Pregnancy is undoubtedly among the most interesting periods in any woman’s life, but it’s also the most intensive. Since an expectant mother gains weight during pregnancy, and the ligaments and joints relax, it’s not surprising that back pain is a common issue. A pregnant woman’s center of gravity shifts forward, so maintaining good posture is crucial.
Pregnancy pillows are made with this in mind, thus easing back pain. Find out how exactly these pillows help and what else you can do to relieve it.
Why Get a Pregnancy Pillow?
First up, it’s important to mention that you should get a pregnancy pillow during the early days of your pregnancy. The pain usually starts after 20 weeks of pregnancy, but the earlier you get it, the quicker you’ll adjust to it.
Also, pregnancy pillows can be quite useful after giving birth, as you can also use them when breastfeeding or resting with your baby. Of course, there are more benefits to having such a pillow.
It Helps You Find a Good Sleeping Position
The right sleeping position helps to ease back pain, and pregnancy pillows encourage it. In other words, you should avoid sleeping on your back during pregnancy, as it’s bad for your body. It can put additional pressure on your internal organs, besides affecting blood circulation.
It’s best that you sleep on your left side, as you’ll want to relieve the pressure on your stomach, muscles, and joints. It’s the way to prevent lower back and pelvis pain. Sleeping on your side might leave your neck without support, but these pillows help with this as well.
It Can Keep You Still
While it’s true that you can stack multiple pillows together to help support your belly, they move very easily during sleep, which is why this isn’t ideal.
Pregnancy pillows elevate the user’s body, thus preventing them from sleeping in a horizontal position. This relieves heartburn while also improving your sleep quality. As a consequence, this helps the baby maintain a safer, better birth position.
Although the benefits of these pillows are mostly physical, there are emotional ones as well. Additionally, they can keep you calm since hugging such a pillow can lower your heart rate.
Allergic Reaction Prevention
Because women experience hormonal changes during pregnancy, they are more likely to get an allergic reaction during this time. Pregnancy pillows help prevent these since they are made of hypoallergenic materials.
Pregnancy Pillow Types
Depending on your needs, pregnancy pillows come in multiple shapes.
Wedge pillows can be tucked under your back or stomach to provide support to these areas. Putting them under the neck and back can also help with heartburn and acid reflux by elevating your head and esophagus above the level of your stomach. There are round and triangular wedge pillows. All wedge pillows are quite small, so you can still sleep with a partner. Due to their size, they are also portable and useful after pregnancy.
Full-length pillows are those that you can cuddle to sleep and after. Wrapping one of these with both your arms and legs can help relieve stress. However, these are not made to support your back. They are divided into flexible and straight full-length pillows. Unlike the flexible ones, straight pillows don’t bend. Only the more expensive pillows that have microbeads can provide support.
Full-body pillows wrap on your body, providing you with overall protection as they are five feet long. The two main varieties are C-shaped and U-shaped. You can wrap around the former with your legs while resting your head and back on it, which makes it effective against spinal problems. The latter helps women with larger bellies sleep on the back. It also supports the legs and head this way.
Choosing the Right Pillow
There are several pieces of advice that you should follow when choosing the right pregnancy pillow:
- A pregnancy pillow is not a solution for an uncomfortable bed. Make sure that your bed is comfortable first
- Since it’s best for you to sleep on your (left) side, get a pillow that provides neck support. For example, thick memory foam pillows that have a cervical curve ensure this
- If you’re a side sleeper that tends to roll around a lot, a simple wedge pillow might help by holding your back in place
- Wedge pillows are also good at supporting your belly if it’s putting pressure on your back
- You may experience hip and thigh pain due to the alignment of your legs during sleep. In this case, a full-body pillow can help since it supports your legs. Don’t forget to support your feet too. If they’re not elevated, you might run into circulation issues.
For those looking for a smooth nine months of pregnancy, pregnancy pillows can make all the difference. Not only can they help with back pain, they also help to support the rest of your body, relieve stress and heartburn, and prevent allergic reactions. There are lots of different models to suit everybody’s needs, so don’t hesitate to look around.