a smaller body pillow? Or a pregnancy belly wedge? Both of those are good options, especially if you are looking to save a bit of money, but if you are after the ultimate in pregnancy pillow comfort, a wrap-around pillow may be in your best interest. Spine-Health.com notes that this type of pregnancy pillow may be just what you need to sleep comfortably.
So what are the benefits? Firstly, and maybe most importantly, support. Wrap-around pillows tend to cost a bit more, and for good reason. They are often made of superior materials, and offer the ultimate in support as your body grows. They also don’t require you to choose between support for your back OR support for your belly. Single-sided pillows can’t offer both sides of your body support at the same time, but this isn’t a problem for a U-shaped pregnancy pillow.
Secondly, comprehensive care. Having one pillow provide support for your belly, back, and head is much easier that having separate pillows for all three jobs. You are also much less likely to have your pillow go wandering in the middle of the night as you move.
Also, keep in mind cost-effectiveness. All-around pregnancy pillows do tend to run slightly more expensive than smaller models, but the advantage is that you are buying only one pillow! If you buy a wedge and find you need more support, you may find yourself buying a second pillow or even a hard to keep up with your growing needs. With a U-shaped pregnancy pillow, you are more likely to find that it meets all your needs for pregnancy sleep without needing to by additional pillows.
Advantages of Extra Long Body Pillow
Talks of a wrap-around pregnancy pillow often come down to size. There is no denying that they are larger and bulkier than a smaller pillow or a wedge. Size can be a benefit, however. Think of the additional versatility a U-shaped pillow offers. No matter where you hurt, you have pillow enough to take care of it with pillow left over to spare.
Remember, too, that the added length means fewer total pillows in your bed. Also, because it is one piece, you are less likely to need to reposition the pillow during the night. Your body will keep it in one place as you sleep, and because it is one pillow, if it stays in place in one spot, it will tend to stay in place in another.
How to use a U-shaped body pillow
Once you receive your body pillow and pull it out of the box, you may be overwhelmed by the size of it. How are you ever going to use this thing? Don’t panic, it’s actually really easy. First, relax. You’re about to get a great night’s sleep. Lay the pillow on your bed. Don’t worry about its position just yet, except to make sure that the curve of the “U” is positioned where your head will be. Lie down with your head on the curve of the pillow. Next, make sure the back of the pillow is lined up with your back, giving you good support along your entire spine. Using the back part of the pillow as support, since that is what it’s for anyway, gently slide the front part of the pillow under your belly and tuck the bottom but between your knees to support your hips. That’s it! You are ready for a good night’s sleep with your new Wrap-around pregnancy pillow!
Examples of All around Body Pillows
There are so many options for U-shaped body pillows! They come in all manner of material, fabric, and price. With so many choices, you are sure to find something that works for you!
Todays Mom Cozy Comfort Pregnancy Pillow by Today’s Mom
Average Amazon Rating: 4/5 Stars
This pillow features three things that make it such an attractive option for pregnant moms. First, the head pillow area resembles a typical bed pillow, making it easy to get comfy and find a good spot and position for your neck and head. Secondly, the area that curves around the shoulder is softly curving so that nothing digs into your shoulder while you sleep. Lastly, this pillow is designed with superior lumbar and belly support. It is particularly good at eliminating hip pain, and according to reviewers, will not, book though it seems, take up more than half of your bed, even if you are sleeping in a queen-sized bed. It is very comfortable and supportive, however, some reviewers note that it is not a firmly stuffed as some might like, and pregnant women with sensitive skin may wish to buy a different cover for the pillow, as some may find the one it comes with a bit scratchy or uncomfortable. It also does not help keep hear away from a pregnant woman as well as other pillows might, so if you are prone to overheating or tend to always feel hot in bed, you may want to try another pillow.
Comfort U Pillow -For Total Body Support by Moonlight Slumber
Average Amazon Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
The Comfort-U pillow is specially made with a patented product called Fusion Fibre, which allows it to maintain its fluffiness, as well as being hypoallergenic. This specialtyfibre also hold up well against high wash and dry temperatures, which means that it is totally machine washable and dryable, as well as being a fibre that dries remarkably quickly. It is specially made so that no lumps or empty spots form in the pillow, ensuring continual support through the night. Sleeping in this pillow is, according to some reviewers, like being cradled in the hand of a huge, benevolent giant. It is soft, comfortable, and supportive. It is very large, and some report that it takes up a lot of space in a queen-sized bed, and that it does need fluffing once in a while to help it maintain its shape, but, since it is machine washable and dryable, the manufacturer recommends tossing a tennis ball in the dryer with the pillow. Run it through a full dry cycle and presto! A dry and already fluffed pillow!
Moonrest U Shape Pregnancy/Maternity Body Pillow by Moonrest
No Reviews Available
This is a newcomer to the pregnancy pillow game, but has promise. The case is made to be easily removable via a zipper closure, is machine washable and made of a satin fabric, which may feel soft and luxurious to some while leaving some feeling too hot. It is stuffed very full, weighing a full eight pounds, so that it doesn’t lose its shape over time. The filling here is hypoallergenic. The legs are 62” long, which most women will find more than sufficient, but taller women may find to be not quite long enough. It is designed primarily for side sleeping, as is recommended by the American Pregnancy Association, but can also be used for support if you need to sleep on your back as well. This means that it may be a good pillow if you have acid reflux or heartburn and need to sleep propped up.
Maternity Pregnancy Memory Foam U Shape Total Body Bed Pillow by Dreamsweet
Average Amazon Rating: 4/5 Stars
Like the other pillows on this list, this one is contoured to fit the curves of the pregnant woman’s body and gives support to all areas of the body at once. What is special about this pillow is its filler material. Dreamsweet’s pillow is made of memory foam, which supports the body by detecting the heat given off from it and forming to the curves of the body. You may find that memory foam gives you firmer, better support than other filler fibres, and that it doesn’t lose its shape the way that polyfibres can. Memory foam also lasts, meaning that you can use this pillow long after you are done being pregnant, and take it from your writer, once you’ve grown used to a wrap-around pillow, you won’t ever want to go back, even after your baby has arrived! Two words of caution about this pillow: First, when it arrives, it is going to look very flat. The memory foam has to be activated before it can be used. All this means is that you will need to do one of two things. Either throw it in an NO-HEAT dryer (seriously, no heat. None. Air fluff only!) with a few tennis balls or tennis shoes to get the fluffing done, or enlist the help of your partner and rub the foam between your hands like you’re trying to start a fire until it fluffs. This can take some muscle, so have help. Secondly, memory foam has a distinct smell to it. Usually, leaving it on a line to dry in the sun takes care of the smell, or, if you don’t live in a place that is conducive to such things, a few drops of your favourite essential oils or a few spritzes of room freshening spray should eliminate the smell. You may have to repeat these steps for a week, but the smell should be eliminated by then. Some reviewers reported being able to smell it after doing everything, so if you have a heightened sense of smell due to pregnancy, give this one extra thought before purchasing.
Leachco Back ‘N Belly Contoured Body Pillow by Leachco
Average Amazon Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
This is one of the most popular pillows on Amazon. The contours are designed with the pregnant body in mind, and can be used to sleep on your side, on your back, or even elevated to help prevent heartburn. According to the product website, there should be no need to reposition the pillow during the night, because it is almost impossible to find an uncomfortable way to sleep on this pillow! It is stuffed firmly and retains its shape for a very long time. It is not machine washable, but its cover is, and is made to be easy to remove and clean. The number of customers on this pillow speak for themselves. It is one of the top-selling wrap-around pregnancy pillows on Amazon.
The Bottom Line
Doctors and spine experts recommend a good quality pregnancy pillow to assist with sleep. The U-shaped pregnancy pillow can give you the support you need from any angle, and helps with multiple positions, rather than restricting you to side-lying. There are multiple choices on Amazon, and you are sure to find a pillow that fits both your needs and your budget.