Full Body Contour Pillows for Pregnant Women

Many women find that pregnancy brings with it a plethora of sleep problems—aches, pains, spinal misalignment and indigestion among them. Studies have shown that the majority of expectant mothers experience significant loss of sleep, but it doesn't need to be this way.

While you may be resigned to an uncomfortable sleeping experience, there are several styles of full body contour pillows available to alleviate the issues that expectant mothers face. Read on to discover the benefits of pregnancy pillows and other options that can help you achieve a restful night’s sleep.

Maintaining the Proper Sleep Position

It is now advised that pregnant women sleep on their sides, as opposed to sleeping on the back, which can restrict blood flow and nutrients to the placenta. Similarly, sleeping on the stomach can put unwanted weight on the fetus. However, those accustomed to sleeping on their backs or stomachs may find themselves constantly reverting to their favorite position, regardless of a doctor’s advice.

It can be difficult to get comfortable when pregnant, and using a body pillow in pregnancy allows you to achieve the perfect position.An L-shaped full body pillow can be propped behind the back or in front of the stomach to prevent you from rolling over, while a U-shaped pillow can be positioned on both sides at once, effectively cradling the body in the proper position.Side sleeping is also recommended for snorers, which adds another benefit to using a full body pillow.

Supporting the Stomach, Back and Hips

A growing belly and widening hips can throw off spinal alignment while you’re sleeping, leading to aches every morning. This is in addition to lower back pain caused by carrying around a baby. The solution is a pillow that supports your lower back and burgeoning belly while promoting proper alignment.

Both the L-shaped and U-shaped pillows offer the option of tucking an “end” between your legs, which realigns your spine and reduces pressure on the hips. At the same time, the pillow runs the length of your back, helping soothe aches accumulated throughout the day and preventing further pressure.  

Especially in the later trimesters, the belly becomes quite heavy. One side of the U-shaped body pillow can be placed under your stomach, helping to alleviate the weight. These specialty pillows are much more convenient than using multiple standard pillows, as you won’t need to constantly readjust during the night. As an alternative, you can place a regular contour pillow under your belly; however, pregnancy pillows are generallybetter adapted to women’s bodies and provide more support than regular ones.

Preventing Heartburn

Indigestion can become an issue during pregnancy because of hormone changes and the pressing of the womb on the stomach. You may experience indigestion as heartburn, bloating, burping or feeling sick. It is recommended that you stay away from trigger foods, refrain from overeating and avoid lying down immediately after a meal. However, these measures aren’t always enough. Finding a pillow that provides support and elevation for the upper body can help. Either a full body pregnancy pillow or a contour memory foam pillow can raise the head to prevent reflux. If you continue to experience issues, you may want to try a foam wedge to elevate even more of your upper body, or you can contact your doctor for medication. 

Managing Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Pregnancy increases the risk of developing sleep apnea, especially if you are overweight. If you experience symptoms such as snoring, trouble breathing while sleeping or excessive daytime sleepiness, it is important that you seek medical help. Research has connected sleep apnea among pregnant women with preeclampsia, low birth weight and hypertension.  

While severe sleep apnea may require surgery or a continuous airway pressure device, milder cases may be improved by utilizing a mouth guard or by sleeping on your side. A full body pregnancy pillow can help with this by ensuring you don’t roll over onto your back. Some women also experience trouble breathing as a result of congestion; a contour pillow can elevate the head, helping keep the nasal passages open. 

Dealing With Insomnia

Insomnia is a common problem for moms-to-be. A combination of factors—including the frequent urge to urinate, discomfort and stress—can leave you tossing and turning all night. It’s no secret that being comfortable can make it easier to fall asleep. Try a pregnancy pillowto cradle your belly and support your aching back. If you find that your bed is lumpy or too hard, make use of a memory foam mattress topper. If you want to stick to the basics, a contour memory foam pillow can cushion the head and maintain spinal alignment without going flat.  

Experts say that your bed should be used for sleep and sex only. Reserving the bedroom for these uses prevents your brain from associating an area of rest with other activities. In the same vein, if you do have trouble sleeping, try leaving the room and reading a book or just sitting quietly. When you grow sleepy, return to your bedroom.  

Other time-tested techniques for dealing with insomnia include deep breathing, journaling and regular exercise. If you constantly wake up to go to the bathroom, try limiting your fluid intake a few hours before bed. Doctors recommend that pregnant women stay away from alcohol or sleeping pills to reduce the risk of harming the developing fetus. 

Providing Support for Post - Natal Feeding

Both mother and baby should be comfortable during breast feeding, and the right pillow can help with that. One side of a U-shaped body pillow can be used as a back-rest, while the other side can be wrapped around your chest to help support the baby as he feeds, leaving your hands free to guide his mouth. Alternatively, the pillow’s “arm” can be used to support your own arms as you hold and position the baby, as long feeding sessions can be tiring without the proper support. Using a pillow can also help reduce pressure on the stomach, which is especially important for new mothers who are still healing from a caesarian section.  

Putting It All Together

If you're expecting and are finding it difficult to sleep at night, don’t fret. A number of different options can help you get that much-needed rest, whether you choose contour pillows or relaxation techniques. Every mother is different, and the tools that help you sleep may be different than what helps another woman. The key is to explore your options and experiment to find what works for you. Soon, you’ll be well on your way to a good night’s sleep!

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