Choosing and Using the Best Pregnancy Pillow for Back Pain

Adequate sleep is essential during pregnancy but sometimes difficult to achieve. Changes in your body can cause discomfort that disrupts a good night's sleep. A pregnancy pillow, also called a maternity pillow, can help to relieve the discomfort, making it easier to get to sleep and stay asleep all night. There are many different types to choose from, and this guide can help you narrow them down into your ideal pregnancy pillow for back pain.

Why Is It So Important To Sleep Comfortably During Pregnancy?

Even when not pregnant, sleep is the time that the body gets rid of toxins and recovers from the stress of the day. This process is even more important when expecting a baby. For example, chronic sleep deprivation can weaken the immune system, which is believed to negatively impact fetal health as well as maternal health.

Sleep deprivation during pregnancy is related to complications with gestation, labor, and delivery, such as:

Sleep deprivation also appears to increase the risks for low birth weight and premature delivery. Women who were sleep-deprived during pregnancy were more likely to endure longer labor and had higher rates of cesarean sections.

What Is a Pregnancy Pillow?

A pregnancy pillow is a body pillow that naturally conforms to your changing shape to provide full-body support during all stages of gestation.

How Does a Pregnancy Pillow Help You Sleep?

The changes that happen in your body during pregnancy can cause pain and discomfort. This is partly because of the changing levels of hormones that your body is producing, which are different from the normal levels when you are not pregnant. Another cause for the discomfort and pain is the stress that the changes are putting on different parts of your body. For example, supporting the extra weight of your abdomen can strain your low back.

While a maternity pillow does not affect your changing hormones, it does provide extra support to various areas of your body, which helps to relieve the strain on them and helps promote more comfortable sleeping.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Pregnancy Pillow?

Using a maternity pillow offers many benefits during and after pregnancy.

Better Alignment

A pregnancy pillow naturally conforms to your body to help keep the back, hips, and spine in better alignment. This helps promote pain relief by relieving the pressure on your body.

More Comfortable Sleeping Position

If you normally toss and turn in your sleep, you may roll over onto your stomach. This is generally considered a less-than-ideal sleeping position that is especially uncomfortable when pregnant. The best pregnancy pillows create something of a soft barrier that holds your body in place and prevents you from rolling over on your stomach.

Sleeping position is important for more than just your comfort. Side-sleeping is recommended for pregnant women, preferably on the left side. This position helps to improve blood circulation to the uterus, which means that your baby is getting more nutrients. Furthermore, in the later stages of pregnancy, it is dangerous for you to sleep on your back. Gravity pulls down on the baby's weight, and your blood vessels, intestines, and spine can all be compressed as a result. This can cut off your blood circulation, raise your blood pressure, and interfere with intestinal and neural function. A maternity pillow can help you avoid these problems while keeping you comfortable.

Deeper Sleep

The quality of sleep that you receive is just as important as the quantity. You may spend the required number of hours in bed resting at night, but if your sleep is not deep and uninterrupted, it is not as restorative as it could be. By providing pain relief and keeping you comfortable, a pregnancy pillow for back pain helps you to sleep more deeply.

When you sleep more deeply, you are likely to be more alert during the day, avoiding the mental fog that is often referred to as "pregnancy brain." Deep, quality sleep also helps promote healthy growth for your baby.

Adaptability

During different stages of pregnancy, you have different needs. A pregnancy pillow is adaptable and can be reconfigured to support you through all three trimesters. Body Nest pillows have removable filling so you can adjust them to the perfect firmness for you.

Breastfeeding Support

The benefits of a pregnancy or nursing pillow don't end when the baby arrives. Breastfeeding is widely regarded by experts as the most beneficial for your baby, but if it isn't comfortable for you, you are less likely to do it. You can repurpose the pillow to help you find the right breastfeeding position, which helps your baby latch on more easily and helps you remain comfortable and relaxed for as long as necessary.

When Should You Start Using a Pregnancy Pillow?

A maternity pillow can benefit you during all stages of your pregnancy. Therefore, it is appropriate for you to start using one as early as the first trimester. If you are used to sleeping in a position that is generally uncomfortable or contraindicated during pregnancy, it is a good idea to start using the pillow during the first trimester so you have time to adjust to both the pillow and the position before your body goes through more significant changes later on in gestation.

If you aren't yet sure about whether you want to use a pregnancy pillow, you can ask around among your friends who have had babies to see if one of them has a pillow you can borrow. You can give it a test drive to decide whether you want to use a pregnancy pillow and which type you should get.

How Do You Pick the Right Pregnancy Pillow?

Unfortunately, there is no one maternity pillow that works perfectly for every expectant mother. However, there are different types so that you can choose the best pregnancy pillow for your individual comfort.

Filling

Pregnancy pillows come with many different types of fillings, including styrofoam balls, polyester fibers, memory foam, and natural fibers such as wool or seeds. You should choose a filling that is comfortable for you and that will not rustle while you sleep and make noise that wakes you up. The sheared polyester filling of the Body Nest Pillow allows air to circulate to keep you from getting too hot and interrupting your best sleep.

Fabric

Because pregnancy pillows come in odd shapes, they often come with their own cover or pillowcase. The outer cover should be made of a fabric that is breathable so that it wicks moisture away from your body if you sweat during the night. Otherwise, the cover will absorb the sweat. The discomfort of a cold, damp pillow may wake you up and make it difficult to get back to sleep.

You should try out the fabric to see if it feels good next to your skin and whether you can perceive any smell from it when it is close to your face. In the interest of making your life easier, you should look for a fabric that is machine washable.

The cover for the Body Nest pillow is made out of a polyester blend. It is reversible with a soft texture on one side and a knitted texture on the other so you can choose the one that is most comfortable.

Size

Pregnancy pillows range in size from small pillows that provide targeted support to a particular part of your body to large ones that curve around you completely. Here are some things to think about when choosing a size:

The Body Nest pillow provides full-body support. Its dimensions are 55 inches by 31 inches by 8 inches.

Shape

The shape of a pregnancy pillow relates to its size. Large pregnancy pillows come in more shapes than small ones. The shape determines how much support it provides and where. Maternity pillows come in many different shapes, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, but here are a few of the most common.

Wedge Pillow

A wedge is the smallest and cheapest of pregnancy pillows. It is usually shaped like a crescent or a triangle and designed to go under your belly or wherever you think it would do you the most good. Some use the wedge under the head in the later stages of pregnancy to prevent acid reflux at night by elevating the head on a slight incline.

A wedge pillow is inexpensive and provides spot support to a targeted area, but if you need full-body support, it is not appropriate.

Straight Tube

A straight tube is a full-length body pillow, essentially a longer version of traditional bed pillows. It provides full-body support, but only on one side of your body at a time. In other words, if you are using it to support your belly, it cannot support your back at the same time.

U-Shaped Body Pillow

A U shaped pillow curves around your entire body, supporting your belly and your back at the same time. You rest your head in the curve of the U, put one side of it between your legs, and then rest your back against the other side. The Body Nest pillow comes in a U shape.

Current Trimester

While some maternity pillows can be reconfigured to continue to provide support during different stages of pregnancy, you may find that you need different pillows as you progress through each trimester.

How Much Does a Pregnancy Pillow Cost?

The cost of a pregnancy pillow depends on factors such as the size and the materials it is made from. The bigger the pillow, the more it is likely to cost, and high-quality materials can also increase the price. You can expect to pay approximately $100 for a large body pillow made of high-quality materials. When you consider the health benefits, you may consider it a worthwhile investment, especially if you plan to have more children.

When you purchase from Body Nest, you can save money when you buy multiple pillows. Find out more about specifications and pricing.