Pregnancy can be a pain on your behind, literally. It’s a situation few women talk about, yet so many go through. As the baby grows bigger and heavier, they compress the nerves around the pelvic area. This causes sciatica, a shooting pain that seems to originate from the back and head to the legs.
According to a recent study, approximately one-third of pregnant women suffer tailbone pain during the second and third trimesters. These women are also likely to experience hip pain due to poor sleeping posture caused by the pregnancy. The solution to both tailbone and hip pain is a good donut pillow. As you can tell from the name, a donut pillow is exactly that- a round pillow with a hole at the center. This pillow is mostly used to sit down, but you can also use it while sleeping.
But before I get into that, let’s learn what causes this insufferable pain?
- Relaxin. During the last stretch of pregnancy, the body releases a hormone called Relaxin to make the pelvic ligaments looser and flexible in preparation for natural childbirth. When the baby’s weight puts pressure on these already loose muscles, you experience a shooting pain in your rear and back.
- Posture shift. Your center of balance also shifts in pregnancy, causing you to lean forward more. This puts all the weight on one area, which causes pain.
- Hip misalignment. When you sleep on your side, which is the only option over the last two trimesters, the upper leg is misaligned, which can cause pressure on your hip and pelvic region.
Is a Donut Pillow Good for Pregnancy?
I advise moms-to-be to get a pregnancy pillow for support and comfort in bed. But sleeping isn’t the only time a pregnant woman is uncomfortable. Sitting down can also be a pain, especially if you haven’t learned how to sit right. This is where a donut pillow comes in.
Sitting on a donut pillow distributes your weight around the circle instead of focusing the weight on your midsection. This gives you relief from pelvic and back pain at least temporarily and makes working in an office chair tolerable.
A donut pillow also enhances your sitting posture. When pregnant, sitting upright with your back straight, shoulders back, and feet on the floor is important. Many people tend to slouch or slide a little when sitting, and it’s a hard habit to break, especially during pregnancy. Sitting on a donut pillow forces you to sit properly without slouching or sliding, and this aligns your spine and reduces pressure on the nerves.
Finally, 40% of pregnant women suffer hemorrhoids, making sitting down a literal pain in the ass. The hole on a donut pillow provides a surface-less place to put your buttocks when sitting down so the hemorrhoids won’t be touched. Though this is a temporary relief, it makes it possible to sit down and work until you give birth and beyond. The relief also aids in faster healing and overall comfort.
Interestingly, you can use a donut pillow in bed as well. Simply tuck it between your knees to create hip alignment and alleviate hip and pelvic pain. You can also place it under your stomach for support, so your body is not leaning too forward. It is a really good substitute for a wedge pregnancy pillow though it doesn’t compare to full-body pillows.
How to Sit on a Donut Pillow?
Even more important than the donut pillow itself is how you sit on it or rather position it beneath you. Place the pillow in the chair and push it behind so it touches the backrest. To sit, position your tailbone in the middle of the donut pillow with each buttock resting on either side of the pillow. You will also want to lean forward just a little bit instead of sitting back to alleviate the tailbone pain further.
Do I Need a Donut Pillow after Birth?
Thought you needed a donut pillow in pregnancy? Well, you need one more postpartum. Childbirth hurts, whether it was natural or cesarean section, episiotomy or not. The squishy and springy circle with a hole in the middle provides a soft landing for your nether regions after the trauma of childbirth. And since most new moms suffer back pain, especially after undergoing a CS, you want to sit in a way that puts the least pressure on your back and pelvic area. A donut pillow improves sitting posture and provides relief from pain and tenderness.
Best Donut Pillow for Pregnancy
Our best choice is an Amazon bestseller and physical therapist-approved donut pillow with a lot to offer. It is an orthopedic donut pillow from Ergonomic Innovations Store with generous dimensions and a supportive foam core to distribute your weight perfectly.
This pillow is designed to be firm for adequate support and can handle up to 240lbs. If you suffer from sciatica, tailbone pain, hemorrhoids, and postpartum tenderness, you will greatly benefit from the support and comfort that comes from the elevated hollow surface. The pillow is also very light and portable, so you can easily move it from room to room and even take it with you when traveling. For hygiene purposes, it comes with a polyester machine washable cover that you can remove anytime to clean.
Most pregnant ladies consider buying a donut pillow when they start experiencing tailbone pain or sciatica. However, I recommend getting one long before that happens to improve your posture and prevent the pain. This is even more critical if you work in an office and spend most of the day sitting down.