This is advice that I feel quite strongly about: Bring your own pillow to the Birthing Inn or Birth Center when you deliver your baby. Put it on that packing list. You will thank me later.
Why? Because hospital pillows suck (unless you like sleeping on foamy cardboard). There are going to be a dozen of other factors that will potentially interfere with your sleep during your hospital stay (annoying in-laws that don’t get the “hint” and won’t leave the room, breast-feeding challenges, etc.). Don’t let a crappy pillow be one of them.
To a highly hormonal pregnant woman, there is also something incredibly comforting in a familiar pillow…nostalgia. What is better than the very pillow that you sleep with every night – the
pillow crafted with just the right puffiness and softness/firmness balance to your liking?
Tip: If you have a water-proof pillow cover, this could be beneficial if you are worried about
ruining your pillow with the ooey-gooeyness of childbirth (blood, placenta juice, etc.).
Another point: Foam hospital pillows have a limited usefulness as breastfeeding support pillows. They don’t mold/conform to your shape and the baby’s shape as well as the pillows with a more plush material.
Side Note: Great books with great advice and perspectives, and a humorous tone, are that Jenny McCarthy book (“Belly Laughs”) or the “Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy” by Vicki Iovine (both are super awesome/funny prego books).
Another Tip: I kept a “pack last minute list” on my mirror in my bathroom – it had items that I needed everyday but knew I wanted to bring with me to the hospital. Bringing my pillow was the greatest packing decision I made.