Pregnancy pillows, also known as pregnancy body pillows, can mean the difference between the endless, excruciating search for a comfortable sleep position, and an actual restful night of shuteye. One of the most frustrating things about being pregnant is that as the months progress and the exhaustion increases, making sleep even more important, many women find that getting restful slumber becomes harder and harder. (A few culprits include heartburn, muscle aches, anxiety-triggered insomnia and, of course, that growing belly.) Enter the maternity pillow, a savior to pregnant women everywhere because of its ability to offer just the right amount of support for a peaceful night’s rest.
The American Pregnancy Association advises pregnant women to sleep on their sides, with its own handy acronym: SOS (sleep on side). The left side is the ideal side to sleep on, as it increases the blood flow (and therefore nutrients) to the placenta. Pregnancy pillows can make that adjustment go smoothly and more comfortably.
But sleep is an elusive bedfellow, so these are a few handy tips:
- She should keep her legs and knees bent, and put a pillow between the legs.
- If back pain is an issue, sleep on your side and put a pillow under the stomach for some relief.
- If heartburn is a problem, propping the upper body with pillows can provide some relief.
There’s a wide range of pregnancy pillows out there—some are small and simple, others are so large they might necessitate a bigger bed. Different maternity pillows offer differing levels of support and a number of uses during and after pregnancy. These are some of the best.
Maybe a full body pillow makes her feel too warm at night, or maybe she's looking for a pregnancy pillow that works for travel to make hotel beds a bit more bearable. A supportive wedge like this one can work in a variety of ways: Slipped behind the back, tucked between the knees or placed under the belly. The cover is made from a soft jersey fabric and can be removed and machine-washed.
This is the queen of pregnancy body pillows, providing support to just about every needy body part. It's similar to the Leacho, but comes with a detachable piece than can be used as its own full body pillow, attacked to the main pillow for additional back or belly support, or removed completely to allow for more space in bed. It's great for women dealing with lower back pain.
More streamlined than other maternity body pillows, this two-part cushion helps give a physical reminder to sleep on one side. It has two connected cushions separated by a piece of fabric: One cradles the back while the other supports the front. Some women also position it between their knees, for reading or sitting up in bed.
This option from Tempur-Pedic is both streamlined and supportive, and as an added bonus, the rectangular shape means it can be placed behind your regular bed pillows during the day for a neat look. The high-quality memory foam comes with a five-year warranty and the soft cover can be machine-washed.This splurgy memory-foam body pillow will get plenty of use even after she delivers the baby with its medium-to-firm support.
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