How To Properly Use Pillows During Pregnancy

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Let's talk about how to effectively, safely and comfortably use pillows during pregnancy.

Between the frequent bathroom runs, a hormonal overload that is taking over your entire body, a racing mind, and a growing baby bump, comfortable sleep can be quite elusive while pregnant. The midnight bathroom breaks notwithstanding, most women find it challenging to enjoy a restful night of sleep.

However, a growing baby bump shouldn’t serve to severely limit your sleeping positions to the point where you dread going to bed. Now that you’re snoozing for two, you must get enough rest. And that’s where pregnancy pillows come in to save the day. Available in a myriad of shapes and sizes, these pillows are crafted to ensure total comfort and support for expectant mothers.

Medical experts recommend that expectant mothers lie on their sides, especially the left side, as opposed to lying on their backs. Learning how to use pillows during pregnancy takes the strain out of this position to leave you well-rested.

How To Comfortably Use Pillows To Sleep While Being Pregnant

Pregnancy pillows come in various shapes and sizes to suit varied needs for soon to be mothers. As such, these pillows give you some level of comfort and support as you sleep.

Using A Wedge-Shaped Pillow

As the name suggests, these pillows are shaped much like a wedge of cheese or a door wedge. You can prop them under your head or belly when lying down in bed or behind your back when reclining on the sofa. Typically, these pillows are small in size and come in different shapes, such as crescents or triangles. You can use a wedge pillow to prop a water bottle against your back for that much-needed pain and strain relief. However, wedge-shaped pillows aren’t a substitute for your regular pillow.

U-Shaped Pillows

U-shaped pillows are the ultimate whole-body support system for an expectant mother. They will support your entire body from your ankles, legs, knees, bulging belly, back, head, and neck. You only need to place the pillow with the open side near the lower end of the bed and plonk your frame inside it. Your head rests on the bottom part of the U-shape while your arms and legs wrap around the sides.

U-shaped pillows make the best pregnancy pillows since they allow you to switch between lying on the left and the right side without readjusting them. However, due to their large size, you’ll need a pretty big bed to use this pillow, especially when sharing the bed with your significant other.

C-Shaped Pillows

Naturally, these pillows assume the shape of the letter C and make a perfect choice for a would-be mom using a mid-sized bed since they are a tad smaller than U-shaped ones. The reduced size also reduces the amount of support they provide as you sleep. A C-shaped pillow supports your pelvic area, back, head, and neck. That said, these pillows are useful in preventing water retention in your ankles and legs as well as relieving pelvic tension.

You should use a C-shaped pillow from a riding position, i.e., rest your head at the top end of the pillow and fix the saddle between your legs. Your back rests on the larger curve of the C to ease the pressure off your spine.

One of the C-shaped pillow's shortcomings is that you need to readjust it to switch sides. You can opt to flip the pillow after a bathroom break for added convenience. These pillows make the perfect choice for plus-sized expectant mothers for their asymmetrical shapes increases your sleeping options.

J-Shaped Pillows

Typically, J-shaped pillows are smaller than U-shaped ones since they are missing one side. That makes them a perfect fit for anyone with a mid-sized bed. Moreover, this pillow affords you excellent head, back, and neck support.

Full-length Pillows

Also, know as I-shaped pillow, these are straight pillows that run the entire length of the body. They resemble regular pillows but are longer to let you wrap your legs and arms around them. A flexible variety of these pillows feature some curves and will bend to whichever shape you want. Unlike U-and C-shaped pillows, these pillows don’t offer any back support. They’re meant to be hugged and cuddled as you sleep and provide entire body support while dispensing with the need for a head pillow.

Buying The Right Pregnancy Pillow For You

Knowing the different types of pillows available is only half the battle.

Not all pregnancy pillows are created equal, as pillows are all made from different filler materials. You have a choice of Styrofoam balls, polyester fillers, microbeads, memory foam, natural, and organic fillings when buying a pillow.

Let’s explore each of these pillow filing options in detail.

Natural and Organic Filling

These are the natural choice for organic product enthusiasts. Such pillows are made from wool, spelt, or kapok. However, a natural filling doesn’t automatically translate into an organic filling.

Memory Foam Filling

Pregnancy pillows made from memory foam mold around your body as you press into them. Memory foam rebounds to its original shape and position once the weight comes off. The foam in some pregnancy pillows is often shredded to aid air circulation and keep you fresh as you sleep.

Microbead Filling

These are infinitesimally small balls measuring about 1/32 of an inch in size. As such, microbead pregnancy pillows feel like they’re made from sand, save for their ultra-lightweight nature. Micro-beads are superior to Styrofoam balls in that they offer more support.

Polyester Fiber Filling 

These pillows are often soft and noiseless to let you enjoy your sleep. The fiber content in the pillow determines its firmness. One thing about polyester fiber pillows is that they aren’t as breathable compared to other types.

Styrofoam Balls

These are the same white balls that makeup bean bags. They are commonly found in more budget-friendly pregnancy pillows. They are lightweight and adapt to the shape of your body. Unfortunately, they tend to be quite noisy.

Is It Hypoallergenic?

Your body is assailed by all manners of hormones and chemicals as you go through the various pregnancy phases. As such, your sensitivity to certain materials and fibers changes every so often. Going for a hypoallergenic pillow lets you kick allergies to the curb. It means you can go about your day and sleep through the night without triggering all sorts of allergies.

Our Conclusion on Comfortably and Safely Using Pillows Throughout Your Pregnancy

Do your research, and make sure you purchase a pillows that is high-quality, in a shape that makes it comfortable for you to sleep in, and is made of your preferred pillow filler material.

Getting a good night's rest shouldn't be something you have to sacrifice through the 9-10 months or 40 weeks that you are pregnant. Make getting a consistent great night's sleep a priority.

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