Women's Health

Pillow Supported Positioning for Pregnancy

December 13, 2020

Pillow Supported Positioning for Pregnancy

During pregnancy you may find it difficult to rest and find a position of comfort due to back, hip, belly, or pelvic pain. In this video, you will be shown positioning techniques and use of pillows to improve your quality of sleep, decrease pain and pressure, and support your hips, pelvis, back, and belly.

Lying on Your Side for Pregnancy

It is recommended to lie on your left side while sleeping on your side, or if you are a back sleeper use pillows or a wedge cushion instead of lying flat for periods of time longer than 5 minutes. It is important to have adequate support through the pelvis and abdomen if experiencing pelvic, hip, or low back pain.

When lying on your side, position your hips and legs so that they are even and your spine is in a neutral position. A pillow or multiple pillows should be placed between the knees, feet, and thighs to allow the top leg to be level with your pelvis and mirror the bottom leg.

Supporting Other Body Parts

To support your neck, you can use a rolled washcloth to support under the neck adjusting width as needed for comfort. To support your belly and growing uterus, you can use a rolled washcloth or pillow under your abdomen. If you need support through your spine, place a rolled towel or pillow between your ribs and hips.

Other Discomfort While Sleeping

To decrease arm and shoulder discomfort in side lying, you can tuck pillows behind your back, hips, and legs to off load pressure of the shoulder and arm, and also roll back slightly onto the pillows. If you feel back pain while sleeping, elevate your head and trunk with pillows or a wedge under your head, neck, and spine. Placing pillows under your knees can relieve pressure in your lower back. You can also place pillows under your elbows if needing support through your arms and shoulders.

Please consult your provider for personalized medical advice. Reach out to a CHI Health Women’s Health provider for more information.

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