What is it like?
A pregnancy pillow is a type of a pillow that has been designed for use by expectant mothers to accommodate the changing body. Expectant mothers may find it extremely hard to find a comfortable position for various activities like sitting, sleeping or lounging. When they strain the body because of a poor position, this can lead to muscle pain and soreness. Using a pregnancy pillow can make it easier to find a position which cradles and supports the body, increasing general comfort levels and reducing strain and tension on the back and joints. Pregnancy pillows are available from some stores which stock maternity-related items, and it is also possible to use generalized pillows as pregnancy pillows.
Women often find it challenging to find a good sleeping position during pregnancy, especially if they are accustomed to sleeping on their stomachs. About halfway through pregnancy, sleeping on the back is not recommended, which limits pregnant women to sleeping on their side. Sleeping on one side can be difficult as the baby grows, because the belly can pull the body out of balance and contribute to a sore back. A pregnancy pillow may be designed with a soft cutout so that it can be held against the front of the body to support the belly, or it may be designed as a firm wedge to support the stomach or back during sleep.
Pregnancy pillows come in all different shapes and sizes to custom fit any pregnant woman and provide them with many options to choose from. Each woman has a different shape to their body and each pregnancy is a bit different for everyone else. It is possible that a woman may need to use different pillows for each pregnancy. One that worked the first time may not work as well with the second pregnancy.
- Pregnancy pillows: A pregnancy pillow can be a special, ergonomically designed pillow, or can simply be a large, oversized body pillow that provides support from the neck to the knees. These pillows come in a variety of fabrics and materials, designs, colors, and shapes.
- Pregnancy wedge: This type of pregnancy pillow is wedge-shaped and is used when lying on the side. These pillows can also be used when in a semi-reclining position, which is great for reading or watching television in bed, and most pregnancy wedges are made from fire-retardant foam.
- Maternity pillow: Sleep on the side is recommended during pregnancy, especially its later stages, which is why the maternity pillow is a popular choice. This style of pillow is actually two adjustable pillows connected together by fabric. With velcro tabs, the pillow can be adjusted to offer support for both the belly and the lower back.
- U-shaped pregnancy pillow: These pillows offer support on both sides of the body. Oversized u-shaped pillows are large enough to span the length of the body, support the legs, and keep the back properly aligned. This type of pillow is also helpful for those who find themselves tossing and turning during the night.
- Body pillow: As their name suggests, body pillows offer full body support and are usually four to five feet long. These pillows contour to the body’s changing shape, providing comfort in addition to the support. Body pillows are filled with different materials, some softer or firmer than others, depending on your level of comfort.
Uses & benefits
A quality pregnancy pillow is a great way to get relief from pain in the lower back when trying to sleep at night. Sleeping on your side, especially during the second and third trimesters is recommended because it increases the flow of oxygen to the fetus, increases circulation and the expulsion of waste.
Most pregnancy pillows are designed to help support your legs and belly as you sleep on your side. Another option is to choose a pillow with a loop around the shoulder, to ensure the arms and legs are separated during the entire night. This helps take the pressure off the stomach area.
Pregnancy pillows can be a great help after the baby comes home. They can offer support and comfort during the time when you are nursing. If edema is still a concern, they can help give leg and back support. Pregnancy pillows will continue to provide assistance and relief as you recover from giving birth and relax on a well-deserved break.