What are Maternity Pillows?
Maternity pillows are a replacement for using conventional pillows and cushions to help you sleep in a position that is comfortable, and is recommended by health care professionals.
Whilst conventional pillows can be used, maternity pillows have been designed specifically for the pregnant woman and are often more comfortable and supportive. They are shaped to relieve pressure on joints, hips and backs, and will, of course, support your bump as it grows.
Maternity pillows come in a range of shapes and sizes. The most basic ones are wedges that can simply be placed under your bump. By taking pressure off your bump and helping to keep your hips and back comfortable, maternity wedges can help you get a good nights sleep whilst remaining an economical option.
Body pillows are more substantial. They resemble tubes and can again go from being a fairly simple design, to ones that envelope your whole body, providing all round support where it’s required.
How to Choose the Best Maternity Pillow
Maternity pillows come in a variety of designs and materials and are designed to offer support to specific areas, so look for one that will address the areas where you’re currently experiencing discomfort.
There are a variety of shapes and sizes from wedges, to tubes, to ones that wrap around your body, providing both front and back support.
It’s always worth choosing a pillow that has a removable, washable cover as you can also use maternity pillows as nursing pillows.
Maternity pillows use a variety of fillings; consider whether you want a pillow made out of memory foam, or one that is filled with many small polystyrene beads
Some, such as the Dreamgenii Maternity and Nursing Pillow, allow you to purchase additional covers in a variety of patterns and textures.
How Maternity Pillows are Used During Pregnancy
Sleeping During Pregnancy
A good nights rest when you’re pregnant is essential for you and baby, but managing to find a comfortable sleeping position can seem like an impossible task at times. As your pregnancy progresses you may find achieving this becomes harder.
When pregnant, most health care professionals recommend lying on your left side with knees slightly bent. This is seen as the best position as it stops the weight of your baby pressing on your internal organs. You also have a major blood vessel carrying blood from your heart to your feet and legs called the inferior vena cava in this region. Lying on your back for long periods of time can reduce blood flow and cause dizziness, shortness of breath and sometimes low blood pressure.
Adopting this new position may be uncomfortable initially, especially if you are used to sleeping on your stomach or back. Most women use a variety of pillows and cushions placed around them and in between their legs to make sleeping in the recommended position more comfortable.
The most common layout is one pillow between the legs, one under the bump, and another under your lower back. Household pillows will do the job, but many women find maternity pillows to be a more comfortable alternative. Maternity pillows also have the advantage that they can be used as nursing pillows once baby is born.
We will shortly be adding reviews of the most common maternity pillows. Until then, we’ve included below some of the most popular makes.
– Dreamgenii produce a range of maternity pillows (see the left hand picture below). They get consistently good reviews. You can purchase them online through Amazon.com.
– Soothsoft and Summer Infant produce some good pillows. The summer infant body pillow is very versatile too.
– Made in Water actually produce an organic maternity pillow; this contains Spelt and Buckwheat husk which is claimed to have therapeutic effects. Buckwheat is a medicinal plant which is renowned due to it’s having a high content of cell-protection-factors. This can have a beneficial effect on your blood vessels, and can help encourage better circulation