When Should You Start Using a Pregnancy Pillow: Health Benefits
Pregnant and wondering when you should start using a pregnancy pillow? Or if you even need one in the first place? You’re not alone, this is one of the most common questions we get when it comes to pregnancy.
Before jumping to the when, first we’ll start with the why?
Why should you use a pregnancy pillow?
1. Recommended Side-Sleeping
Firstly, the most important thing to note is the recommended side sleeping position. Side-sleeping is best for your bub - and you. Pregnant women are encouraged to sleep on their side to avoid stillbirth as research has revealed it can halve the risk of a late-pregnancy stillbirth. Doctors recommend side-sleeping throughout pregnancy, to promote optimal blood and oxygen flow to your baby. As, back sleeping can place pressure on blood vessels, and cause discomfort in your pelvis, legs and back.
2. General Discomfort
Only mums know the discomfort of sleeping during pregnancy. Lower back pain, hip discomfort and midnight kicks from your mini-me. Using a pregnancy pillow is a foolproof way to relieve some unwanted discomfort whether that be a Butterfly Pillow, wedge pillow or full body pillow.
3. Sleep Deprivation
Lastly, due to the mechanical and hormonal changes that develop throughout your pregnancy, women are more likely to develop sleep disturbances like obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome and gastrointestinal reflux disorder. This is why we recommend using a pregnancy pillow, as it makes getting to sleep a whole lot easier, so you can enjoy your deepest, most blissful rest.
Why is sleep so important during pregnancy?
When a woman becomes pregnant, there are a vast amount of physical and emotional changes that occur, with sleep or lack thereof being the most commonly reported.
The Sleep Foundation reiterates the importance of sleep as it plays a major role in memory, learning, appetite, mood, and decision-making - all very important factors when it comes to creating new life.
Chronic sleep deprivation can also impact the immune system, with research suggesting that this may be part of the reason why a lack of sleep is associated with an increased risk of maternal, delivery, and infant outcomes.
When should you start using a pregnancy pillow?
You’ll probably find many different recommendations using Dr Google, however, there is no right or wrong answer to the exact time that you should start using a pregnancy pillow. It all comes down to your personal experience. If you begin feeling uncomfortable sleeping or are finding yourself rolling onto your back during the night, it usually indicates the need for a pregnancy pillow. Many mums choose to get a pillow early on in their pregnancy to get into a good habit of side sleeping which is why the most popular style of pillow is one that supports the side sleeping position.
What to look for in a pregnancy pillow?
Now that we've covered all the bases, let's help you find the right pillow.
- Size: Pillows can range from small and compact, no bigger than your average pillow. All the way to large body pillows that wrap around your entire body. So long as it supports side sleeping the preference is all up to you, depending on the space.
- Shape: Again, all about preference. There’s the C shape that curves around your body and the U shape that acts as a full body pillow that wraps around your body and tucks under feet, legs, knees and head. However, if you prefer to use your own pillow, the smaller, more compact design like the wedge pillow would be the better option for you as it tucks under your belly and does not take up a lot of room in the bed, and is easier for travel and storage.
- Cost: The prices can vary from $50 to $200, depending on the quality and location of manufacturing. Again this is up to personal preference but to help you out a little we've listed our top 3 pregnancy pillows for 2021.
1. The Butterfly Maternity Pillow - $97 inc shipping
After winning the Product Review 2021 Best Body Pillow award, we are obviously going to recommend the Butterfly Maternity Pillow as the top pick. The Butterfly Maternity Pillow is designed to support the recommended side sleeping position, ensuring healthy rest and comfort throughout your pregnancy.
Its unique wing design provides a supportive wedge for your baby bump, back, hips and knees - ensuring 100% comfort at all times, while also acting as a breastfeeding support after bub is born.
- 100% Australian owned and made
- Bump and back support
- Breastfeeding support
- Easy care - removable cover and machine washable
- Compact and flexible
- Risk free 30 night trial
2. The Cuddle Up Body Pillow - $99
Australian made comfort body pillow specially designed to comfort & support mothers during pregnancy, and after the baby is born. The flexible design means that the perfect position can be achieved to relieve individual aches and pain. No need for multiple pillows. Suits all body sizes and shapes.
3. The Woolland Organic Pregnancy Pillow - $277.87
The full body shape of the pillow allows it to easily contour to the body while providing relief for the lower back, legs and belly. 100% Natural wool maternity pregnancy pillow, designed to deliver healthy and deep sleep and to provide the best support.
The Leacho Snoogle takes the place of multiple pillows to support hips, back, neck, and tummy. The pillow gives you full body comfort and support without the extra body heat. Snoogle Original has a sham-style removable cover that is machine washable.
5. 4Baby Pregnancy Wedge Grey - $24.95
The 4Baby Pregnancy Wedge is Designed to support your tummy when resting or sleeping, its small size allows you to easily reposition yourself in bed for maximum comfort. The wedge also comes with a removable cover for easy cleaning.
Check out our guide on How to Sleep When You're Pregnant for more tips and tricks on sleeping plus the best positions for your body.
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