DO I REALLY NEED A PREGNANCY PILLOW?
Yes, I have found through my 2 pregnancies that some sort of pregnancy pillow is ideal! Of course you could simply use the extra pillows you have lying around your house.
The point is that you do need some sort of support:
for your ever growing belly to keep you from sleeping on your side to keep your legs supported to help your hips and back
During your first 4 months or so you can pretty much continue sleeping as you usually do on your stomach, back, or sides. The first pregnant sleeper to start feeling rather uncomfortable is the stomach sleeper because of her growing belly. Sorry all you belly sleepers!
Now wait just a minute you back sleepers (myself included)! Don’t start celebrating just yet. Your uncomfortable sleep will begin to take place around the 4th to 5th month of pregnancy. Here is when the pregnancy pillow becomes a key piece of kit to own.
From the 5th month on you are NOT TO LIE ON YOUR BACK because THERE IS DANGER of cutting off the blood flow from your lower body back to your heart. If you are lying on your back, the weight of your baby in the uterus presses on veins that can reduce circulation both to you and to your baby.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF I CONTINUE TO SLEEP ON MY BACK?
Besides circulation reduction there is also the possibility of feeling lightheaded or numb. There is also pressure placed on your back and intestines which can lead to some real discomfort.
WHAT IF I ACCIDENTALLY ROLL ONTO MY BACK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT?
This happened to me PLENTY during my pregnancy. I would wake up and freak out wondering if i’d just damaged my baby. DO NOT WORRY. If you find yourself on your back simply roll over on your left side and fall back to sleep. Better yet, get your bedmate to keep checking on you to make sure you are not on your back.
I also found that placing a pillow BEHIND me helped me not to roll over onto my back. If I did roll over I was still at about a 45 degree angle and not causing an interruption to blood flow.
WHAT IS THE BEST POSITION THEN?
The BEST possible sleeping position for a pregnant woman is to sleep on her LEFT SIDE. With the pregnancy pillow positioned between your knees and arms (as if snuggling with a very large teddy bear) you will allow for blood flow to both you and your baby. In addition, there is research to suggest that it is great for improved kidney flow which will in turn reduce swelling in your limbs. Because your liver is on the right side of your body, sleeping on your left will also keep the pressure off your liver.
OTHER BENEFITS OF THE PREGNANCY PILLOW?
As your belly grows and you are lying on your left side to sleep, you will notice that your back and hips will start to ache if your belly and knees are not supported by a pregnancy pillow of some sort.
Your big tummy will want to rest on the mattress of your bed and in the process will start to pull your back muscles out of wack. What you want is to have your ever expanding belly supported so as to not throw out your back or hips or other important body parts.
SO....if:sleep is precious to you you want to wake up without feeling soreyou want to keep a good blood flow to baby
You are in the market for a pregnancy pillow.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE PREGNANCY PILLOW?
Well as mentioned earlier, the use of 2 or 3 pillows you have lying around the house do a pretty decent job. The bonus of having a Pregnancy Pillow is that you are only having to worry about one pillow vs 3 or 4 pillows for a good nights sleep. It may get a little tricky to keep adjusting so many randomly placed pillows. Simplicity is sometimes the key!
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