Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman’s life. Those nine months make you the center of attention and rightly so, as it demands a lot from your body. The mother-to-be has to make sure that her baby remains safe and gets appropriate care.

However, have you already started rejoicing about being pregnant after getting a few positive strip tests? Let me tell you, the strips aren’t always reliable. So, it might be better that you consider undergoing an ultrasound by making an appointment.

As much as the baby needs support and comfort, the mother also has to safeguard her health. Leg cramps, back pain and inadequate sleep are common difficulties reported by pregnant women. It is crucial to get proper rest during the night to help the mother’s body cope with the physical changes that she encounters on her journey, but ailments like back pain can make it impossible to do this. To guarantee a good and relaxing sleep, many women these days also use pregnancy pillows.

What is a pregnancy pillow?

A pregnancy pillow is a pillow made especially to provide comfort and relief to the changing outlines of a pregnant woman’s body and offer support to the complete body in various sleeping situations. These pillows are larger than the general pillows and are available in U-shape, wedge shape or bean shape. It is very useful in the third trimester of the pregnancy period and can be used later while nursing.

Pregnancy pillows are not as expensive as adjustable beds, but are a necessity for pregnant women, just like adjustable beds are for seniors.

Benefits of pregnancy pillows

  1. Unimaginable comfort

Being uncomfortable while sleeping is an inevitable part of pregnancy. A pregnancy pillow provides the essential support that your body requires for the neck, shoulders, stomach and back. A good pregnancy pillow relieves the pressure on the spine, hips and back, improves their alignment for the correct posture and relieves you of the sleep killing restless leg syndrome. It prevents women from sleeping on her stomach which is dangerous for the baby and helps them lie in a comfortable half-fetal position which is considered the most appropriate position for a restful slumber.

  1. Improves blood circulation

Gynecologists recommend that pregnant women should sleep on their left side as the baby begins to grow. This not only helps the baby to get in the ideal position for the birth but also has a positive influence on the blood circulation. Suitable circulation of blood in the body promotes relaxation in hip and back areas of the body.

  1. Relieves heartburn

Heartburn is yet another common problem that pregnant women face. As the baby grows in size, it leaves less space for the internal organs resulting in heartburn and uneasiness. You can use the V-Shaped pregnancy pillow to ease the heartburn, acid reflux and minimize water retention levels by elevating the upper body while sleeping. This is much cheaper than the alternative of using an adjustable bed to relieve heartburn.

  1. Keeps away from allergies

Hormonal changes during the pregnancy period can make women prone to develop allergies, skin rashes or respiratory hitches. The pregnancy pillow helps to overcome these hitches. Choosing a well-designed pillow with hypoallergenic quality gives you the luxurious support you need.

  1. Lowers heart rate

When a pregnant woman hugs the pillow, it automatically lowers her heart rate and she feels calm and composed. It is vital for the women to have a good grip on her emotions during the gestation period for a healthy and happy baby.

  1. Lowers snoring

Considering the pregnancy pillow prevents the women from falling on her back, women who generally snore can get rid of the habit easily.

  1. Postpartum usage

Given the versatility of the pregnancy pillow, you can use it very much after childbirth. It can be used to support the baby while breastfeeding and can also be used as a barrier when you make the baby lie down and they might roll over and hurt themselves. Even men suffering from a backache can make use of this pillow to get rid of the pain.

Types of pregnancy pillows

There are several types of pregnancy pillows available in the market depending on different shapes and sizes. Each variety of the pillow caters to a different set of needs. You can see a few common ones below to choose the right one for you.

  1. C-shaped pregnancy pillow

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These pillows are in the shape of the letter C and provide complete support to the head, tummy, back and legs. If a woman likes to sleep in a riding or half-fetal position, this pillow is the one for her. You can place your head on one end of the C, the legs of either side of the other end and slide your back into the curve.

  1. U-shaped pregnancy pillow

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As the name suggests, these pillows are in the shape of the letter U and are perfect for those who prefer sleeping on their back but can’t do so because of the increase in their belly size. It supports the whole body, including the back and the tummy. The sleeping position in a U-shaped pillow is very similar to the C shaped one.

  1. Wedge-shaped pregnancy pillow

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Commonly known as a maternity cushion, this type of pillow is the smallest one available which can be used during and after the pregnancy. The two sub-types of wedge pillows are (i) round wedge pillow and (ii) triangular wedge pillow. It can be placed behind the back or under the tummy which provides obligatory support while sleeping side-ways or on your tummy.

  1. Full-length pregnancy pillow

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These pillows are long and provide a cushion to the entire body. It is like a lean giant teddy bear that you can hug and sleep. It gives good comfort to the hands and legs while also supports the grown stomach. The two types of full-length pregnancy pillows are (i) straight full-length pregnancy pillow and (ii) flexible full-length pregnancy pillow. They are designed to embrace and cuddle however they cannot be placed behind the back.

After going through this guide, you must now have an idea about the type of pillow the pregnant lady in your life would need. Whether you are or someone from your family is expecting, you could gift them one of these pillows.

You should also look at points such as stuffing material, the degree of softness, size of the pillow, removable covers, noise and smell before you finalize that one pillow for you which will provide utmost comfort when you enter the pudding club.

I understand that a pillow may seem immaterial in the larger perspective but it is an important accessory that can provide comfort and support for sleep in those nine months. Having a good night’s sleep is vital for the well-being of the mother and the baby.

Related: 4 Tips to Improve Sleep Quality