Unlike typical bed pillows, pregnancy pillows come in particular shapes and sizes to accommodate the needs of an expectant mother. The different types of pillows are often machine washable and have removable, washable outer covers. Pillow fillings include cotton, feather, memory foam, polyester or a combination of hypoallergenic materials. Pregnancy pillows are designed to benefit both the mother and the developing infant.
Maternity Pillow – The Secret to a Comfortable Pregnancy
Throughout pregnancy, a woman’s body continually changes. As the baby grows, the abdomen naturally enlarges. The additional weight, plus the shift in weight position, commonly cause discomfort in the neck, the abdomen, the hip and the lower back regions. The discomfort often disrupts an expectant mother’s sleep, as she attempts to find a comfortable position. Pregnancy pillows relieve the stress from these body areas while offering much-needed support.
Encourages Blood Circulation
The majority of pregnant women prefer sleeping in a side-lying position with support between the upper and lower legs. While lying on her side, the mother’s circulation continues flowing freely. The baby’s weight does not interfere with the expectant mother’s breathing, and the baby does not apply pressure to the major blood vessels running from the abdominal and chest regions to and from the heart. In this way, the growing infant continues receiving the oxygen and nutrient rich blood it needs.
Encourages Restful Sleep
A lack of sleep from discomfort is especially a problem during the latter phases of pregnancy. Without adequate sleep, expectant mothers tire easily and are not able to function during the day. As the specially designed pillows eliminate the problems which contribute to sleep disruption, pregnant women are better able to find a comfortable position and sleep peacefully.
During the day, a pregnancy pillow provides back support and can be used to elevate the legs. An expectant mom stays comfortable while resting on the bed in a sitting or lying position while watching TV or reading.
Whether having delivered the baby naturally or by cesarean section, a new mother’s body endures trauma, which leads to discomfort until healing takes place. Continued use of a pregnancy pillow during the day and at night provides the cushion and support needed to alleviate stress and discomfort.
Breastfeeding is highly encouraged to ensure the infant gets easily digested vital nutrients. Nursing additionally helps the uterus return to a pre-pregnancy condition more rapidly. Once the baby is born, many women continue using their pregnancy pillows as support for the infant when breastfeeding. The infant need merely be placed on the pillow in front of or beside mom.
Types of Pillows
The pillows are named for their particular wedge shape. The pillows are either triangular or rounded and crescent-shaped. They might be used during the day as a backrest or under the legs for elevation. At night the narrow end of the pillow tucked under the abdomen provides support. An additional pillow might be used under the head for added elevation or between the legs.
The pillows are similar to regular pillows only longer in length. The length of the pillow makes it easy to use simultaneously for abdominal support and leg elevation. When placed between the legs, the pillow alleviates the strain from the hip and lower back while encouraging blood flow in the lower legs.
Total body pillows come in C, J or U shapes and are typically five to six feet in length or longer. The top of the pillows are either square similar to a conventional pillow or rounded. The expectant mother need merely position herself in a side-lying position inside of the pillow’s curves at bedtime. The lower extension of one side of the pillow should also be tucked between the legs. In this position, the pillow supports the head and neck, the back, the hip and the abdomen. During the day, the pillow is ideal for providing back and leg support while sitting up.
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