How to sleep on a maternity pillow?

Pregnancy is a transformative journey, marked by physical changes and unique challenges. One of the most common discomforts expectant mothers face is finding a comfortable sleeping position. That’s where maternity pillows come to the rescue.

A maternity pillow is specially designed to provide support and alleviate the aches and pains associated with pregnancy. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through how to sleep on a maternity pillow effectively, ensuring a restful night’s sleep during this special time in your life.

A Complete Guide on How to Sleep on a Maternity Pillow:

Step 1: Choose the Right Maternity Pillow

Before you can enjoy the benefits of sleeping with a maternity pillow, you need to choose the right one that suits your needs. There are various types of maternity pillows, including C-shaped, U-shaped, and wedge-shaped pillows. Select the one that aligns with your preferred sleeping position and provides support where you need it most.

Step 2: Positioning Your Maternity Pillow

  1. For Side Sleepers:
    • If you are accustomed to sleeping on your side, the C-shaped or U-shaped maternity pillow is your best choice.
    • Place the curved side of the pillow between your legs and extend the other end to support your back.
    • Rest your head on the curve of the C-shaped pillow for added neck and head support.
  2. For Back Sleepers:
    • If you prefer sleeping on your back, the wedge-shaped maternity pillow is ideal.
    • Position the wedge pillow under your back or under your bump to relieve pressure.
    • Keep your head elevated by using an additional regular pillow or a smaller maternity pillow.
  3. For Stomach Sleepers:
    • Sleeping on your stomach during pregnancy is not recommended due to the pressure it places on your growing belly.
    • If you must sleep partially on your stomach, use a small, flat maternity pillow to support your upper body while keeping your lower body on your side.

Step 3: Adjusting Your Position

  1. Leg and Hip Support:
    • Bend your knees slightly and place the maternity pillow between your legs to align your hips and relieve pressure.
    • This can help alleviate sciatic nerve pain and hip discomfort.
  2. Back Support:
    • If you’re using a C-shaped or U-shaped pillow, position it so that it supports your lower back and extends along your sides.
    • This can reduce back pain and provide additional support as your belly grows.

Step 4: Pillow Height and Firmness

  • Adjust the height and firmness of your maternity pillow to suit your comfort.
  • Experiment with different positions and pillow placements until you find the perfect balance.
  • Make sure the pillow is snug but not too tight, allowing you to shift easily during the night.

Step 5: Additional Pillow Support

  • If necessary, use regular pillows to provide extra support for your head, neck, and upper body.
  • Experiment with different combinations to find the most comfortable arrangement.

Step 6: Maintain Good Sleeping Habits

  • Keep your room cool, well-ventilated, and dimly lit to promote better sleep.
  • Stay hydrated and avoid heavy meals or liquids close to bedtime to reduce nighttime discomfort.

Step 7: Practice Safe Sleeping Habits

  • Avoid sleeping on your back during late pregnancy, as it can restrict blood flow to the baby.
  • If you wake up in a different position, gently reposition yourself with the maternity pillow’s support.

Step 8: Be Patient

  • It may take a few nights to adjust to sleeping with a maternity pillow, so be patient and persistent.

By following these steps and adapting your maternity pillow to your specific needs, you can experience more comfortable and restful nights throughout your pregnancy. A maternity pillow can make a significant difference in alleviating discomfort and ensuring you get the sleep you need during this exciting and challenging time in your life.

Can you not sleep without a maternity pillow?

You can absolutely sleep without a maternity pillow during pregnancy. While maternity pillows are designed to provide added support and comfort, they are not a strict necessity. Many pregnant individuals have slept well without them for centuries. However, maternity pillows can be particularly helpful for addressing some of the common discomforts associated with pregnancy, such as back pain, hip pain, and restless sleep.

If you choose not to use a maternity pillow, here are some alternative strategies to consider for a more comfortable night’s sleep during pregnancy:

  1. Regular Pillows: You can use regular pillows to provide additional support. For example, placing a pillow between your knees when sleeping on your side can help align your hips and reduce pressure. You can also use pillows to prop up your upper body or head if you prefer sleeping on your back.
  2. Body Position: Experiment with different sleeping positions to find the one that’s most comfortable for you. Many pregnant individuals find sleeping on their side, particularly the left side, to be the most comfortable and beneficial for blood circulation and baby’s well-being.
  3. Mattress Topper: Consider investing in a mattress topper that provides extra cushioning and support. This can help alleviate pressure points and improve overall comfort.
  4. Hydration and Diet: Be mindful of what you eat and drink close to bedtime. Avoid heavy meals and excessive liquids to minimize nighttime discomfort.
  5. Regular Exercise: Engage in pregnancy-appropriate exercises and stretches to help reduce muscle tension and promote better sleep.
  6. Consult Your Healthcare Provider: If you’re experiencing severe discomfort or sleep disturbances during pregnancy, it’s essential to discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider. They can offer personalized recommendations and solutions.

While maternity pillows can be a helpful addition to your pregnancy sleep routine, they are not mandatory, and you can still achieve restful sleep without them. Explore alternative strategies and find what works best for you and your unique pregnancy experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I continue using my regular pillow along with a maternity pillow?

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to use additional regular pillows in conjunction with your maternity pillow. Many pregnant individuals find it more comfortable to have extra pillow support for their head, neck, or upper body. Experiment with different combinations to find the most comfortable arrangement that suits your needs.

What should I do if I wake up in a different position during the night?

It’s common to shift positions during sleep. If you wake up in a different position, gently reposition yourself with the support of your maternity pillow. The goal is to maintain proper alignment and support, especially during late pregnancy when sleeping on your back should be avoided.

How do I clean and care for my maternity pillow?

The care instructions for maternity pillows may vary depending on the brand and material. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific cleaning instructions. In general, many maternity pillows come with removable and washable covers, making it easier to keep them clean. Regularly washing the cover can help maintain hygiene.


Sleeping on a maternity pillow can greatly enhance the comfort and quality of your sleep during pregnancy. These specially designed pillows provide essential support for your changing body, helping to alleviate aches, pains, and discomfort. Whether you’re a side sleeper, back sleeper, or prefer a different position, there’s a maternity pillow style to suit your needs.

By choosing the right maternity pillow, positioning it correctly, and making necessary adjustments, you can optimize your sleep experience during pregnancy. Remember to practice safe sleeping habits, stay patient as you adjust to your new pillow, and consult with your healthcare provider if you have specific concerns about your sleep during pregnancy.

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