The purpose of a body pillow is to increase comfort when sleeping, ease back pain and provide extra support to the abdominal area during pregnancy. The body pillow also helps in improving the alignment of the spinal cord, according to Neck Solutions.
A body pillow provides added comfort during sleeping, especially for people who prefer to sleep on their sides as it offers good support for the head, neck, knees and legs, says Spine-health. In particular, side sleepers with long-standing body and neck pain benefit from the use of body pillows. The body pillow also prevents people from sleeping on their stomach, which is the worst sleeping position as it stresses the neck, shoulders, back and the vital organs.
When the body pillow is used between the legs by those who sleep on their sides and under the legs by those accustomed to sleeping on their backs, it improves spinal alignment. With a body pillow, the lower back and pelvic region are kept aligned with the legs so that there is less strain on the hip, knee and ankle joints. This decreases joint and muscle pains and back stiffness.
Also, when used by pregnant women, the body pillow allows them to sleep comfortably on their sides, rather than on their backs. Back sleeping is said to reduce circulation to the fetus and lead to backaches, hemorrhoids and swelling during pregnancy.