Thursday, January 17, 2013

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

You'll get it soon!

I am currently working on the tedious task of video editing. I had a 4-D/3-D ultrasound this past Tuesday and I'm trying to shorten the recorded session into shorter video clips.  It's been a learning process as I had to find a way to convert the original video file into a new format, take the new format and find a decent video editing program, then learn how to use the editing program without previous training or urge to use the help button.  Luckily I'm pretty good a fiddling around and coming up with solutions.  However, now that I have everything I need to do what I want, it is taking a bit more time in the manipulation portion of the project.  So instead of making everyone wait a few more days for another post, which is going to be a totally awesome one I promise, I decided to take a short detour and offer up a review of the body pillows I have used during my pregnancy.  While I have never been a product reviewer, I figured I'd give it a whirl and see how it goes.  So here we go, my uber fun body pillow review!  Let's get going!
I wonder which way I'll go?
Most women who have ever been knocked up are probably pretty familiar with the myriad of body pillow designs out there in stores and in cyber land.  But how can one possibly know which one to get when they obviously cannot be tested before purchasing?  Hell, most of the ones I discovered on the internet were not even available to look at in local shops.  I basically found deciding on a proper pregnancy pillow to be guess work backed by a hefty price tag, which can be very dangerous.  While I cannot tell you about the pros and cons of all of the pillows out on the market today, I can give you an honest review for the two I have purchased and personally spent many intimate moments with.  So here goes.

First off, the Snoogle.

This is how it looks on the shelf
The Snoogle was the first body pillow I purchased, but before I get into the meat and potatoes of the review, a little background information on what I was looking for in a pillow.

I have a horrible problem with rolling over onto my back while sleeping.  Now this is not so much a problem normally, but starting in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy it can become an issue.  Once you start to gain all that baby belly, sleeping on the back can cause low blood pressure, can decrease circulation to your heart and your baby, and can also screw up your breathing and digestive system.  Basically, this position causes your newly added weight to crush upon your intestines and major blood vessels such as the aorta and vena cava.  In the simplest terms, you shouldn't do it.  However, if you are like myself, you have absolutely no control of what you do in your sleep.  I usually always fall asleep on my side and wake up on my back.  This is most likely due to old dance injuries acting up when lying in certain positions for too long.  Both my knees and hips have pretty good damage to them from my once being a career ballet dancer.  At night, whilst sleeping, they both tend to get achy if I've been in one position for too long.  Therefore my subconscious response to the pain is to roll over on my back to alleviate the pressure on my joints.  Well this was all fine and dandy pre-pregnancy, but not now!  So to make a long story short, I needed a body pillow that would prevent me from rolling onto my back, that's it.  Of course comfort was also key, but the prevention of back sleeping was the number one must-have result.  Okay, back to the Snoogle review.

I ran across the Snoogle initially at Babies "R" Us and liked the looks of it.  However, it's price tag left something to be desired.  $70?  Seriosuly?  After seeing the price I passed up buying the Snoogle on the first go around.  I was only in my first trimester, so I still had time to shop around.  About a month later I went maternity shopping at Destination Maternity, one of the very few maternity shops we have here locally.  Low and behold they had the Snoogle and it was only around $55.  Still not a great price, but doable considering I was quite anxious at this point to find a pillow.  So I went ahead, bit the bullet, and bought it.

To be totally honest, I absolutely loved it!  It had a great shape, was very supportive and comfortable, and it could be used it a ton of different positions.
Nice shape (fashionable cover sold separately)
So the pic above is it's basic shape.  I should note here that the cute little cover you see on this one is not standard.  It comes in plain white (at least that was all that was available here) and fashion covers, if you can find them, run extra.  Yes the cover slips off for easy cleaning or redecorating, either way it's a nice bonus.  As for the shape, don't let the simple shape fool you, this baby can do tricks!
So many options!
As you can see from this pic, the Snoogle can be twisted into quite a few awesome positions depending on how you need and want to use it.  I found it excellent for reading at night, supporting both my back from behind and my book from the front.  It also created a nice little nook in my reading position for my cats to snuggle in.  Genius!  In all reality, this position pic only shows the basics.  There are many other positions you can twist this sucker into if you are creative.
This is a great one!
Overall, the Snoogle is a great body pillow.  It is comfortable, adjustable, and easy to clean.  But the big question of the day...can it keep a gal from rolling onto her back?  The answer is yes and no.

Take notice of the standard sleeping positions.
Here is a pic of the standard Snoogle sleeping positions.  While it is comfy in every position, once you've decided on a particular position, it is not an easy task to change your mind.  You can roll your own body from side to side, but either it's going to be long portion behind your back or long portion supporting your belly.  I found this to be an issue.  For me, I really needed the back support so long portion behind the back was my preferred position.  I mentioned previously that I ache in my joints when in one position for too long.  This means I have to change which side I'm sleeping on several times a night to alleviate those pesky little cramps.  Unfortunately, there was no good way to adjust the pillow to be behind my back every time I needed to roll over.  The sucker is quite large and pretty heavy, so maneuvering it around while half asleep and under covers is just plain not going too happen!  This inability to change it's position caused major issues as I would still roll over onto my other side, but that would then lead to me not having any back support and subsequently rolling on over to my back at some point.  Basically, the pillow worked for me half the time, which is not enough to keep the panic factor down when I wake up and realize I've been once again sleeping on my back and possible cutting of circulation to my baby...ahhhhh!!!

Don't get me wrong, this is an awesome body pillow that I would highly recommend for pregnant women who don't have the same problem with the back sleeping that I do.  And it is such a great pillow just for everyday use, too.  My mom ended up buying herself one cause she liked mine so much.  Hell, I gave mine to my dad once I decided I needed a different pillow.  Now both my parents sleep in their bed with a Snoogle.  How's that for comfort!

Yep, that's my dad and his Snoogle...and Sage the cat.

While it wasn't absolutely 100% perfect for my needs, I would still give it 8.5 out of 10 stars.  I am basically deducting one point for not working for the back and half a point for price.  Although, if you shop around a bit, there may be better pricing out there as long as shipping doesn't get in the way.
Almost perfect, bu not quite.

Okay, onto to the next pillow!

Upon determining that the Snoogle just wasn't cutting the mustard in regards to the back sleeping problem, I went on a search for another pillow that might work for my needs.  This time I was bit more cautious regarding the shape of the pillow, for now I knew more of what I was looking for...something I could either adjust easily, or something that was equally supportive of my back regardless which side I chose to sleep on.

This was a tough search as once again there was no place locally that had any sort of decent body pillow inventory and it is very difficult to get a good idea of firmness and size via the internet, but what can you do, right?  So I scoured the internet and finally, remarkably, came across a pillow that looked perfect!

This looks promising!
As you can see, this pillow has complete back support no matter which side you lay on.  And look how big it is!  Doesn't it look like a dream?  One look at the Today's Mom pregnancy pillow and I had to have it!  I initially found and purchased it from Drugstore.com, as they had free shipping which was excellent cause this thing is a monster.  However, I just found it on Babyage.com which also has free shipping and $10 off your initial purchase if you sign up for their newsletter.  If after reading this you decide you must have it, you will want that $10 off as it runs $79.99!  Yep, this bad boy is quite pricey.  That almost stopped me from purchasing it, but I decided my healthy baby and peace of mind was worth a little extra expenditure.  So, once again I bit the bullet and bought the pillow.

When I received  it and opened the package, this pillow was even larger than I expected.  This could be an issue for some of you gals out there, especially if you have a bed mate who isn't covered in fur.  I am single so the fact that it took up over half of the bed, which is a full size at this point, wasn't a problem for me.  Sure my two cats had less space, but my comfort is just slightly more important right now.  This particular pillow also comes in four different colors. I chose the baby blue as in the pic above, and I love the color.  I find it quite soothing and much better than the plain white Snoogle I had.  Then again, for the price, I guess I could have bought myself a fashion cover for the Snoogle.  Anyway, it also comes in white, almond, and espresso just in case you were wondering.  Besides the availability of various colors without an extra price tag for them, the cover on this pillow easily zips off for cleaning.  Once again, this feature is very nice to have and a must for any body pillow as you will need to wash it once in awhile.

If you have one of these, you will need to clean!
Now we come down to the important part, comfort and ability to keep me off my back.  On the comfort side, at first I was a bit disappointed as it was quite a bit softer than my Snoogle.  I was so used to sleeping with it's firmness, that I almost didn't give the Today's Mom pillow a chance.  The main issue was in the head rest area.  It was a bit squishy for my tastes.  So I simply unzipped it, threw in a lumbar throw pillow from the couch, zipped it back up, and BAM, I was back in business!  I was very lucky to have an extra pillow the right shape and size to use in the head portion, but I don't think most people will think it's too squishy to begin with.  Like I said, I was coming off the Snoogle which has a very firm head rest, which some people have actually complained about.  It's really just a matter of taste in the end.  The important thing to remember is that with this pillow, if it is a problem, it can be easily solved with a bit of ingenuity.  I would recommend just a standard lumbar pillow if needed as they tend to be just the right size.  You don't have to worry about what it looks like since it will be zipped inside the cover.  Mostly you will just need to make sure it isn't too stiff and therefore swinging the problem in the other direction.
That's my kind of pillow!
After working out the initial head rest issue, the rest of the pillow was great.  It was just the right amount of squishy for cuddling up.  And it's shape?  Oh the shape was delightful!  The size and width of the side pillows were perfect for me.  They allowed me to place the pillow under my belly and between my thighs and at the same time supported my entire back.  If I rolled over, it was like rolling over into the exact same pillow on the other side, which completely took care of the problem I had with the Snoogle.  And when I rolled over, it was never onto my back.  The size of the side pillows made it virtually impossible to do so as they kind of hold you in a cozy pocket of sleeping heaven.

In the end, the Today's Mom pillow ended up solving my back sleeping problem.  As time has moved along, it has also gotten more and more comfortable.  The initial feeling of the pillow has changed quite a bit.  The more I use it the more it seems to conform to my own body and needs.  It also has helped eliminate most of the achy joint issues I previously had.  There is something about the angles it keeps my knees and hips at, some unique type of support, that has reduced the number of times I feel the urge to roll over due to cramping.  That is a blessing that was totally unexpected and much appreciated.

I will say one last thing about the Today's Mom pillow regarding it's size.  It is VERY large!  Since I use it under the blankets, at first I had to roll over the top of the pillow to get out of bed to pee during the night...and this happens more and more frequently now that I'm in my third trimester.  Needless to say, that was a bitch and a half, but doable.  Eventually, however, this problem lessened with use.  Now I can simply flip the side pillow upwards, much like bending it at the "elbow," and simply get out of bed without having to roll across the top of it.  So if you decide to get this pillow and the getting out of bed thing bothers you, trust me it will work itself out with time and use.

Overall, I would give the Today's Mom pillow 9.5 out of 10 stars.  I was going to take off a whole star for price.  However, even though it was pricier, because it solved my back sleeping problem and magically helped my achy joints it got an extra half star for surprise extra comfort.
Totally worth the money!
It may not have the ability to bend into a thousand different shapes, but that wasn't what I needed from it.  My review is based on my needs, so others reviews may be completely different.  Overall it was the perfect pillow for me.

I hope this review comes in handy for someone.  No I am not getting any royalties from the makers of these pillows to say anything.  I wish I was!  In the end, it's just me killing time and offering up a hopefully useful tidbit while you wait on the next blog entry.  I actually enjoyed doing this, though.  I may just end up trying my hand at some more reviews as time goes on.  I'm sure once I get this little girl out into the world there will be a thousand and one products that either impress me or piss me off.  We'll all just have to wait and see if I bring reviews into my blogs.  Definitely couldn't hurt to throw some variation into the mix!

Well that's it for now.  Until next time...don't forget to vote for me on Top Baby Blogs and join me on Facebook!

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