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how to use pregnancy pillow for better sleep

How To Use a Pregnancy Pillow For Better Sleep

Pregnancy pillows can actually help just about anyone get a better night’s sleep, not just pregnant women.

In this post, we explain all the different types of pregnancy pillows (who knew there were so many?) and how to use them for a better night's sleep. If you have issues getting comfortable at night, a pregnancy pillow might be the perfect option for you.
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You’re significant other will be so excited to share the bed with you and your new pregnancy pillow!

Introduction To Sleeping While Pregnant

We’ve all heard the myths about sleeping while pregnant. Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who manages to get comfortable enough for some good shut eye, you’re woken up every couple of hours to pee anyway.

Turns out there are some specific rules when it comes to sleeping for pregnant women. Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended for obvious reasons, especially once your belly pops out and you begin to show. Sleeping on your back is another no-go, as it can lead to your abdomen resting on your intestines and major blood vessels, which can cause trouble breathing, back aches, and low blood pressure, all of which can be bad for baby.

The American Pregnancy Association (APA) recommends sleeping on your side, specifically your left side. Sleeping on your right side can put extra pressure on your liver, especially when your body is sacrificing room for your organs to accommodate your baby. Sleeping on your left will avoid this issue, and is also better for circulation, which means more blood flow for baby, too.

how to use pregnancy pillow for better sleep
A look at the PharMeDoc Full-Body Pregnancy Pillow

Pregnancy (and even postpartum) can lead to increased body temperature and night sweats through the night, so be sure to check out our list of Best Mattresses for Hot Flashes, Night Sweats, and Menopause.

Keep in mind, these pregnancy pillows aren’t solely for pregnant women. If you have back or knee issues and have trouble getting comfortable at night, you might want to try one of these pregnancy pillows.  You can also use them while sitting in a chair, sitting in bed, or even in the car during long drives.

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There Are 4 Different Types of Pregnancy Pillow:

  1. “C” shape. C-shaped pillows provide support and comfort for the head, neck, back, and pelvic area. They are awesome for relieving any pelvic tension and reducing water retention in the legs and ankles. These aren’t the best pillows for combo sleepers who like to switch positions or toss and turn a lot during the night, because you will need to adjust the pillow with you when you change sides. The C-shaped pillow is one of the best options for plus-sized women because the open sided design allows for the pillow to be used in a variety of ways and shapes.
  2. “U” shape. U-shaped pillows are great to use to support your whole body, meaning head, neck, back, belly, knees, and even ankles. It’s best for women who are most used to sleeping on their backs at night, or women who find themselves tossing and turning a lot at night since you don’t need to flip the shape with you or readjust the headrest part. Because of this, this pillow is a great option for both finicky sleepers and pregnancy. The U-shaped pillow is typically the most expensive pregnancy pillow you can get, because it’s so big. If you share a full or maybe even a queen size bed with your partner, you might want to look at the other options on this list so that it doesn’t take up the whole mattress.
  3. “J” shape. This one can also be referred to as a candy cane shaped pillow. It’s great for head, neck, and back support. The J-shape is slightly similar to the U-shaped pillow in how it’s used, only it’s smaller and missing the extra side. This makes it a better option for smaller beds, or for couples who like to cuddle. The missing side also makes this pillow less versatile when it comes to using it while sitting, so if you planned on using it for that, you might want to go for the U-shaped pillow instead.
  4. Wedge shape. The wedge shaped pillow allows you to prop your torso up while sitting or sleeping, or you can use them under a pregnant belly. These are nice for those that get too hot or two cold while they sleep, because you can place a heating pad or cooling pack between you and the wedge. Sleeping propped up can also help those who suffer from heartburn, pregnant or not. Wedge shaped pillows are small and easily portable, as well.
    Body pillow shape. These are basically normal pillows, just longer. They’re great to cuddle, but don’t provide much back or hip support. Body pillows are the more popular pillows for those who actually aren’t pregnant, but like to use them to sleep more comfortably. They also tend to be the most inexpensive type of pregnancy pillow.

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