During the first trimester of pregnancy, it is common for moms-to-be to wonder what all the fuss is about getting comfy for sleep. Aside from the constant need to visit the bathroom and an equally constant desire to nap during the day, all is pretty much business as usual upon retiring for bed at night.
But then the second trimester begins. All of a sudden, everything is growing and shifting and rearranging itself inside. Pressure is felt where there has never been any pressure before. By the time the third trimester arrives, with its growing belly and spreading hips, "sleep" is what happens in the few minutes between bathroom trips, position changes, back pain, heartburn and other well-documented pregnancy-related nighttime discomforts.
Thankfully, there are some pregnancy helps, such as a pregnancy pillow, that can ease these discomforts in a way that requires no medication or supplements and is totally safe for both you and your baby. In this article, learn more about the use of a maternity pillow (also called a pregnancy pillow or maternity mattress) to help ease stress on the body and improve rest, naps and sleep.
All but one maternity pillow currently available for use by pregnant women requires side sleep. While this can be a workable alternative to getting no sleep at all, it isn't ideal, especially when it is recommended to sleep only on the left side each night, all night long.
However, remaining in one single position for an extended number of hours can cause the body to experience some issues with poor circulation and low blood pressure that can actually put additional stress on both Mom and baby. It can also cause unnecessary muscle soreness on one side and, over time, lingering lower back aches.
Use of a maternity or pregnancy pillow can certainly ease some of this soreness and can also help to keep the chest open and support the pelvis and uterus during sleep. But with most such pillows, it is necessary to completely reposition the pillow as well when turning over from one side to the other.
With most pillows, there is also a need for a second pillow placed behind the back to guard against rolling onto the back during sleep, and this second pillow must also be repositioned during a change from one side to another. This can make sleeping problematic, as every time there is a need to shift position, two pillows must also be shifted and repositioned.
Finally, with nearly all pregnancy pillows, there is no way to sleep safely on the stomach, which for many expectant moms can mean getting little to no sleep at all, especially if they have formerly been dedicated stomach sleepers.
Pregnancy Pillow Positions
There is one thing that every mom-to-be will hear over and over during pregnancy, which is that they won't get any sleep at all after their baby is born. But in fact, for many moms-to-be, this issue begins much earlier than after their baby's arrival.
For former back sleepers, this lack of sleep often starts right away, since they immediately have to begin learning to sleep comfortably in any other position but on their back. This, of course, is necessary for the health and safe of the mom and the baby and for this reason it is not optional.
As well, even during the first trimester, normal hormonal changes that take place after conception can cause sleep interruptions. Finally, by the third trimester, a noticeable "baby bump" will be making its presence felt in all kinds of ways, and especially while laying down and attempting to nap or sleep.
The truth is, there is no lasting comfort to be found when there is a baby growing inside a human body. There is excitement, anticipation, bonding, love - but physical comfort is often in short supply as the body changes and shifts to accommodate the growing infant. This is particularly true during napping and sleeping.
For many expectant moms, back pain during pregnancy can worsen significantly at night, and this pain is also a cause of constant shifting around in bed to try to get comfortable. Here, using a maternity pillow can ease the pain somewhat, as can finding one or more sleep positions that seem more conducive to productive, pain-free rest.
One less well known reason why so many women have back pain during pregnancy is that the rib cage becomes uncomfortably positioned and sometimes compressed from side sleeping positions. This is particularly true if there is no body pillow like a pregnancy pillow that can keep the rib cage and chest open during side sleep. The pain in the rib cage and abdominal area can radiate to the back and before long, everything hurts.
Sleeping On Your Stomach While Pregnant
In the past, ob-gyns and other health practitioners recommended only sleeping on the left side for safety of the mom and the baby. But this all changed when the Cozy Bump became available.
The Cozy Bump is the first pregnancy pillow that is endorsed by both ob-gyns and chiropractic practitioners for use by expectant moms. But even more significantly, the Cozy Bump is endorsed for both side sleep (on either side) AND for stomach sleep.
As the only maternity pillow of its kind available today, the Cozy Bump is the sole pillow recommended for moms-to-be who want to sleep on their stomachs. As a side benefit, the Cozy Bump can also be safely used for pregnancy massage or chiropractic adjustments, both of which can also ease pregnancy pain.
The Cozy Bump is a full 6-feet in length, making it a mattress as well as a pillow. But it is as lightweight as any air mattress, so there is no strain to move it from one room to another. The material used to make the Cozy Bump is the same material used to make infant inflatables and baby food storage containers, so it is utterly safe.
The Cozy Bump provides full support to the whole body in a very unique way. There are actually two separate inflatable air chambers: the mattress is one and the raised "bump" is the other. This means each can be adjusted independently of each other for softness or firmness and to ease back pain during pregnancy. Many moms-to-be find that they need to add additional air to the bump as their pregnancy progresses so they can continue to safely lay on their stomach for massage and sleep.
It is important to understand what makes the Cozy Bump so different than any other maternity pillow. It is the bump, which offers full support to the uterus and belly during stomach sleep or pregnancy massage. The belly is not permitted to hang down unsupported, which is dangerous. The inflatable bump cushions and supports the belly from every side and every angle, making it completely safe to use in this way.
It can be helpful to view this infographic to visualize exactly how the bump supports the belly. For many moms-to-be, it is hearing from other expectant moms that matters most, and these videos offer real-life mom reviews in their own words and doctor reviews as well.