Few times in life are as joyous as pregnancy, though if you are like most moms-to-be, the joy comes with some discomfort as your baby grows and sleeping comfortably becomes a challenge. This is especially challenging if you enjoy sleeping on your stomach, which may become more difficult as your belly grows. A pregnancy pillow for stomach sleepers can help you rest more comfortably, but not all of these pillows are created equal. Finding the right pillow for your body type and pregnancy stage is important for quality rest, so know what to look for and how to shop effectively to save you time and support a healthy pregnancy.
A pregnancy body pillow can help you achieve better sleep as your baby grows and find a sleeping position that is comfortable for both you and your unborn child. You may find that your regular pillow may not provide you with the comfort it used to, especially in the final three months of your pregnancy. A pregnancy pillow can provide and support a good night's sleep in several ways, including:
A maternity body pillow can also provide you with increased comfort if you are a stomach sleeper, as its shape and give may help you find a comfortable position that also keeps your baby safe.
Once you understand the benefits of finding a pregnancy pillow for stomach sleepers, you can begin your search for one that best suits you and your sleeping preferences.
List Your Needs
Before you begin shopping for a pregnancy body pillow, listing your needs and wants regarding better sleep can help you make the best choice possible. Some items you can include on this list are fabric type, firmness versus an extra soft model, size, shape and your budget requirements. Listing these needs can help you find a maternity pillow that provides you with the features you want and eliminate those with limited options.
If this is your first time buying a pregnancy pillow and you are not entirely sure about where to begin, consult pregnancy and baby guides that assist first-time mothers with finding items to increase their comfort.
Decide on the Pillow Shape
Pregnancy pillows come in a variety of shapes, from wedges to C- and U-shaped pregnancy pillow types. The type you choose can affect how many comfortable sleeping positions you desire. C-shaped pillows provide support for most parts of your body, including the belly. These pillows are usually quite large when compared to small wedge pillow options that only support one or two areas.
When it comes to choosing a shape, the best pregnancy pillow for stomach sleepers is one that provides you with full-body support to meet your changing support needs as your pregnancy advances. A U-shaped body pillow can provide you with a range of comfortable positions when sleeping on your stomach becomes too difficult.
As you shop for pregnancy pillows, keep the size of your mattress in mind. Having the exact dimensions written down as you shop helps you choose the best pillow type. Avoid problems falling asleep or waking in the middle of the night because the size and shape of your pillow cause it to fall off the bed or get lost in the blankets.
Regulate Pregnancy Pillow Temperature
If you are like most pregnant women, you often feel flushed or warm as your belly grows, which can make sleep uncomfortable. You may have hot flashes or episodes of night sweats that can make your pillow feel damp or too warm for you to sleep. If you experience any of this, then search for a pregnancy pillow that keeps you cool as well as comfortable. Material and filling that provides superior air circulation allows you to sleep more comfortably and for longer periods instead of waking up throughout the night because you feel too hot.
The fabric of a maternity pillow can affect the quality of sleep you get, especially as a stomach sleeper. The wrong fabrics retain heat, absorb odor and do not allow for air circulation. Cheaper pregnancy body pillows do not always include a washable or removable cover, which can make them difficult to clean.
While you shop for a pillow, consider one with a reversible cover that allows you to control the temperature of its exterior. A pillowcase with a jersey cotton cover on one side and a velvet material on the other provides you with different temperature options throughout your pregnancy.
Ask Your OB/GYN for Advice
If you want a body pillow that supports stomach sleeping, then you can speak to your OB/GYN about which one she or he recommends. While stomach sleeping during pregnancy is not as dangerous as some would have you believe, especially in the second trimester, it can become increasingly difficult for a memory foam mattress or generic pillow to offer you the support you need for your growing belly. Take your pillow list with you to your next appointment and ask your doctor if he or she has any recommendations that can help you choose the right pillow for a good night's sleep.
Shop for Support
One of the most important features of a shaped pregnancy pillow is how it supports all the pressure points on your body as it changes throughout your pregnancy. You may believe that most pregnancy pillows need to be soft to provide comfort; however, the firmness of these pillows is what supports your favored sleeping position while absorbing the pressure of your baby's weight as well.
The best pregnancy pillow for stomach sleepers features removable or adjustable filling that allows you to arrange support where you need it the most. For example, if you are carrying your baby weight low and your belly stretches downward when you sleep on your stomach, an adjustable U-shaped pregnancy pillow can provide firmness to rest that weight and prevent the discomfort that might otherwise keep you awake at night. Firmness to support your head and neck, as well as your belly, can also promote more restful sleep and prevent back and neck pain the following day.
While a larger U-shaped pregnancy pillow may cost more than a wedge pillow or one that only supports your head and neck, the comfort and full-body support it provides can soothe the discomfort a large pregnant belly may cause. One issue with traditional pregnancy pillows is failing to offer multiple comfort points, something that larger pillows can correct, especially when you can adjust the filling to suit your individual comfort needs.
A Pillow for a Variety of Sleeping Positions
As your pregnancy advances, it may become harder to sleep on your stomach and to stay asleep for longer periods during the night. Choosing a pillow that offers the support you need no matter which sleeping position you pick can foster more restful sleep patterns, even as you reach the end of your pregnancy or after the baby arrives.
Becoming accustomed to a new sleeping position can be simpler when you choose a larger pregnancy pillow that supports a variety of positions, from side sleeping to back sleeping. Remember that as your pregnancy advances, you may have to shift to a different position to stay asleep longer, so a pillow with adjustable fill and firmness can help you acclimate to a new sleeping position faster.
Travel With a Pregnancy Pillow for Comfort
If you choose a pillow that fits your entire body, then consider whether you will need to travel with it and what types of restrictions airlines place on larger pillows. U-shaped pregnancy pillows are usually pliable enough to fit into a travel bag, which makes them the best pregnancy pillow option if you travel as long as your pregnancy allows. If you plan to travel during your pregnancy, then you may want to choose a pillow that fits into your current carry-on bag so you do not have to pay an extra fee to bring it on board a plane.
As you shop for the best pregnancy pillow for stomach sleepers, think of ways the pillow might be useful after your pregnancy as well as during the time you need support for your baby bump. For instance, if you still experience pelvic pain or hip pain after giving birth, a full body pillow can provide you with relief and support a night of more restful sleep to give you the energy you need to care for a newborn.
Nursing and Resting
Blood flow and quality sleep go hand in hand, so choosing a body pillow you can use for nursing, napping and watching TV promotes good health once you give birth. Many babies will not nurse properly unless they feel comfortable, and a full body pillow can provide both you and your infant with adjustable support for more effective nursing and fewer bouts of colic and fussiness. While some mothers use an inflatable pillow for nursing, these cannot be fully adjusted as full-body pillows can.
Shopping for a pregnancy pillow can sometimes feel confusing, especially when there are so many choices available. One way to make the best decision is to talk to other pregnant women about which they chose and why, as this can give you insight as to which type might suit you best. Ask them about their sleeping positions and how the pillow they chose allowed them to maintain their most restful position without sacrificing comfort.
Talking to a pregnant stomach sleeper can also help you gather information about a variety of different pillows that may suit your lifestyle. For example, you may be a highly active pregnant person who drives to exercise and birthing classes, and these activities leave you with specific aches and pains. Talking to other stomach sleepers with similar issues can help you narrow down your choices for the right pillow that allows you to sleep on your stomach and alleviate your discomfort.
Finding a pregnancy pillow for stomach sleepers that suits your individual needs can be a daunting process. Prepare with research and gather advice from other people and their experiences with various options. Your pregnancy body is unique, so coddle yourself and your unborn child with and get a better sleep today and in the weeks to come by choosing a pregnancy pillow matched to your body and habits.