The maternity pillow is a specially designed form of the body pillow, more akin to the hugging pillows used in some other countries, even though the basic design is like that of the Western / European bolster pillow. hugging pillow while sleeping hugging pillow while sleeping
The maternity pillow can be contoured to the shape of a pregnant woman and alleviate the aches and pains in the back, legs and hips that can prevent the mother relaxing and sleeping well during the second or third trimester.
As the baby and uterus grow the back and pelvic area has to support more weight and pressure, the back is just a susceptible to strain as the non-pregnant woman carrying a weight around all day.
The pelvis however is made up of several bones, held tightly together under normal circumstances, so that it doesn’t move, but during pregnancy it is affected by the pregnancy hormones estrogen and relaxin. These two hormones make the tough, pliable ligaments that connect your bones more stretchy in anticipation of childbirth, however this does now allow movement in the hips, which can be a cause of pain that a pregnancy pillow / maternity pillow can help alleviate.
This moderate hip pain is quite normal, however if the pain is severe and you have difficulty walking please consult your doctor or midwife. If the pain is severe it could be pelvic arthropathy, you will feel pain mostly around you pubic area spreading out to the groin and the front and back of the thighs. Treatment may be physiotherapy, exercises or support garments or a combination, treatment can also help ensure a trouble free birth and recovery afterwards.
The great thing about a maternity pillow is that they can be used during the day to help you get comfortable on the sofa or floor for reading and watching television too. A range of pillowcases should be available for most types of body pillow, so you can get something to match your requirements for both color and material. Some designs of maternity pillow can also be used to help you get more comfortable during nursing by giving your back and arms extra support when holding your baby.
Body pillows are also great comforters if you find yourself alone at any time, there some are even designed with arms that you can cuddle up to or rest against for reading in bed etc., you’ll see these designs most likely advertised as boyfriend pillows or husband pillows
If you want the chance of a good night’s sleep in the later stages of pregnancy, and you will do believe me, investing in a maternity body pillow is probably one of the best things you can do, it was some of the best money I’ve ever spent!