When you think about pregnancy, you might imagine that second trimester glow that so many people seem to talk about. However, for many women, pregnancy is a time when you experience a range of aches and pains, and struggle to get a good night’s sleep. As you know, every minute of rest counts before your baby comes - and a pregnancy pillow might be the key to sleeping more soundly. But what is the best way to sleep with a pregnancy pillow? We take a look!
What is the best way to sleep with a pregnancy pillow?
So, why might you need a pregnancy or maternity pillow and what is the best way to sleep with a pregnancy pillow? The truth is that how you sleep will depend on what benefits you want to see from your pillow. A pregnancy pillow can be used to take the pressure off your body as you experience the natural changes of pregnancy - especially when your bump grows. A pregnancy pillow can be used to alleviate aches and pains in your hips, back and legs, which could otherwise leave you restless and tossing and turning. It can be especially invaluable for front sleepers who are adjusting to a new way of sleeping during pregnancy. Whether you have back ache, hip ache, or are just struggling to stay in one position while you sleep, let’s explore the different pregnancy pillow options for you.
How to sleep with a wedge pillow
The smallest type of pregnancy pillow is a wedge. A wedge pillow is designed for targeted support, and it can fit neatly under your belly as it grows. This eases spinal strain, and to use this type of pillow you should use the smallest side of the wedge underneath your belly for this specific kind of support. Bear in mind that you will need to reposition the wedge as your pregnancy progresses in order to get the best support. A wedge pillow can also be useful if you are suffering from acid reflux during pregnancy, providing you with some relief as well as helping the alignment of your spine. The best way to sleep with the wedge pillow for heartburn or reflux is to keep the narrow edge under your neck, elevating your head. Wedge pillows can be useful even after your baby is born, as you can use them to support your back during feedings.
How to sleep with a J-shaped pillow
A J-shaped pillow is another pregnancy pillow option that is perfect for providing support without taking over the entire bed - great if you have a partner to consider! The J-shaped pillow is long, but curves at the top for your head. This means that you can find support for your head and neck, knees, back, and of course your bump. This is a good choice for those who are naturally front or back sleepers and are trying to adjust to side sleeping. A J-shaped pillow should be used around your back to keep you from rolling onto your back, if this position is causing you to wake up or increasing discomfort. You can also use a J-shaped pillow between your legs, with the long side placed along your front to give your bump and knees optimal support and alignment.
How to sleep with a full length pillowA full length or body pillow is perhaps the most well-known and popular pregnancy pillow - and can often be used by those who aren’t pregnant, too. These pillows fit a wide range of shapes, sizes and heights, and how you sleep with this pillow is dependent on where you need support at that time. You can use a full length pillow between your legs, underneath your top leg. Doing this can ease fluid retention, and knee, spine and hip pain. You can wrap the pillow around your back or front to provide full body support and keep you from rolling over in your sleep. Sleeping with a full length body pillow around your back will provide the most support for your neck and head, as well as your pelvic area. On the other hand, sleeping with the pillow around your front provides your belly with more support. This pillow is a fantastic flexible option and can be valuable for those recovering postpartum, too, both for sleeping and for feeding your baby.
Other considerations with maternity pillows
When choosing a pregnancy pillow, there are contributing factors other than the shape that might help you decide on the right pillow for your needs. You should make sure that the pregnancy pillow has a washable cover for easy cleaning (especially important if you carry on using it once your baby has been born), and that it is made of breathable material for cooler sleeping. You may also want to consider whether it is hypoallergenic or not if you are prone to allergies that might interrupt your sleep. Ensuring that your pillow is firm and soft enough for your body is also important so that you can rest as well as possible.