It’s been a bit quiet on the blog this week. All my energy was focused on dragging my very pregnant butt through the last few days of work. But after a lovely cake-filled send off I’m ecstatic to report that I’m on maternity leave!!! Such a great feeling. No more work for ten whole months, and another milestone crossed off on the journey to meet our new little member of the family. My homebirth kit was delivered today too…talk about things getting real. With maternity leave comes (hopefully) more time to write in here, at least until the little guy decides to put in an appearance. So I better grasp the opportunity!
My blog has become something of a confession booth for me. First I was talking openly about my affair at 25 weeks pregnant, and now I’m going to tell you all about the other man in my bed.
Allow me to introduce you to…Pierre, my body pillow.
blissed out woman pictured isn’t me, this is a link to the pillow I bought :: Amazon Associates – not sponsored
This time though, I think I’ve nailed the whole sleep thing. It’s made a massive difference to how I’ve felt and how well I’ve kept through the whole pregnancy. And I thank Pierre for that.
Why I bought a pregnancy pillow
Pierre was a bit of an impulse buy, as I was sceptical he’d be any better than my usual cocoon of cushions, especially when I saw the price of a lot of pregnancy and body pillows. But I searched around and found some cheaper options with good reviews (I’ve linked above to the model I bought), and thought it was worth a punt. We’d only just got our four year old to sleep through the night, so I thought I deserved at least a few months of proper rest before we started the sleepless nights all over again.
I remember when Pierre arrived, I was shocked at how big he was. He really is like having another person in bed with us at night, which is why we felt we had to give him a name. Thankfully, we have a huge bed so Hubs hasn’t been relegated to the spare room, but I think some reviews did mention poor partners being shunted to the sofa to make room!
Honestly though? If I had to choose between Hubs and Pierre at the moment, Hubs would be on the sofa. And I’d only feel a smidge of guilt. Because even now at 37 weeks, the only time I wake during the night is for the obligatory pregnant-lady-bathroom-trip. Then I slip back into Pierre’s arms (Hubs says it’s Pierre’s legs, but I’m not really down with picturing myself nestled into a gigantic crotch), and I’m straight back to sleep.
How I use my pregnancy pillow
I had to do some research, as I wasn’t sure what the best way to sleep was to avoid hurting my back, and I couldn’t quite figure out what to do with my arms! But if my fling with Pierre has made you think that maybe you could do with a new man in your bed, let me share how I get comfortable.
- Firstly, I lie on my side. I know that sounds obvious, as there isn’t really any other way to lie once your bump grows, but lying on your side (specifically your left) is best for the blood flow around your body when you’re pregnant.
- I rest my head on the curve of the u-shape (or as Hubs like to point out, Pierre’s crotch). You’re meant to have your shoulder against the pillow and your head on top, like the girl in the picture. But I’ve put a light pillow in the gap to create a slope as I found it a bit too much of a step.
- I wrap my arms around the arm/leg of the pillow and hug it to my chest. One over and one under, otherwise it was a bit like that awkward issue when you spoon someone and don’t know what to do with your bottom arm. Apparently hugging it is good for your upper back too.
- I keep my legs fairly straight (not at right angles like the woman in the picture), but stick the pillow leg/arm between my knees to ease the pressure. Another way is to keep my lower leg straight and just have my top leg at an almost right angle resting on the pillow. I find too much of an angle puts pressure on my lower back.
- I tuck the other pillow arm/leg snug into my back. It stops me rolling back and feels so supportive.
- When it comes to my bump, I actually don’t do anything. I find all the rest of my positioning takes any pressure off it. I do read that women wedge some of the pillow under their bump, but maybe my pillow is too firm or large, but it doesn’t fit under my bump. If I try to wedge it underneath, it forces me on to my back a little and I don’t like it. But different strokes for different folks…or different lumps for different bumps?!
I’m not a big one for gadgets and gimmicks, and so Pierre has been a pleasant surprise. I would definitely recommend getting a pregnancy pillow if you’re having trouble getting comfortable, as a crappy night’s sleep can make all the other little things seem so much worse. Plus, there has been a study which implies that if you have too little sleep you can end up with a longer labour and the increased risk of complications or interventions which comes with that.
Which reminds me…naps are like a maternity leave must, right? I’m going to make sure I treat myself to a few of those!