Pregnancy is a big challenge for the pregnant women’s body, especially in the last few months of pregnancy as the body weight increases, all kinds of uncomfortable symptoms will appear. Many expectant mothers’ sleep has been seriously affected in the late stages of pregnancy because of the baby’s growth. In order to have a good night sleep and rest in a desirable position, they may need to use the pregnancy pillow to ease the discomfort. In this article, you will understand and find what is a pregnancy pillow, why they are so desirable, how to select a suitable type and what are the best pregnancy pillows in the market.
What is Pregnancy Pillow?
The pregnancy pillow is designed according to the specific needs of expectant mom's body. It can help relieve the discomfort of backache, heavy abdomen, and leg edema, etc during pregnancy so that expectant mothers would have a comfortable sleep as usual. It is usually used at 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Do we suddenly need pregnancy pillows? you probably wonder: for millennia of human civilization, how did the human race survive before the invention of the pregnancy pillow? The truth is that there were other things we did to cope with our environment. This included crowding together, not only for heat but for physical support, especially for pregnant women who tended to sleep together. Sometimes it was finding a rock just the right shape to lie next to, or sometimes it was bunching up some furs, hides, or in more modern times, blankets… Eventually, someone came up with the idea of maternity pillows to replace all the “accommodations” we made.
Why Pregnancy Pillow Works?
As the gestational age increases, the fetus size grows and the abdomen of the pregnant woman gradually bulges, it is difficult to find an appropriate and comfortable position during sleep. Many pregnant women sleep better in the early stages of pregnancy because they feel tired of trying to conceive and protect their babies. At 7 to 9 months, it is difficult for pregnant women to sleep on their backs, because the fetus presses down on the woman's large veins, blocking blood flow from her legs and feet to her heart and causing her to wake up.
So many doctors advise pregnant women to sleep on their left side because the liver is on the right side of the abdomen and the left lateral position keeps the uterus away from the liver. And in order to keep sleeping on the side, the doctor may recommend sleeping on your side with a maternity pillow. Some pregnant women find it comfortable to place a pillow under their abdomen or between their legs. Placing a stacked pillow or folded quilt/blanket behind your back also relieves the abdominal pressure.
Types of Pregnancy Pillow
1. U-shaped Body Pillow
The U-shaped body pillow can be used in almost any sleeping position, from lying on the back to sleeping on your side to tossing and turning. Many mothers enjoy being surrounded by a U-shaped body pillow, which allows their legs to rest comfortably on one side of the pillow. The U-shaped body pillow is almost the all-purpose pillow. Not only do they support your belly, but they give you something to hug, which goes a long way towards relieving shoulder pain and chest pains as other body feature change size. Equally important, they help to support your knees and thighs to maintain proper back alignment, and they support your head and neck for precisely the same reason. The only drawback is that it may take up a bit of space, but as long as expectant mothers can sleep comfortably, why not!
2. C-shaped Body Pillow
The C-shaped body pillow is ideal for those expectant mothers who prefer to sleep on their side. The C-shaped body pillow leaves more room for the tummy of expectant mothers and provides good support and anchor for their bodies. Actually, there's not much difference between a U-shaped body pillow and a C-shaped body pillow, so try and see which one you prefer.
3. I-shaped Body Pillow
The I-shaped body pillow is a long and thin pillow that a mother-to-be can cuddle comfortably with but without having to be tied down in the sleep. However, its back support isn't as good as U-shaped and C-shaped, so these expectant mothers who want more back support may have to consider other options.
4. Wedge Pillow
The wedge pillow is relatively small. It has a certain inclination with one side tall and the other side low. Expectant mothers can put it under the abdomen or waist or leg or wherever they want during sleep. the flexibility of wedge pillow is way better than the body pillow and it is also convenient to carry around. Some wedges are quite adjustable and may be sufficient for your entire pregnancy.
5. Knee Pillow
This knee pillow may not be called as a "maternity pillow", but it is also very popular among expectant mothers. It is very comfortable to put it between the knees. It can help relieve pressure and pain in the knee joints of expectant mothers.
Best Pregnancy Pillows We Picked in 2021
U-shaped Body Pillow
C-shaped Body Pillow
I-shaped Body Pillow
Tips in Choosing the Right Pregnancy Pillow
- Always start with your personal needs before buying a pregnancy pillow. Some maternity pillows, like the U-shaped pillows, have multifunctional usage but its bulky and large, if you don’t have much space at home or on the bed, we suggest to purchase a relatively small pillow, like a C-shaped or wedge pillow.
- It is recommended to choose a pregnancy pillow with light colors and breathable fabric. Dark color fabrics may contain some heavy metals and in summer, using breathable fabric can avoid prickly heat.
- It is also necessary to pay more attention to the filling material. We suggest choosing 100% handmade cotton, which causes no harm to pregnant women and babies.
- It is better to buy a pregnancy pillow with a washable cover. So you don’t have to worry about making it dirty.
If you feel up to a little shopping trip (and who doesn’t like shopping?), it might be worth it to pop into an offline retail store like Bed, Bath & Beyond and see if you can’t lay down with one to see how it fits you. Looking at pictures is great, and most will do the job, but there is nothing quite as satisfying and finding the perfect fit… C'mon! …it’ll be fun!