Pregnancy is a time of change and many of those changes come with a fair degree of discomfort. Your ankles start to swell, your back hurts constantly, and it becomes impossible to find a comfortable enough position that you can get to sleep. Enter the pregnancy pillow. Many women swear by pregnancy pillows, so we want to help you understand when to start using pregnancy pillow assistance in bed?
In many cases, the question is not IF you should start using a pregnancy pillow but WHEN. Below we’ll discuss the most common types of pregnancy pillows and talk about when to start using them.
What is the Purpose of a Pregnancy Pillow?
All any pregnant woman wants (in addition to a healthy baby, of course) is to get a good night’s rest. Pregnancy is exhausting, both mentally and physically, so at the end of the day all you want is to be able to lie down in bed and get some rest. Unfortunately, symptoms like swollen ankles and acid reflux combined with your ever-expanded belly can make it tough to find a comfortable position for sleep.
That’s where the pregnancy pillow comes in. A pregnancy pillow is uniquely designed to accommodate the contours of a pregnant woman’s body. In addition to supporting the back and belly, these pillows help take pressure off the shoulders, hips, and knees which can be a problem for side sleepers. Some pregnancy pillows offer full-body comfort and can even replace your regular bed pillow.
Types of Pregnancy Pillows
Before getting into the details of when to start using a pregnancy pillow, let’s talk a little more about what these pillows are. A pregnancy pillow is designed to help alleviate some of the discomforts of pregnancy while providing the support you need for your head, neck, shoulders, back, and body. Before you buy a pregnancy pillow, be sure you take the time to learn how to use it properly.
Here are some of the most common types of pregnancy pillows:
- C-Shape – This type of pregnancy pillow is long and thin with curved ends. Because it isn’t very bulky, it’s great for restless or combination sleepers who move around a lot. You can use it as a full body pillow or fold it in half to support your stomach, knees, back, or shoulders.
- U-Shape – These pregnancy pillows are designed to support the whole body at once. You place your head at the bottom of the U, using one side to cradle your arms and knees while the other side supports your back.
- Wedge – Though these pillows don’t offer full-body support, they can be used to bolster certain parts of the body as needed. You might even use a wedge pillow in combination with another pregnancy pillow if you need extra support.
- Inflatable – If you’ve always slept on your stomach, you may find it hard to adjust to another sleeping style during pregnancy. Inflatable pillows have a hold in the middle to accommodate your belly, allowing you to safely sleep on your stomach.
Choosing a pregnancy pillow is largely a matter of preference, but it’s also worth considering the quality and the materials from which it is made. You’ll be using your pregnancy pillow every night for at least a few months, so it’s worth buying something that’s well-made. Some women even choose to get pillows made of organic materials if that is the best choice for themselves and their baby.
When to Start Using a Pregnancy Pillow
There’s no right or wrong time to start using a pregnancy pillow. In fact, you don’t even have to be pregnant at all to use one. These pillows provide support and enhanced comfort, two things anyone can enjoy at any time. That being said, most women start to really appreciate the benefits of a pregnancy pillow around 20 weeks of pregnancy. This is when your belly really starts to expand and you need all the pain and tension relief you can get.
Many women also find it helpful to use a pregnancy pillow after giving birth. Your body still needs plenty of support as it heals, and you may not find it comfortable to start sleeping on your back again for a few weeks. Pregnancy pillows are also great for nursing. You can use a pregnancy pillow to prop yourself up in bed, wrapping one side around your body to support your baby’s weight, helping keep them in the proper position for breastfeeding.
Pregnancy pillows are great for support and they help you reach the level of comfort you need to get a good night’s sleep. Best of all, there’s no right or wrong time to start using one. That being said, they’re not just for pregnant women! Side sleepers love pregnancy pillows as well for their ability to relieve pressure on the knees, hips, and shoulders for pain-free sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of a pregnancy pillow?
A pregnancy pillow is uniquely designed to accommodate the contours of a pregnant woman’s body. After 20 weeks of pregnancy, you should stop sleeping on your back. Using a pregnancy pillow can help make side sleeping more comfortable.
What are the benefits of a pregnancy pillow?
The most significant benefit of a pregnancy pillow is that it helps you sleep. By providing better support for your back, your joints, and your growing belly, a maternity pillow helps alleviate aches and pains and may boost blood flow as well.
When you’re feeling comfortable and relaxed, you’re more likely to get the high-quality sleep you (and your baby) need. You can even use your pregnancy pillow after birth to help keep your baby in the right position during breastfeeding.
Is a C-shape or U-shape better?
It largely depends on preference and how much space you have in your bed. U-shaped pillows deliver full-body comfort on both sides of your body, but they take up a significant amount of space in the bed. C-shaped pillows don’t take up as much space, but you may have to move the pillow if you tend to switch from side to side during the night.