- Women's Health»
Pregnant and Can't Sleep? Get the Total Body Pillow
Pregnant women usually find they can't sleep. Once you get to a certain size, it is very difficult to get comfortable enough in the bed to accommodate the baby bump, and you end up with back ache, leg cramps and hip pain.
Obviously it is not advisable to take any sleeping pills during pregnancy, but one solution that works is to get a body pillow (also known as a Maternity Support Pillow), which helps you get more comfortable in the bed and supports your back and body.
These pillows are designed especially for pregnant women and come in a giant curled shape designed to support the entire body, and when I discovered the body pillow, it make a huge difference to my ability to sleep.
I used it around my back and tucked the curled end between my legs to prevent back ache (having the end of the pillow between your legs opens the pelvic bones and eases the pressure on your back). It also works with the long bit around your stomach with the curled end between the knees to relieve pressure on the hips. Best of all, unlike normal pillows, the body pillow doesn't move around when you sleep or fall off the bed.
The pillows tend to be very firm indeed - this is great for holding your knees apart because it doesn't squash flat, but you might be better off using a normal pillow under the head and move the top part of the body pillow out of the way. Taller women would definitely be advised to use a normal pillow under the head to allow the body pillow to support their back and legs.
If you use the pillow in the centre of the bed (because you sleep facing outwards), you might find that contact with your husband is cut off - but by this point he'll be so grateful you are getting some sleep at last, he won't mind a bit. The pillow is pretty big but if you have been trying to get comfortable in your bed with umpteen standard pillows, you will find there is more room in the bed once you have the total body pillow. You can also use it to support your body while lying on the sofa watching TV or even when trying to sit upright in bed.
You will need to buy the body pillow case separately. I found it easier to make my own pillow cases (easy to sew from a length of old soft sheets - I would recommend using velcro along the length to make it easy to remove and attach), but you can buy ready made pillow cases if you want.
If you don't want the standard body pillows for pregnant women, you should be able to get pillows made with memory foam that adjust to the shape of your body..
If you are pregnant and can't sleep, the total body pillow is pretty much the best non-medical relief you can get.