As you go through the stages of pregnancy, you may find it harder and harder to sleep at night because of the many changes your body is undergoing. With your growing girth and the possibility of swollen ankles, back pain, leg cramps and more, it can be very difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position.
How does pregnancy pillow help?
In this article, we will introduce the pregnancy pillow and share the top benefits of using it to help you get a good night’s sleep while pregnant. Read on to learn more.
How does pregnancy pillow help?
Pregnancy pillows come in several comfy shapes:
- Flexible body pillow
- Wedge shaped
- Bean shaped
All are designed to provide extra support and comfort for deep, refreshing sleep. Here are the top 12 benefits you can derive from snuggling with a pregnancy pillow:
1. Pain relief: Because you are carrying around quite bit of extra weight, you may be experiencing some unusual aches and pains. The right pregnancy pillow can support that extra weight while you sleep, thereby relieving aches and pains.
2. Muscle relaxation: Good support gives your muscles a chance to relax. Positioning your pillow to support your hard-working muscles provides much needed muscle relaxation.
3. Support: Get good support for your back, shoulders, neck, legs and tummy. If you have back and neck pain, try lying on your side in a “half-fetal” position using a flexible pregnancy pillow to provide support to your spine and shoulders while helping align your hips and legs.
4. Better blood circulation: Good support promotes good blood circulation. Left-side-sleeping is often recommended for pregnant women. Using a pregnancy pillow while you lie on your left side can help open up the hips and lower back to promote good blood circulation to the pelvic area and legs.
5. Elevation: If you use your pregnancy pillow to elevate your feet, it will improve blood circulation and prevent edema caused by water retention in your ankles and feet. Elevating your upper body while you sleep prevents problems with heartburn.
6. Optimum positioning: One or more pregnancy pillows strategically placed can keep you in the best sleep position. You may be more prone to sleep on your back or your stomach, but sleeping on your left side is really best for you and your baby as it offers better blood circulation and delivers more oxygen and nutrients to your baby. Setting your pregnancy pillows just right for comfortable side sleeping can hold you in place so that you don’t accidentally roll over onto your back in the night.
7. Stop snoring: Even if you don’t snore when you are not pregnant, you may have problems with it when you are. This can be disruptive to your own sleep and that of your sleep partner. You can use a pregnancy pillow to provide support against your back as you sleep on your side. This prevents you from rolling over onto your back, so it can help eliminate snoring.
8. Prevent allergies: Pregnancy pillows are usually made of hypoallergenic materials. Even if you don’t normally have skin sensitivities or allergies, you may experience these problems while you are pregnant. Reducing your exposure to allergens can help you avoid developing skin rashes or respiratory issues.
9. Sleep well: Get restful sleep to help your baby develop properly. When you are pregnant, it can be very difficult to get solid, uninterrupted sleep, and this is very important to the health of your growing baby. Tossing and turning to find a good sleeping position can leave your more tired upon arising. The extra support and comfort provided by a pregnancy pillow can help you get your 8+ hours of uninterrupted, high quality sleep.
10. Relax: Feel calm and secure as you drift off to sleep. The physical comfort and support can impart a sense of reassurance as you go to sleep. Often pregnant women are concerned about inadvertently putting pressure on the baby while sleeping. Good support can help alleviate this worry.
11. Reduce your heart rate: The calming effect of sleeping with a pregnancy pillow can lower your heart rate. Being physically supported as you sleep can calm your emotions and reduce anxiety, thus lowering your heart rate and providing a great night’s sleep.
12. Shorten labour: Help baby get into position for birth. If you are able to rest and relax in a comfortable position (rather than tossing about) your baby is also more likely to settle comfortably. This can help facilitate shorter and easier labor and birth.
Your pregnancy pillow will become an old friend!
Sleeping with a pregnancy pillow may take a little getting used to, but once you are comfortable with it, you will surely continue to enjoy using it for sleeping, snuggling with your baby and breast feeding. When you travel, take your favourite pregnancy pillow with you to make an unfamiliar sleeping environment comfy and familiar.