Pregnancy is an exciting and yet a very challenging time for moms. One of those challenges is sleeping, with statistics showing that over 50% of pregnant women have severe insomnia and consequent fatigue. Why? Because finding a comfortable position when your belly is on the way, and you starting to get heavy day by day is a challenge. Sure, other factors cause insomnia, such as hormones, heat, and anxiety, but the main reason for loosing sleep while pregnant is discomfort. You are carrying extra weight on your tummy, and this puts intense pressure on your back, chest, hips, pubic bone and legs.
Unfortunately, regular mattresses are not made to support the changing shape and weight distribution of a pregnant mom. This is where a pregnancy pillow comes into play!
What is a Pregnancy Pillow?
A pregnancy pillow is a special pillow designed to support the changing contours, curves, and weight of the pregnant mom while sleeping. This pillow aims to make sleeping more comfortable during pregnancy and alleviate weight-related pains and aches. Unlike regular pillows, pregnancy pillows support the entire body (not just the head and neck), so they are longer and irregularly shaped.
Benefits of Using a Pregnancy Pillow
The primary benefit of a pregnancy pillow is to help the woman sleep better by supporting her entire body. That is not the only benefit though, as pregnancy pillows also;
1. Ease your adjustment to a new sleeping position.
2. Keep your body aligned during sleep to alleviate pressure points.
3. Improve blood circulation enhanced by side sleeping.
4. Improve common pregnancy conditions like heartburn, back pain, and leg cramps.
When to Start Using a Pregnancy Pillow?
There’s no wrong time to start using a pregnancy pillow, but most women use it from the second trimester or around week 20. Your body will tell you when the time is right because of sleeping discomfort. It is a good time to start using the pillow when you can no longer sleep on your back or belly.
However, some moms start using the pillow in the first trimester to practice side sleeping. This will make the adjustment so much easier and align your body from the word go.
Types of Pregnancy Pillows
Maternity pillows come in various shapes to cater to different needs. Since all moms have different bodies and pregnancy issues, you have to pick the right pillow for your particular condition.
The most common types of pregnancy pillows include;
- U-shape. U-shapes and c-shaped pillows are categorized as total body pregnancy pillows because they are long and offer support for the entire body, back and front. However, the u-shaped pillow offers more support because it covers more places.
- C-shape. As the name says, this pillow is c-shaped, and you place it on your back and let it hug you in a spoon position. It offers excellent support for the head, hands and legs.
- Full body. This is also known as a full-length pregnancy pillow, because it’s long and supports the entire body. It provides optimum support for the tummy, arms and legs but none for the back area.
- Wedge pillow. A wedge pillow is the smallest type, and it comes in round or rectangular shapes. You can place it under your tummy or back (or both, if you get to wedge pillows) to get support sleeping on your side.
My Complete Pregnancy Pillows Guide For All Pregnancy Stages, Can be Found Here!
How to Pick the Right Pregnancy Pillow
Deciding which type of pregnancy pillow you want is only the start of your choices. You also have to consider other factors to ensure your pillow is as comfortable as possible and meets your needs perfectly.
1. Material. The best pregnancy pillow is one that’s made of comfortable material. You don’t want it to be too firm or too soft. Cotton, polyform, polyester, and microbeads are excellent materials that provide a firm, soft surface and excellent airflow.
2. Flexibility. A good pregnancy pillow strikes the perfect balance between firm and soft, but it should also be flexible. You must be able to fold the pillow into different shapes and mold it into your body the way you want.
3. Ease of cleaning. Last but not least, you want a pillow that’s easy to maintain and clean. Pregnant women sweat a lot, and they are also more sensitive to dust and allergens. The pillow should be machine washable and have a removable pillow cover that can be washed every few days.
When you’re pregnant, self-care is absolutely essential in order to feel good and to stay healthy. One of the best and most effective ways a mom-to-be to be can take care of herself is to get a good night’s sleep. And the right pregnancy pillow will help a great deal when it comes to getting that sleep!