The effect of a wedge-shaped pillow (Ozzlo pillow) was compared with a standard hospital pillow, used to support the abdomen of a pregnant woman while lying on her side, in preventing or alleviating backache and backache-related insomnia; 92 women at 36 weeks' gestation completed the study. Backache was found to be very common (87%), the onset of pain occurring before 29 weeks in 59%. Age, parity, previous backache and type of bed used did not correlate with the backache scores during the period of study. Lower scores for backache were recorded by women in the week they used the Ozzlo pillow compared with the week they used the standard pillow. Sleeping was deemed better by the patient with the Ozzlo pillow, though actual sleeping scores did not corroborate this. While significantly more felt the Ozzlo pillow was superior to a standard pillow for backache and sleeping, some found both methods helpful. The simple measure of supporting the abdomen with a pillow when in lateral recumbency is likely to benefit many women in late pregnancy. A wedge-shaped pillow of the Ozzlo type, conforming to the shape of the abdomen and supporting it more closely, may be of greater help than a standard cushion or pillow.