Why Pregnant Women Need a Pregnancy Body Pillow?
There’s no getting away from the fact that pregnancy is uncomfortable. In addition to the fact that you have a baby growing right there inside you, and moving about during the last stages of pregnancy, you may also experience heartburn and leg cramps. You will also probably need to get up more than once during the night to empty your bladder. Now add to this your doctor’s instructions that you must sleep on your side, and it’s no wonder that you rush to pregnancy pillow reviews for advice. Also, see this video for details.
Why Pregnant Women should Sleep on Their Side?
Once that baby bump has grown beyond a certain size it becomes impractical to lie on your stomach, even if this was previously your favorite sleeping position. Lying on your back has to be discounted as well, because obstetricians say that in this position the weight of the prenatal uterus will slow down the flow rate of blood returning to your heart. This then has a knock-on effect, hindering the flow of blood to the fetus and increase stillbirth risk.
Another way in which that heavy uterus affects maternal health includes the extra pressure on the spine, back muscles and intestines when lying in a prone position. This can cause muscular pain and hemorrhoids, as well as blood pressure problems. But lying on your side can put strain on your hips and back, making relaxation difficult and sleep elusive.
Acquiring a maternity body pillow, which supports your body to make it easier to sleep on your side, seems a small price to pay in order to protect not only your own health but also that of your developing unborn child.
Is Sleeping on Your Left Side Better Than Sleeping on Your Right?
In the past, pregnant women were always advised to sleep on their left side. One of the reasons for this was because it allowed for more efficient kidney function and therefore reduced the likelihood of swelling in the hands, ankles and feet. A second theory says that a major vein, called the ‘inferior vena cava’, is found on the right side of the spine. If it becomes compressed it can cause dizziness, fainting or even apparent breathing difficulties.
Although more recent research has indicated that it may not matter which side a pregnant woman sleeps on, many doctors and nurses will still advise sleeping on the left. If you have been given this kind of recommendation you will want to buy not just the best pregnancy body pillow, but one which assists left-side sleeping according to pregnancy pillow reviews.
How a Pregnancy Body Pillow Supports You
Pregnancy pillows are meant to mold themselves to the contours of the pregnant woman to provide support for the head and neck, or the spine, or the tummy, or all of these areas. Before this kind of specialized pillow became widely available, many women in an advanced state of pregnancy would resort to using a large number of conventional pillows, or even rolled-up towels. These had to be carefully arranged, and then re-arranged if the hopeful sleeper moved to a different position.
Because they need to take care of more than one pressure point, some pregnancy pillows are quite large, long enough to tuck between the legs, thus supporting the lower limbs as well. They are intended to prevent you accidentally rolling over onto your back. By taking pressure away from the back, maternity pillows promote relaxation and can help to lead you into a good night’s sleep.
Why Using One Pregnancy Pillow is Better than Multiple Normal Pillows
It’s a given fact that most pregnant women will be sharing their bed with a male sleeping partner. By the time she and her distended belly are settled in bed, plus the four or five pillows she needs at various points to allow her to sleep in comfort, there’s not much room for anyone else unless the bed is unusually large. Hubby may end up sleeping on the couch.
A single maternity body pillow is going to offer the same level of comfort but without the attendant bulkiness, inconvenience and even overheating and sweating. The U-shaped or horseshoe-shaped pillows don’t even need to be moved when you roll over from one side to the other, because they support you on both sides.
The Best Pregnancy Pillows have Other Uses
Some pregnant women become so attached to their pregnancy pillow, and the relaxed sleep it allows them to enjoy, that they continue using them long after their baby is born. It may become a permanent feature of their bedtime routine. Even if they choose not to continue using their maternity pillow for sleeping, it still comes into its own as a breastfeeding pillow, cocooning baby in just the right position for maximum nursing comfort and concentration on the task in hand. Supporting baby on a pillow during feeds will prevent you from getting stiffness in your upper arms and shoulders.
You can also use a maternity pillow in the car if you are going to be traveling for a long distance, and a reasonably compact one should be allowed on board airplanes to support your back there as well.
Additional Features to Look for
While some pregnancy pillows are not much different from a conventional pillow in size, shape and materials, other are enormous and have been subjected to a complicated manufacturing process in order to achieve a particular shape. So it’s not surprising that there’s a wide price range, from about $15 for a basic foam wedge to as much as $100 or more for a contoured full body pillow.
Allergy sufferers will want to make sure that their pregnancy pillow is made from hypoallergenic materials, and that it is resistant to mold, mildew, bacteria and dust mites.
Some maternity pillows have fasteners at each end, so that you can use them as either a long, narrow body pillow, or fasten the ends together to make a contoured ring shape.
Some pillows have an extra insert to provide higher support in the earlier stages of pregnancy, when the swelling of the abdomen may be less apparent. In the third trimester, when the baby bump is much larger, this additional insert can be removed to reduce the pillow’s incline.
If you plan to use your pregnancy body pillow for a long time, you’ll want to make sure that it is fully washable and will still retain its shape after laundering. Pillows in conventional shapes can be used with a washable loose cover, but the more unconventional shapes may have to be used without a removable cover, and will need cleaning more often. In this case, you may need to consider whether the color and pattern of the pillow’s outer fabric will blend well with your bedroom or nursery décor.
Current users of memory foam pillows or mattresses may like the idea of a maternity pillow that also has a memory foam feature.
Some body pillows have multiple sections separated by seams or joins. This allows for varying levels of firmness. For example, the best pregnancy body pillow for you may be one that has gentler support in the chest and tummy area, while the firmer bottom section can be tucked between the legs for more solid comfort.
Environmentally conscious new mums may want to ensure that their pregnancy pillow is not filled with polyester but with 100% organic materials, such as wool, cotton, corn fiber or other plant-based fibers.
Are you confused yet? You have every right to be, because there is so much to consider before you buy your pregnancy pillow. In this situation the best thing you can do is to keep reading pregnancy pillow reviews until you are completely satisfied that you understand all your options and price points, and are fully equipped to make the right decision about the best pregnancy pillow for you.