Best Seat Cushion for Pregnancy
You’re pregnant and want to be comfortable, but your office chair is not very comfy. It can make a huge difference in how the day goes if your pregnancy seat cushion makes it better or worse!* Lucky for us, though, some great inventors out there have developed prenatal cushions, so we don’t need to suffer too much with our workdays.
As a general rule, the best seat cushion for pregnancy is a natural latex cushion that supports your back and shoulders back is best. Your seat cushion should have enough space to support your tailbone or coccyx, and your hips should be above your knees.
After treating expecting mothers with back issues for decades and researching and designing pregnancy-specific seat cushions, I will be able to recommend the most comfortable cushion for pregnant women.
As a result of my experience with countless patients, I know a few points to consider for your comfort. I’ll explain each of them here so that you can make the right choice the first time around.
Choosing the Right Seat Cushion for Pregnancy
Wedge Pregnancy Pillow
In terms of design, this seating cushion is rather ordinary and seen on just about every seat cushion website; the only thing that changes is its wrapper and fancy marketing language. I explain the concept of my design on a TV show HERE!
Here are the main criteria for the layers of a pregnancy seat cushion:
- A foam seat base gives your chair a high-quality foundation. A square meter of foam can support 96kg.
- The top of the seat is covered with a soft, comfortable layer that keeps you cool and protected. Designed for comfort (56-68 kg/m3).
- For you and your baby, natural latex foam is best! Due to the differences in properties between natural latex and synthetic latex, synthetic latex cannot compete with natural latex for comfort, resilience, and alignment.
- Multilayered comfort and support relieve pressure points on your bottom. While conforming consistency is essential, comfort layers shouldn’t sag excessively where weight is concentrated.
- When you sit, the cushion contacts the first part of your body that contains all those bony prominences-your buttocks. All successful cushions, including those that reduce pressure points, redistribute pressure away from sharp areas in the pelvis, so we feel less low back pain while sitting!
- When you sit on a seat cushion, it will change shape. For instance, foam that is softer is more likely to compress and sink.
Choosing multi-density foams for your seat cushion will provide pressure distribution and support. The base layer should surround a comfort layer that is softer on top. (Above) is a design that I made for those who are pregnant!
Sitting on a cushion that conforms to the body’s shape is very comfortable. Ideally, the hips should slope towards the knees so the trunk-to-thigh ratio can be increased and the supports for the bony prominences are adequate.
It is essential that your seat cushion supports your spine while engaging your core. Even though it may seem counterintuitive, you’ll be significantly more comfortable if the weight is dispersed into your core. We have received positive feedback from our patients after making these adjustments to their seat cushions.
If you are into super easy and inexpensive alternatives to office chairs, I wrote a fantastic article on how and why you should consider these options for back pain, and I encourage you to read it!
The Best Foam for Pregnancy Pillows
While selecting a seat cushion, keep these factors in mind:
Latex Seat Cushions (5/5) ★★★★★
Natural latex is considered by some experts as one of the safer foam options. These materials are made entirely from non-toxic substances that do not emit any harmful chemicals. Unlike some seat cushions made from memory foam, polyester, or polymers, natural latex cushions are not known to release any harmful gasses. I explain the concept of my design on a TV show HERE!
Natural latex cushions are considered non-toxic, eco-friendly and made entirely of natural materials. They are also an option for pregnant women as they can help to:
- Improve spinal alignment.
- Relax and recover muscles and ligaments while also potentially improving blood circulation by distributing pressure evenly.
- Offer good air circulation.
- Relieve pressure points.
- Support the body by not allowing it to sink in too far and providing a bouncing-back effect when pressure is applied.
Memory Foam Seat Cushions (2/5) ☆☆☆★★
I tested memory foam quite a bit and found it to perform poorly. My experience with memory foam cushion seat cushions revealed the following issues:
- Memory foam has a relatively slow response time. A foam’s responsiveness is determined by its response to pressure or motion. A responsive cushion will move and shift naturally, keeping you from feeling back pain.
- They feel uncomfortable due to the tendency to retain heat.
- Cheap foam made of polyurethane or memory foam is prone to collapsing.
- A closed-cell foam, memory foam does not allow for airflow.
- Often, memory foam is filled with substances such as polyurethane, formaldehyde, antimony trioxide, fire retardants, and petrochemicals.
Cooling Gel Foam Seat Cushions (3/5) ☆☆★★★
If you are looking for cooling seat cushions, the term gel foam may be confusing. There are several types of cooling gel foams. ‘Unique and cooling’ is how these cushions are marketed. Its packaging is its only distinguishing feature.
Due to the following reasons, our patients did not find these cushions to be cooling, comfortable, or supportive:
Gel Honeycomb Cushions (3/5) ☆☆★★★
- To make these cushions, silicone-based foam is used.
- On the plus side (unlike memory foam), this cushion allows free-flowing air to keep you cooler. Additionally, silica only retains its shape if you’re extraordinarily light.
- Comfort, support, and satisfaction were poor with this type of cushion.
- Most complaints involved cushions with honeycomb shapes that bottomed out quickly.
Gel Cushion and Memory Foam Cushion Combinations (1/5) ☆☆☆☆★
Its base is memory foam, while its infusion is silicone gel. Seating cushions that offer to cradle but not too much support can be found everywhere online.
Finding an excellent pregnancy seat cushion is essential to your comfort, but it’s also vital to find one that will not be too hard on the back. While there are many different seat cushions on the market, a natural latex cushion is often the best option for pregnant women.
The ergonomic seat cushion should support your back and shoulders, have enough space to support your tailbone or coccyx, and keep your hips above your knees. If you’re looking for a comfortable seat cushion to help you through pregnancy, consider investing in a well-designed ergonomic seat cushion today.
If you want more ergonomic guidance for yourself or others in your company, visit our blog for the most helpful information available about best practices when sitting at work.
- Gilleard, W., Crosbie, J. and Smith, R., 2002. Effect of pregnancy on trunk range of motion when sitting and standing. Acta obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica, 81(11), pp.1011-1020.
- Gibbs, B.B., Jones, M.A., Whitaker, K.M., Ross, S.T. and Davis, K.K., 2021. Measurement of Barriers, Attitudes, and Expectations for Sitting Less in Pregnancy. American journal of health behavior, 45(6), pp.956-970.
- Weng, S.S., Lee, Y.H. and Chien, L.Y., 2020. Physical activity, sitting time and sleep duration before and during pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes: A prospective panel study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 29(17-18), pp.3494-3505.
- Mielke, G.I., Crochemore-Silva, I., Domingues, M.R., Silveira, M.F., Bertoldi, A.D. and Brown, W.J., 2021. Physical activity and sitting time from 16 to 24 weeks of pregnancy to 12, 24, and 48 months postpartum: findings from the 2015 Pelotas (Brazil) birth cohort study. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 18(5), pp.587-593.
- Nash, M., 2011, January. “You don’t train for a marathon sitting on the couch”: Performances of pregnancy ‘fitness’ and ‘good’motherhood in Melbourne, Australia. In Women’s studies international forum (Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 50-65). Pergamon.
- Gilleard, W.L., Crosbie, J. and Smith, R., 2002. Static trunk posture in sitting and standing during pregnancy and early postpartum. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 83(12), pp.1739-1744.