Are you expecting a baby and considering buying a maternity pillow? If so, you may be wondering if it's really necessary and what the benefits are.
A maternity pillow is specially designed to provide extra comfort and support for pregnant women and can be an essential part of the journey to motherhood. With its unique shape and contours, a maternity pillow can help to reduce back pain, improve sleep quality, and provide relief from other pregnancy-related discomforts.
In this article, we'll explore the various benefits of using a maternity pillow and answer the question: is it really necessary?
What is a maternity pillow?
A maternity pillow is a specialised pillow designed to support the pregnant body. Its curved shape and extra cushioning provide optimal comfort and support for your changing body. There are a few different types of maternity pillows, including pregnancy wedge pillows, full-length pregnancy pillows, and total body pregnancy pillows. Some maternity pillows can also be used for breastfeeding. That said, the best maternity pillow for you will depend on your comfort and needs. While some maternity pillows are designed for all stages of pregnancy, others are specific to certain trimesters.
Benefits of using a maternity pillow
A maternity or pregnancy pillow is made to accommodate your growing belly and can help you sleep in a variety of healthy positions. You'll find them especially helpful in the later stages of pregnancy, when finding a comfortable sleeping position becomes a real challenge.There are many benefits to using a maternity pillow, including:
- Improved sleep - Tossing and turning during sleep is minimized with the use of a maternity pillow. Pregnant women often have trouble sleeping, therefore this is one of the most obvious benefits of maternity pillows.
- Support and comfort - A maternity pillow can provide optimal support and comfort, especially as your body changes shape and size during pregnancy.
- Less back pain - Many women experience back pain during pregnancy. A maternity pillow can help provide relief from this common discomfort.
- Improved blood circulation - A maternity pillow can also help improve blood circulation during pregnancy, which can lead to better overall health for you and your baby.
- Relief from swelling - Swelling, particularly in legs, ankle, and feet, is very common in pregnant women due to increased blood flow, fluid retention, and hormonal changes. A maternity pillow can help provide relief from this discomfort.
- Better support for your growing belly - In order to get a good night's sleep during pregnancy, you'll need to find a comfortable position that gives your growing belly the support it needs. If you're pregnant and looking for some extra support, a pregnancy pillow can help.
- A more positive birthing experience - Research has shown that prenatal support can lead to a more positive birthing experience. A maternity pillow can be a great tool to help you prepare for this momentous event.
Common pregnancy discomforts that a maternity pillow can help
The second and third trimesters of pregnancy are particularly difficult when it comes to getting a good night's sleep. Even for side sleepers, comfort can be a concern if their sleeping setup doesn't provide enough support for their constantly shifting body. Indeed, pregnancy is a time of discomfort for many women. Common pregnancy complaints include:
- Constipation - Pregnant women are more likely to experience constipation, which can be alleviated with the use of a maternity pillow.
- Heartburn - A maternity pillow can help provide relief from heartburn and indigestion, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy.
- Headaches - Use a pregnancy pillow to find a more comfortable sleeping position if you're having trouble sleeping and believe this is contributing to your headaches.
- Shortness of breath - If you wake up feeling out of breath, try switching to a position that allows you to breathe more easily as you sleep. Use a pregnancy pillow to support your body in that position.
- Swollen ankles and feet - Pain and discomfort from swollen legs, ankles, and feet can be alleviated with the use of a pregnancy pillow.
Types of maternity pillows
You should consider your specific needs when selecting a maternity pillow because different types cater to different uses. It's also important to think about maintenance, so you should search for one that includes a washable cover. These pillows can be stuffed with a variety of materials, so it's crucial to double-check the stuffing before buying.
Pregnancy Wedge Pillow
The smallest of the pregnancy pillows is the pregnancy wedge pillow, often known as a maternity cushion or maternity pillow. You can use this cushion at any time, during and after your pregnancy. Some pregnancy pillows can be quite large, and this is a legitimate concern for those who share their bed with others. These wedges are little and won't take up too much room on the mattress, but they'll give your back and stomach the extra support. Its width is comparable to that of a normal pillow. The pillow's cover is readily unzipped and can be washed in the washing machine.
Full-length Pregnancy Pillow
All of your body can find support from one of these extra-long pregnancy pillows. The neck, shoulders, and stomach may all relax with the help of these pillows. This style of pillow is great for cuddling, but it won't keep your spine in place very well at night. There are two distinct styles of full-length pregnant pillows: straight full-length and flexible pregnancy pillows. They're perfect to hug and cuddle, but aren't designed to be used under the tummy or behind the back.
Total Body Pillow
You can rest easier in the second trimester with the help of these extra-large pillows, which are made to accommodate women of varying heights. You can select a c-shaped or u-shaped pregnancy pillow from this type. The c-shaped pillow is best for those who favor sleeping in a riding position. The u-shaped pillow, on the other hand, fits those moms who want to sleep on their back but can't because of a growing belly.
Tips for choosing the right maternity pillow
It's important to consider the following factors before making a final decision on a pregnancy pillow.
- It's crucial to maintain a healthy standard of cleanliness all through pregnancy. When pregnant, you sweat a lot, and the cover of your pillow absorbs your perspiration. If the cover can be removed, it will be easier to keep the cushion clean and sanitary.
- Consider the fabrics and materials used to make the pillow. If you have allergies or sensitive skin, you'll want to make sure the materials used to make the pillow are hypoallergenic and won't cause you harm. Additionally, the pillow's filling can make or break your night's sleep. Polyester fiber is one of the most widely used pillow fillers since it is comfortable and supportive.
- Body type and sleeping preference should also be considered when choosing a pregnant pillow. For example, the ideal sleeping position all throughout pregnancy is sleeping on your side. If you’re not used to doing so, you’ll have a hard time sleeping without the proper support. A pregnancy wedge pillow is your best bet since it can keep you from rolling into your back.
- A larger pregnancy pillow requires more room on the bed and is more difficult to move around. It's not convenient to carry along, and it may disrupt your partner's sleep if there's not enough room for both of you. Be sure to choose a maternity pillow that is large enough to support your entire body while still allowing you enough space to move around freely.
- The noise that some pillows produce when you shift positions is distracting. If you are a light sleeper, you should not use a pillow filled with styrofoam because of the noise it makes.
- The ideal level of firmness for a pillow is subjective. Avoid pillows that are too soft, since they could not be able to sustain your head and neck properly. When it comes to supporting the body and the head, firm pillows are preferable.
- Check the reviews. The best pillow is out there for you and even though you haven’t tried it yet, many pregnant moms have. For instance, many pregnant women have referred to the pregnancy wedge pillow as a “lifesaver” since it gives them the support they need minus the bulkiness.
Maternity pillow safety guidelines
First of all, choose a pillow that is machine-washable. This will make it much easier for you to keep your pillow clean and fresh, which will help to reduce the risk of allergies. You also need to avoid using pillows that have loose fillings or that are very thick. These types of pillows may cause you to overheat and make it difficult to sleep.
You also need to avoid using pillows with very hard materials. These tend to cause more pressure on the body and can lead to back pain. At the same time you should steer clear of using pillows that are very soft. These are more likely to cause your body to sink into them, which may lead to back pain.
Why the Bub's Maternity Pillow™ might be the right one for you
The Bub's Maternity Pillow™ is covered with high quality Japara Cotton and filled with feather-like Comfortfil®. But you won't find any quills like you would on a real feather cushion on our maternity pillows. They’re ultra soft and supportive without being too bulky. The Comfortfil® fiber balls are odorless and won't flatten or clump.
The unique wedge form of this pillow is perfect for giving your lower back and your developing belly some much-needed relief. The butterfly wings, designed by mothers who know EXACTLY what you need, wrap around your growing belly and help to keep your hips and lower back in proper alignment while you sleep.
Bub's Maternity Pillow™, unlike full-length pregnancy pillows, is not only ideal for your bed at home but also for travel thanks to its compact, take-anywhere design and size. Your partner can get a good night's rest without any complaints as well!
Final thoughts on the necessity of a maternity pillow
So, to answer the question, “Do you really need a maternity pillow?”, the answer is yes! A maternity pillow can accommodate your growing belly and help you sleep in a variety of healthy postures.
Sleep is crucial, and we can't emphasize it enough. And if you're having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, a maternity pillow may be the answer. You can even use it after giving birth to help you rest longer, position your little one into a more comfortable position, and make breastfeeding easier.