The ability to bring a brand new life in to this world is beautiful, amazing, and honorable; and when you see that little bundle of joy, you just readily forget what you went through and how you had to go through all that every day for that long. That is pretty much what it feels like after a safe delivery. What about before delivery? What does it feel like?
One of the things any pregnant woman certainly goes through is the problem of sleep; the leg cramps, aches, pains, and general discomfort can make pregnant women lose sleep at night. The good news is that we are in an innovative era where somehow, someone somewhere always comes up with solutions to most problems facing humanity; just like the pregnancy pillow. It has helped a lot of women go through pregnancy without tears. Now, I understand that some women do not readily agree with this, probably because, from their experience, pregnancy pillows made no difference. I have only two questions for such women; did you get the right pregnancy pillow for you? And are you sure you know the right way to use pregnancy pillows?
How to Use Pregnancy Pillows
Pregnancy pillows can take away pains from the feet, knees, hips, abdomen, knees and back. Here is how to use it to achieve utmost benefit
First thing first
You have to get a pregnancy pillow that best suits your needs. The type of pregnancy pillow that worked for “Jane Doe” may not necessarily work for “Jane Roe”. Here is an article to help you select the right pregnancy pillow for you.
Lie on your side and put a leg on top of pillow
Professionals always advice that pregnant women should lie on their sides (preferably the left side) to help the blood flow efficiently to their benefit and that of the baby. A pregnancy pillow under your leg can do a lot of things to help you sleep better
- It makes it easier to sleep on your side
- Promotes blood circulation
- Helps reduce or completely prevents leg swells and joint aches
Note that the pregnancy pillow should not be too low or too high. It should align with your hip and lower back.
Put a pillow under your belly
Right about twenty weeks into your pregnancy, there is need for your belly to be supported if you must sleep well. That “bump” got some weight you know, enough to pull at you whenever you lie down. Your uterus is attached to your spine by a ligament. The weight of your bump would stretch and pull the ligament almost to the point of its elastic limit; causing some sort of discomfort just above your bum (sacrum), kind of feels like a back waist pain. Please, do not lie on you back in a bid to relieve the pain; simply support your belly with a pregnancy pillow while you sleep. It would go a long way to relieve that pain significantly.
Support your chest and shoulder
You can prevent shoulder pains and pains around the bra line by supporting your chest and shoulder with a pregnancy pillow suitable for that purpose. You can hug the pillow while you sleep and that would do it.
Support your head
Inappropriate alignment of the head with the body while you sleep is bound to cause discomfort for you. It can bring about neck pains, shoulder pains, and difficulty in breathing. To avoid this, rest your head on a pillow high enough to correctly align your body with your head. It should not be too high lifting you head and neck above proportion, or too low making your head and neck come down below proportion.
Healthy Sleeping Position for Pregnant Woman
There are some sleeping positions you should not take at certain stages of your pregnancy and there are some other ones that are just perfect for you and your baby. Here are some sleeping positions and how they affect a pregnant woman.
Sleeping on your back
Sleeping on the back is not really very good for a pregnant woman per say, especially after the first few weeks of the pregnancy when the uterus starts to expand. By the time the uterus starts to expand, sleeping on your back would exert pressure on the vain that transmits blood back to the heart. It can also lessen oxygen transmission to the fetus. However, if you must sleep on your back in the first few weeks of your pregnancy (before your uterus starts to expand), use a pregnancy pillow to support your thighs and free your legs.
Sleeping on your sides
This sleeping position is right for any pregnant woman at anytime of her pregnancy, although it may not be so comfortable when the bump starts showing. That is when pregnancy pillows come in to give support to the back, the thigh/leg, and the belly. Sleeping on the side ensures proper blood circulation and adequate oxygen transmission.
Sleeping on your tummy
There is nothing wrong with sleeping on your tummy during the first trimester of your pregnancy, before the uterus starts to expand. Right before the uterus starts expanding, it is then time to start sleeping on your side. Sleeping on your tummy when your uterus is expanded and a bit your bump is showing is dangerous for your health and that of the baby.
Specific instructions on how to use a Wedge Pregnancy Pillow and Full Body Pregnancy Pillow
A pregnancy pillow is meant to support your body/belly while you sleep. To get the most out of it, here are some basic instructions to guide you
Wedge Pregnancy Pillow
- Place the lower part of the pillow towards and under your belly, with the sloppy part of the pillow right under your belly and the flat/straight base downwards on the bed
- Adjust the pillow to fit snugly to secure your belly properly
- Do not use the same wedge pillow height all throughout your pregnancy. As the pregnancy advances and your tummy size gets bigger, the height of the pillow should lessen. A lot of pregnancy wedge pillows can be adjusted and as such, can be used throughout pregnancy.
- Sleeping on your side is the sleeping position best for a wedge pregnancy pillow. Securing your tummy and at the same time, promoting an efficient flow of blood and oxygen.
Full Body Pregnancy Pillow
This type of pregnancy pillow is the total package. It is everything in one. You can use it to support your thigh/leg, your head, back, belly, and chest. It covers everything. Looking at a full pregnancy pillow, it looks bulky and makes you wonder how to use. Here are some tips to help you out
- Place the pillow on your bed just like you want it to be when using it. The straight part of the pillow should go to the back, and the bumpy part in front.
- To get into the pillow, slip your hand under the pillow like you are hugging it. That would help support your chest.
- Lying on your side, adjust the pillow such that it supports your head in alignment with your neck and your back.
- Adjust the bumpy part of the pillow to wedge your tummy properly
- Put the leg end of the pillow in between your legs
- At this point, the other end and part of the pillow is right behind you to support your back.
Full body pregnancy pillows are designed to support your baby and body all through the night without falling off like the other types of pregnancy pillow.
The right pregnancy pillow and the right knowledge on how to use it can make a whole lot of difference during pregnancy. However, it all boils down to comfort. Listen to your body (and the baby inside you) and you will be fine.