Overall: C+ … worth a try if you have a king size bed. Or a small dog.
For those of you who have been through the second (and the first, and as I’ve heard, especially the third) trimester of pregnancy, you may have experienced some rather uncomfortable nights. I know that I have, as early as about eight weeks. At first, I had many anxiety dreams that would wake me early in the morning and not allow me to get back to sleep. There’s nothing to be done about that, unfortunately. More recently, my belly has been expanding to the point that I am uncomfortable in my customary face-down, stomach-flat-to-the-sheets, knocked-out position.
Frankly, this pretty much sucks. I battled insomnia all through my high school and college years, but in the past few years, I’ve settled into a comfortable routine of getting in bed around 10 PM, reading for thirty minutes or so, and falling into a blissful, deep sleep for eight hours (and ten on the weekends, if allowed the time). I know, I know, all of this is about to change, and so on and so forth. But right now, I’m suffering. I teach, advise, attend meetings, grade papers, answer emails, serve on committees, and generally have to be “on” all day. Combined with growing an organ and a human, my inherited gene for tiredness has overwhelmed me since the uncomfortable nights of insomnia have returned. Toss here, turn there, get up to pee, accidentally wake the twenty pound dog that sleeps under the covers, kick my husband, listen to the dog pace and circle to find the perfect spot, turn back over — all at three in the morning. I usually don’t get back to sleep until six, and then the horrible birds start to sing their morning songs, and it’s just about time to wake up.
Cue the pregnancy pillow! On my many searches and browses for pregnancy-related products on Amazon, I kept seeing the Leacho Back ‘N Belly Body Pillow pop up. The reviews are many (394) and for the most part, positive (four stars). On the positive side, the pillow does indeed provide support to the back, and I can see how it would provide support to the belly as it grows. My belly is as yet too small to rest upon the curves of the pillow, but I assume it will get there in time. It’s a good pillow to hug, and to put between your knees, which definitely helps the dull back pain that comes with expanding ligaments and kicks to the hip. It also feels pleasantly like a hiding place, or a cocoon of blankets. (This is comforting to me, since I used to cocoon my head and neck in blankets when I was a kid in order to protect myself from the vampires my father told me about. This has scarred me permanently.)
The complaint that comes up a bunch of times on Amazon, which I feel is totally legit, is that it’s a giant frickin pillow. It’s about the size of two big body pillows hooked together at the top (it looks smaller in the picture on line). As you can see, it swallows my diminutive puggle. It also swallows me, and it certainly would not be acceptable for anything but a king size bed. My husband says it snakes its way over to him at night and infringes upon his bed space. In a queen size bed, there would be no way to escape it. I wouldn’t even try it in anything smaller.
As for my experience, I slept on it for about a week. I really worked with it. I slept with it as my main pillow, with my regular pillow on top of it, right side up, upside down, with both sides between my legs, and with one side between my legs. I definitely saw some positives, as mentioned above, but on Saturday night, I got totally fed up with it and kicked it out of bed during one of my runs to the bathroom at two in the morning. I think I may go back to it as I progress in size, since I will need something to support my ever-expanding womb. For now, I’m sticking with my regular old latex pillow, and I’ve been having a good run of sleep at night for the past few days. I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping that it stays that way.
I know I’ll use this sucker for something. I like to be swaddled, propped, and padded. This might just be the perfect recovery-from-pregnancy pillow. I know it makes one hell of a reading support while in bed, and I haven’t tried it, but it might be just the thing to make me comfortable on the sofa while I watch television. I spent sixty bucks on it, so I’m going to try everything I can think of, perhaps even re-engineering it with my handy-dandy sewing machine. For all of you out there, I would recommend you not spend your money on it. Buy a cheap body pillow from Costco, or try one of the other Leacho products.
And try to get some sleep.