When I fell pregnant with my fourth child, my sister-in-law very kindly gave me a Spine Align Body Pillow. Wow, you have got to get yourself one of these fantastic pillows if you are pregnant (but apparently it is also a unisex product used to promote a more comfortable sleeping posture, by keeping your spine aligned while you rest, so that it assists with back pain, sports injuries and operation healing)!
This invaluable pillow is 140cm x 40cm and provides support for your legs, neck, shoulders and back. The inner cushion is made from 100% pure cotton and filled with anti-allergenic synthetic hollow fibre. Big bonus! It comes with a 100% pure cotton fully washable pillowcase as well. Both the pillowcase and cushion inner are double stitched for extra strength, and I have seen how tough it is when my three kids jump on the bed and throw the huge cushion around, rather roughly 😞!
I checked out the Spine Align website, www.spinealign.co.za, and found the following information quite interesting:
Spine Align was originally started in 1984 by Dr Susan McCallum who offered the Original Lumbar Support cushion to her patients suffering from lower back pain. Over the years the demand and popularity of this cushion increased beyond Dr Susan’s practice and the company was formally established to satisfy this growing demand. The product range has been expanded to include a number of products that offer support and maintenance for good spinal care and integrity.
Dr Susan studied Chiropractic in the USA graduating in 1983. Since returning from America has been in practice in Cape Town with her brother Dr Roy McCallum (former Springbok rugby player) for the past 28 years. Whilst her primary focus remains on her practice and patient care Dr Susan is a member of Spine Align and oversees new product development and is on hand to offer advice and technical input.
They also say in their website that:
“Did you know that the average person spends approximately one third of their life in bed? Yet when it comes to where we sleep, we often do not consider how our mattress can affect our backs. No other piece of furniture in your house is used as often or affects your overall health more than your bed and your pillow.”
Well, I can definitely say that if it were not for this pillow, then I would only be sleeping a few hours at night due to pains in my shoulder, hip and thigh, and cramps everywhere else from lying on my left side on a flat bed all night. This pillow supports my left side incredibly well and helps me to get decent sleep (even if it is only two hours at a time, in between the toilet runs 😂). I would not function as well as I do the next day if I did not have this pillow.
For your information: if you are pregnant, do you know that you should only sleep on your left hand side once your tummy starts getting bigger, round about the third trimester. Here’s an explanation from Kids Health as to why this is:
Early in your pregnancy, try to get into the habit of sleeping on your side. Lying on your side with your knees bent is likely to be the most comfortable position as your pregnancy progresses. It also makes your heart’s job easier because it keeps the baby’s weight from applying pressure to the large vein (called the inferior vena cava) that carries blood back to the heart from your feet and legs.
Some doctors specifically recommend that pregnant women sleep on the left side. Because your liver is on the right side of your abdomen, lying on your left side helps keep the uterus off that large organ. Sleeping on the left side also improves circulation to the heart and allows for the best blood flow to the fetus, uterus, and kidneys.
I look forward to trying this pillow out when I breastfeed my baby boy in a few weeks time, as apparently the pillow can be used to assist with this as well. I will update you on how it works with this function.
Does anyone have any other ingenious uses for the body pillow or advice on how to get the most out of it during and after pregnancy?