When you’re pregnant, getting a good night’s sleep gets increasingly difficult. Your back starts hurting more as your baby grows, and you’ll struggle to find a comfortable position in bed when you’re fighting all those aches and pains. On top of that, you may be experiencing insomnia because of your fears about labour, finances, and being a good parent.
Luckily for you, there are things you can do to improve your sleep quantity and quality. A pregnancy support pillow can make a big difference by helping you adjust your alignment or giving you some extra body support where you most need it. Here’s what you need to know about your pregnancy pillow UK options.
What Are Pregnancy Pillows?
Pillows for pregnancy are different than the regular pillow you rest your head on every night. They’re bigger, and they come in some unusual shapes. They are designed specially to offer critical support to women in mid-to-late pregnancy.
By placing them in various spots, depending upon where you’re feeling the pain, they can take the pressure off of your changing body enough to let you get some sleep.
What Are the Different Types of Pregnancy Pillows?
When looking at body pillow pregnancy products, you’ll see there is a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Let’s go over some of the common ones you’ll notice and the pros and cons for each:
Full Body Pillow
These are like a long, well-filled pillow you’d use for your head at night.
- They are long -- you can put it between your knees and it will run the length of your body, all the way up to your head.
- Easy to reposition since it doesn’t wrap behind you.
- You can use it for support while you’re sitting, before and after the baby is born.
- Doesn’t take up as much room as a U- or C-shaped pillow.
- They can only be used on one side of your body -- they don’t wrap around.
This pillow looks just like a C from the alphabet. It’s a popular pillow for pregnant women.
- It’ll give support to all your problem areas where you may feel pain -- your belly, neck, head, back, hips, and knees.
- Works well for plus-sized women.
- It can pull double duty, being invaluable for after the baby comes.
- They are big and take up a lot of space on the bed.
- It’s difficult to reposition these if you like to change sleeping positions.
U-shaped pillows are a lot like C-shaped pillows, but they wrap even further around the backside of sleepers.
- Offers more back support than C-shaped pillows, so they may be good for those who liked to sleep on their backs pre-pregnancy.
- Also a good pick for plus-sized women.
- Offers complete body support for women, potentially providing relief everywhere but their feet.
- It’s a great pregnancy pillow for back pain.
- These pillows are gigantic and might mean your partner won’t have enough bed space for sleeping comfortably if your bed is small.
- It’s also hard to reposition in the middle of the night if you change positions.
- The size makes it difficult to travel with.
This kind of pillow is shaped like a cheese wedge you’d buy in a store. One side is flat, angling up into a wedge.
- It’s small enough to take with you while travelling.
- They can be a more affordable option because of their size.
- They can offer back or belly support.
- These are a great tool for fighting acid reflux.
- You might need multiple wedges to get the support you need because you can only use it for one area at a time.
What Are the Benefits of Pregnancy Pillows?
While pregnancy pillows aren’t a necessity, they are a wonderful tool to use during and after pregnancy. They can be a great investment for your overall well-being.
- Promote better blood circulation: Pregnancy can hurt your blood circulation, and you can feel the impact of that when you stand up or switch your position suddenly. It can make you dizzy or faint. Pillows, when properly positioned, can help you with that.
- Ease your discomfort and pain: It’s amazing how much a pillow tucked between your knees or wedged under your belly can help when you’re expecting. Just that little bit of support makes all the difference in the pain you feel. And if you find your legs are particularly achy, try throwing a weighted blanket over the top of them -- that gentle pressure can feel soothing.
- Let you sleep more: Not getting enough sleep while pregnant can contribute to low birth weight. Plus, your mood can be negatively impacted and anxiety might be heightened. Your immune system might not work as effectively either.
- Help you fight heartburn: Heartburn is a common problem during pregnancy -- up to half of all pregnant women struggle with it. Finding the best pregnancy pillow for heartburn involves finding one that will keep your upper body and head elevated.
- Be used post-delivery: Maternity pillows can help you manage back pain or C-section pain post-delivery. And they can even help you find a comfortable breastfeeding position.
How to Choose the Best Pregnancy Pillow
First off, you’ll have to examine what issues you have that are causing you to want a pregnancy pillow. Are you having heartburn? Or is your problem more about finding a comfortable sleeping position -- one that won’t hurt your belly or back?
Once you’ve identified that, you can start your search. Find the pillow that is likeliest to target your issues. If it’s heartburn, look for wedge pillows or a U-shaped one that will elevate your torso and head. If you’re needing full-body support, choose one of the other pillows.
Also, before you start shopping, you may want to set a budget. Pregnancy is a time where your finances are already taking a hit. You have hospital bills to worry about, and you have to buy all that essential pregnancy gear.
Things To Consider Before Buying
To make sure you’re happy with your purchase, you should also look at:
- What the pillow is filled with: If you have allergies, make sure it’s something that won’t trigger them. Having a casing for your pillow can help you fight allergies, too -- you can wash it to get rid of dust mites or pollen.
- How big your bed is: If your pillow is going to be so big that it moves your partner to the couch, you both have to be on board with that.
- How easy it is to clean: Does it come with a removable, machine washable pillow casing? That will be essential if you’re using it long after delivery as a nursing pillow or if you’re a heavy sweater.
- Do you want an organic pillow: If that’s important to you, there are plenty of options out there.
- Whether you need more than one: Sometimes one pillow can meet all your needs, but, in some cases, it might not be enough. A better bet might be getting two to address all your concerns.
Power Through Those Final Weeks
Late pregnancy is never easy. You’re tired, and you see your legs and feet swelling to epic proportions. You’ll feel all kinds of aches and pains that you’ve never felt before. You aren’t powerless to stop those pains, though -- finding the right pillow can help take the pain away enough that you can sleep better at night.