Ah, pregnancy! So many so many wonderful new changes, so many things to look forward to and so many restless nights!
As your body begins to change, slowly expanding to accommodate the precious life growing inside of you, sleep starts to become an elusive memory.
With so many things to think about and do each day, the last thing you need to deal with is the fatigue that comes from tossing and turning all night.
That problem of trying to get comfortable (not to mention your poor partner next to you who not only wants you to be comfortable, but would love a break from the roller coaster that you’re tossing and turning causes on their side of the bed, as well)
Fortunately, for you and your partner, there is hope.
One of the best and easiest ways is to use what they call a pregnancy pillow.
WHAT IS A PREGNANCY PILLOW?
Pregnancy pillows are not your everyday cushions like the ones you throw on your bed to make it look pretty or even your favorite bedtime support that you fluff here and there to get it just right before placing it beneath your head each night.
Pregnancy pillows are some serious stuff, people! These are designed specially to meet your needs as your pregnancy progresses, and when sleep becomes more and more difficult.
They come in a variety of styles to accommodate your specific needs.
Pregnancy pillows are made to be versatile and comfortable and, yes, some are even beautiful to match your feelings about your newly changing body; unless you’re in late pregnancy and, trust me, no matter what you feel like then, you are, indeed, very beautiful.
IS A PREGNANCY PILLOW DIFFERENT FROM A BODY PILLOW?
Yes and no. Pregnancy pillows are made specifically for pregnant mothers and their needs during their gestation period.
There are body versions that will work well for your needs during pregnancy, though.
To be clear however there are also body pillows that are designed for expectant mothers too.
WHY USE A PREGNANCY PILLOW?
Pregnancy pillows are used to support your body in different places as it changes throughout your pregnancy. As your belly grows, your center of gravity changes and your stomach is pulled forward, and strain is placed on your back. Your hips widen, and your body is not aligned properly.
There is a greater strain on your body in many places; neck, wrists, ankles, waist, etc.
These great little support cushions are designed to counter these effects and allow for a peaceful, restful sleep.
This guide will go over the popular pregnancy pillows and how and why to use each one.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING
Pillow Pricing– There is a wide price range for the different styles. Prices can range from $10 to more than $60.
Types– The basic types we will consider are the wedge, full-length, contoured, knee and a mix of both.
Materials– Polyester fiber filling, Styrofoam ball filling, micro fiber beads, memory foam, and hypoallergenic/organic are all materials used in making these various pillows.
Ease of cleaning–Does the model have a removable, easily washable pillow case available?
Sleeping position–Consider whether you generally sleep on your side, stomach, or back.
Size– Some of these pillows take up a considerable amount of space, 5-6 foot! Make sure you are aware of this before you purchase.
Noise– Some of the filling materials or coverings can be very noisy in the middle of the night. Opt for a quieter material if either you or your partner is a light sleeper.
Polyester fiber fill– Pregnancy pillows can be made of a variety of different materials. One of the most common is the standard pillow filling polyester fiber fill. It will feel like your average pillow although it may not breathe as well as other materials, it is usually found very comfortable and not too soft or firm.
Hypo-allergenic and organic– Along with it, pregnancy brings countless skin issues. What your skin once could tolerate, it now complains loudly about. There are many hypoallergenic or organic fillings to consider. Natural does not mean organic, but it is usually a good choice. Spelt and wool are good choices for this. People with asthma or allergies will want to go this route, too.
Micro-bead filling– Don’t you just love how these feel? The tiny, tiny beads move with ease and are lightweight. Although they are more supportive than regular Styrofoam beads, I think they shift too much to be a good choice.
Memory foam– Memory foam is another popular choice in pregnancy pillows. It contours to the shape of your body well and provides great support. The only downside is that it tends to wear out and become compacted with time.
Ease of Cleaning
Many of the options come with available pillowcases.
This allows you to remove and wash the case as needed. There are also so many pretty covers, and it is fun to be able to change the style as your pregnancy progresses and your mood changes. Something fresh and new can just brighten your day sometimes.
Unlike regular bed pillows, a pregnancy support pillow doesn’t come in standard/firm/soft, etc.
These cushions are generally used for one specific area of your body or your entire body.
They do, however, come in a variety of filling materials.
Instead of deciding if you want firm or soft, think about what positions you would want to use it in and how full or thick you want it.
The polyester fiber fill is considered softer while memory foam is considered firmer.
Many people want a versatile option that can be used for other things after pregnancy. I tend to disagree on this one. I would not sacrifice quality for the sake of using it later.
Know what you want and shop EXACTLYfor that, regardless of its use later.
Points to remember:
Choose a style of pregnancy pillow that suits you (see our Best Pregnancy Pillows Reviews for 2018 guide here).
Consider price and size.
Think about what position you might sleep in when you have the pillow.
Shop around for pretty covers that you would enjoy using.
Decide whether you need a specific material or would prefer a specific one.
You might notice that I did not include any back or stomach sleeping options.
Stomach sleeping is impossible for most people during pregnancy and back sleeping is not recommended every night during pregnancy.
An occasional nap here and there won’t hurt, but back sleeping can cause the baby to get less oxygen and should, for the most part, be avoided.