Your baby needs all the care and nourishment you can offer while they’re growing inside of you—but they also need that same level of care from the outside. Read on to learn why your sleeping position is so important.
Normal mattresses aren’t designed to provide the comfort or support you need while pregnant, not to mention it’s pretty difficult to control your sleeping positions while you’re asleep. With all of the pains and aches that accompany pregnancy, along with the constant responsibility, you need a good night’s sleep more than anyone. That’s where a pregnancy pillow comes in.
What is a Pregnancy Pillow?
A maternity or pregnancy pillow is specifically designed to support the changing curves of your body throughout your pregnancy, and it offers support for various safe sleeping positions. They can make sleeping more comfortable, help you stay asleep longer, and are extremely useful later in pregnancy when finding a comfortable position is almost impossible.
Using a pregnancy pillow to help you sleep can significantly ease body aches and pains. As your body weight increases during your pregnancy (fairly quickly!) it puts a lot of pressure on your legs, hips, and back. These body parts need to be rested after supporting you all day, but this is hard to do if you can’t sleep well. A pillow will provide specific support and comfort to these body parts all night long so you sleep better and feel better during the day.
Sleeping on your side promotes blood circulation, something that’s extremely important for pregnant women. Even if you’re used to sleeping on your side, it can become uncomfortable with your growing belly. A pregnancy pillow will give you more cushioning to contour to your changing body.
We can’t stress this enough—you need sleep! Your body is going through so many changes, and so is your emotional state. Not getting the rest you’ve earned will only enhance every ailment you’re feeling. For the strongest and safest pregnancy possible, you need plenty of rest. A pregnancy pillow can help you fall asleep, and stay asleep for longer.
A pregnancy pillow can help you sleep even after you’ve had the baby, because unfortunately you probably won’t just snap back to your normal sleeping habits. Your body will continue to need rest long after you’ve delivered, and a pregnancy pillow will help with that! They’re also great for helping you get your baby into a comfortable position, as well as making breastfeeding easier. Especially if you had a particularly difficult delivery, or you have injuries from delivery, a pregnancy pillow will help you tremendously.
When Should You Start Using One?
There’s no set time when you need to, or have to, start using a pregnancy pillow. To put it simply, you should start using one whenever you start finding it difficult to change positions during sleep. For most women, this is around week 20, when your belly starts to expand. This expansion can cause pain in your ligaments as they stretch out, so this is an ideal time to use extra support when trying to sleep.
Types of Pregnancy Pillows
Wedge pillows, also known as maternity cushions, are the smallest kind of pregnancy pillow you can buy. They come in a round wedge or a triangular wedge, and can be great for post pregnancy too. Because they’re smaller, you can choose to place them wherever you need the most support, and they can be used as a standard pillow, reducing heartburn and acid reflux.
A full-length pillow is exactly how it sounds—the length of your body. These pillows focus on cushioning your arms, legs, and belly, but don’t give you much in the way of back support. You have the option of a straight full-length pillow, or a flexible one that you can manipulate to lay exactly how you want.
A total body pillow will support pretty much everything. These are large pillows designed to fit a woman of any height and are most ideal during the second trimester. It will support your back and reduce any back or hip pain you may be feeling. This kind of pregnancy pillow has two shapes to choose from: c-shaped, and u-shaped. A c-shaped pillow will support your head, belly, legs, and back. If you generally sleep on your back, the u-shaped version is ideal because your back will be fully supported.
Picking the Right One
Different types of pregnancy pillows will provide support and comfort to different areas of your body, so analyze your specific needs when choosing. Also consider things like cleaning—you sweat a lot while pregnant, so look for one that has a removable cover you can wash regularly. There are also a variety of different materials that can be used to fill these pillows, so do some research and figure out how firm you want your support.
For more expert advice, support, and information on all things maternity, contact Regional Medical Center today!