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improving sleep during pregnancy

Having Problems Sleeping? You're Not Alone.

One of the biggest challenges for pregnant women around the world, especially during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, is to sleep through the whole night. If you are pregnant, your doctor may advise you to sleep on your side for optimal blood flow for both the mother and the baby. Most pregnant women suffer during the night from back and hip pain and even pain in the pelvic area and legs. Many surround themselves with pillows and cushions they have around the house to find some relief, but often that’s not enough. One of the problems is that normal pillows or cushions are quite bulky and cause overheating; they move around and their size is usually not adequate, causing an uncomfortable and sweaty sleeping experience.

The Importance of Good Posture

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful experiences in a woman’s life but it also creates certain problems, including long and restless nights for the mothers to be. Due to the transformation that your body experiences, it is important you adjust your posture while sleeping, to avoid discomfort and any health risks to the baby.

According to expert gynecologists, pregnant women can usually sleep in most positions up to the fifth month of pregnancy. This is possible because until the fifth month of pregnancy the uterus is still protected by the bones of the pelvis, however, after that time it is advisable to sleep on the left side, since the inferior vena cava is located on the right side.

What is the Vena Cava?

This vein is responsible for the blood flow between the legs and heart, that’s why if a woman sleeps on her right side, it can compress the circulation which can then cause the mother to have swollen legs and can even affect the baby’s oxygenation.

The Changing Body During Pregnancy

It is important to know that when the uterus begins to grow, it usually grows so much that it displaces the intestines and makes the stomach feel compressed, that’s why pregnant women eat less, but more often. During the last four or five weeks of gestation it is better to sit up using a pillow, to be in a semi-upright-position, this can alleviate back pains and improve breathing.

According to experts, pain in the lower back will increase over time during pregnancy, because throughout pregnancy the hip bone begins to loosen and open, preparing for labour. At this stage, the spine moves slightly backwards, because it needs to be slightly tilted to carry the increased weight, this can be particularly painful for women who are overweight as the added load during pregnancy can cause severe back and knee pain.

How a Pregnancy Pillow Can Help

One of the most effective ways to aide in improving sleeping quality and reduce musculoskeletal pain during this time is to use a pregnancy or maternity pillow. Pregnancy pillows are long, comfortable and anti-allergenic and can be used throughout pregnancy for different functions: to place yourself in a semi-upright position, under the back to reduce pressure on your spine and lower back, under the belly or between the knees, etc. The filling contained inside these specialised Pregnancy Pillows may be softer or firmer, as preferred, these pillows tend to some in several different shapes, amongst the most common ones are the shapes of the letters (U, L or V).

Women tend to regard pregnancy as one of the most beautiful experiences in their life, but it can also be one of the most stressful. Therefore, it is important to have the appropriate accessories and knowledge to guarantee a good night's sleep, a task that can usually seem very complicated to achieve especially in the last months of pregnancy. That’s why mums to be are advised to acquire a good quality pregnancy pillow that can suit all their needs and keep them comfortable and well rested during this important stage. We recommend considering certain aspects, such as the design, the quality of the materials used, and the support the pillow will offer.


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