Here’s an email I received from a fellow mama a couple of weeks ago.
“I am 6 weeks pregnant and already struggling to sleep, which means I am tired all the time. Do you think is it too early to start using a pregnancy pillow?”
I have received this question multiple times, so let’s address it once and for all. No, it’s never too early to start using a pregnancy pillow. In fact, you don’t even need to be pregnant to use one. Everyone can do with some body support to enhance comfortable sleep, more so pregnant moms.
One thing that’s rarely discussed is how hard the first trimester is on a woman’s body. The hormones are going wild, the fatigue has checked in, and insomnia becomes a big side effect. So while a pregnancy pillow cannot help with hormones, it definitely helps you be more comfortable in bed, maximizing your chances of sleeping and getting rid of some of that malaise.
When Should I Start Sleeping with a Pregnancy Pillow?
Again, you can start using a pregnancy pillow at any point you feel that you need one. Newly pregnant women also sometimes suffer back pain, especially when they sleep on their backs. A pregnancy pillow can help support the side sleeping position, which is better for back pain, not to mention nausea. In fact, getting used to sleeping on your side as early as possible will make it easier to transition once you can no longer lie on your back or stomach.
That said, most people start using their pillows from week 20. The belly is a bit big at this point, which causes some discomfort and limits the positions you can sleep in. A pregnancy pillow comes in handy during the second and third trimesters because the belly is already putting pressure on the pelvic nerves, causing back and hip pain. It supports the entire body and relieves some of that pressure so the mom can sleep comfortably.
Are Pregnancy Pillows Worth the Money?
It’s no secret that pregnancy pillows are a tad more expensive than regular pillows. But are they worth the money?
In my experience, yes. Finding a comfortable sleeping position is impossible without the help of a pillow. Pregnancy puts loads of pressure on your hips, legs, pelvic bone, and back, making it hard to be comfortable. A pillow supports these body parts and alleviates the pressure when you lay down so you can finally get some sleep.
Sleeping on your side is also strange to most people. You need a pillow to support this sleeping position and promote blood circulation to all the vital areas.
Without a pregnancy pillow, you will have to use at least four regular pillows to get the same support but not the same comfort. You must keep positioning and repositioning pillows on your back, stomach, and between the knees, and head. Having one full-body pillow is more comfortable, supportive, and convenient because it’s just one pillow. And if you get a C-shape or U-shape pillow, it also cuddles you like a warm bear, helping you relax and fall asleep faster.
How to Sleep with a Pregnancy Pillow?
The short answer is- however, you are most comfortable. However, midwives recommend sleeping on your side when your tummy starts showing and pressing against your diaphragm. In this position, you will need to put whatever pregnancy pillow you have behind your back and beneath your tummy to relieve some of that weight.
If you have a full-body pillow like this PharMeDoc Full Body pillow, it should go around your body like snuggles. The top tongue acts as a head pillow and supports your hands, while the lower tongue goes between your legs and then under your tummy. Putting a pillow between your knees and ankles is crucial because it aligns your hips and pelvis, preventing hip pain. The middle part will cuddle your back or front, depending on which side you are facing, and support your shoulders as well.
There are several moments during pregnancy that you want to savor, such as feeling your first kick or hearing your baby’s gender revealed.
However, the sleepless nights, backaches, and a variety of other discomforts…will be less worth remembering when looking back. So, Mama, make sure that you’re as comfortable as you can during this 9-month period! Treat yourself to the right pillow for you, to support you and your bump through the aches and pains and discomforts of pregnancy.