Weighted blanket and pregnancy: you may be wondering if it is safe to use a weighted blanket while pregnant. Are weighted blankets good for pregnancy?
The short answer: weighted blankets are safe and can be used also while pregnant.
Getting a good night of rest is an essential need for everybody, and during pregnancy, it becomes even more important, both for the mother and her child. However, getting this proper rest is often easier said than done, as it is a very common experience to have sleep difficulties during pregnancy.
Could a weighted blanket for pregnancy help you to finally get that good night’s sleep? Read on!
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using a weighted blanket while pregnant: The benefits
Knowing how important it is to get proper sleep while pregnant, you may be wondering whether using a weighted blanket while pregnant could assist you in getting better sleep and ease any discomforts you experience at bedtime.
A weighted blanket is much heavier than a usual blanket or quilt, and the gentle pressure that it applies uniformly to your body, often known as deep touch pressure, can have many beneficial health effects.
Here are just a few of them:
Stress and Anxiety Reduction
It should come as no surprise that pregnancy can be a very stressful and emotional period, with many worries and fears weighing you down.
Although it is normal to experience these stresses during pregnancy, it can be a very difficult thing to deal with. But, a weighted blanket could be of great help to you during this time.
Weighted blankets for anxiety are known to have a great effect on reducing anxiety and stress.
This is because the therapeutic deep touch pressure, which is also provided by being hugged or cuddled, causes the brain to release chemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin, that relax the nervous system and promote a feeling of calmness and happiness.
This is also reducing the production of the stress hormone, cortisol.
When you settle down to sleep at the end of each day, the soothing feeling of a weighted blanket will help you to clear your mind of all of the worries that may bother you during your pregnancy.
Feeling less stressed out at bedtime will help you to fall asleep and rest easier. Additionally, weighted blankets can also be used anytime during the day, when you are just relaxing and want to feel more comfortable.
In addition to its stress and anxiety-reducing effects, studies have shown that people who use a weighted blanket often report being able to fall asleep faster, have a better quality of sleep, feel more rested in the morning, and suffer from fewer disturbances during the night which may wake them up.
The calming and relaxing effect of a weighted duvet surely helps with improving your sleep, and another reason that it may be beneficial is that the hug-like sensation of the weighted blanket also helps to stimulate the production of melatonin, a very important chemical for your sleep.
Melatonin, which regulates sleep and is a crucial component of your body’s internal clock, is usually produced at lower levels during the daytime and higher levels when it gets dark. If its usual levels are disrupted, however, such as because of stress or by looking at bright screens for too long late in the day, it can be very damaging to your sleep.
Melatonin is very important during pregnancy, as it is believed to be essential for the healthy development and protection of the baby as it grows, and of course, since you need more sleep while you are pregnant, having healthy melatonin levels becomes extra important so you can get better rest.
A weighted blanket will help to keep this sleep-regulating hormone at a healthy level and ensure that you get a better quality sleep every night during your pregnancy.
Ease Discomfort and Pain
It is very common to experience various discomforts during pregnancy, and these can become even more noticeable and bothersome when you try to settle down to sleep.
However, there is reason to believe that using a weighted blanket for pain relief can assist in easing these discomforts that keep you awake at night. Because the deep pressure stimulation of a weighted blanket can reduce the severity of pain.
Using a weighted blanket when pregnant can help to increase the levels of mood-boosting hormones like dopamine and serotonin and decrease the levels of cortisol.
This is important, as mood-boosting hormones have an important role in regulating pain, and high cortisol levels are linked to having a higher sensitivity to pain.
Through the mood-boosting and stress-reducing effects of Deep touch pressure, a weighted blanket can help to reduce the severity of any aches, pains, and discomforts that you experience at night and allow you to sleep with fewer disturbances.
Is it safe to use a Weighted Blanket during Pregnancy?
Another important question you have likely been thinking of is whether weighted blankets are safe for use during pregnancy. To put it shortly, weighted blankets are safe to use and there are no risks associated with using them during pregnancy.
One specific worry you may have is that the weight of the blanket pressing down on your belly may be harmful. However, a weighted blanket should only weigh a fraction of your own body weight.
The total weight is spread evenly across your body, meaning that the pressure of the blanket’s weight on any one part of your body is much lower.
A weighted blanket should not feel uncomfortable to lay under at all. If you feel discomfort on your belly or another part of your body while using it, you should stop using it.
It may be too heavy for you to use safely. If you are worried about the blanket is too heavy or if you just prefer to have less pressure on you, you could purchase a heavy blanket that is slightly lighter than the recommended weight for you.
If you still have any worries about using a weighted blanket while pregnant, you should ask your doctor for their opinion so that you can be sure.
As an additional note on safety, please keep in mind that your weighted blanket should never be used by very young children, or by anybody who cannot lift it off of themselves with their own strength.
Advice On Purchasing a Weighted Blanket For Pregnancy
When looking for a weighted blanket to buy, there are a few factors that you should take into account, the most important being the weight of the blanket.
Generally, a weighted blanket should weigh around 10% of your body weight, though this can be a little more or less depending on your preferences and what is comfortable for you.
As mentioned above, if you are concerned about the idea of the heavy blanket weighing down on your belly, you could purchase a slightly lighter blanket to give you peace of mind when using it. As long as you stay within the recommended weight range, the weighted blanket will still have its beneficial effects.
Since high body temperatures when in bed can be such a big problem during pregnancy, you should try and find a weighted blanket that is made of cooling fabrics or simply use a 100% cotton or bamboo sheet and then put the weighted blanket on top.
These fabrics are more breathable and will prevent you from getting too hot.
The Importance of Sleep During Pregnancy
It is completely normal to need a little more sleep than usual when you are pregnant, as your body is doing so much extra work. But getting that extra sleep that you need might not be such a simple task.
Having difficulty sleeping or insomnia is quite common during pregnancy, with hormonal changes being one of the main reasons why. But often also because of discomforts such as nausea, high body temperatures, aches, and pains. In the later stages of pregnancy, there can be issues such as being unable to find a comfortable position to lie in.
Problems with anxiety and stress can cause further issues with sleep, and during pregnancy, there is also a higher risk of developing problems such as obstructive sleep apnoea, gastroesophageal reflux disorder (acid reflux), or restless legs syndrome, which can all make sleeping much more difficult. In this case, weighted blankets for restless legs can help relieve the symptoms.
Getting good sleep is a very large part of staying in good health in general, and when you are pregnant it becomes even more important.
The negative effects of third trimester insomnia may have an even worse impact when they are laid on top of all of the other changes that your body is going through.
Getting poor sleep while pregnant could possibly be a risk factor for problems such as premature birth, low birth weight, and more pain during labor. As well as possibly heightening the risk of the mother developing other health issues both during and after the pregnancy, including depressive symptoms.
If you are experiencing a lack of sleep and it is taking a toll on you, you should ask your doctor and see what they can do for you. Additionally, here are a few actions that you could take right now to try and improve your sleep:
- Avoid looking at electronic screens, including mobile phone screens, near bedtime and especially when you are in bed. This is because they produce blue light which interferes with your sleep. You could also install an app on your device that can filter out the blue light on your device screen.
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine (which you have to limit your intake of during pregnancy) later in the day. You should also avoid eating heavy and/or spicy meals too close to bedtime, as that can also interfere with sleep and can increase your risk of acid reflux when you lie down.
- Try to fall asleep and wake up at regular, consistent times. Irregular sleeping times can disrupt your body’s internal clock and lead to poorer sleep, while a consistent sleeping routine will help you fall asleep and wake up easier.
- Stress can greatly interfere with sleep, so if you are feeling stressed out, try to find some ways to relieve stress or ask for help if you need it.
I hope that this article gave you the answers you were looking for about using a weighted blanket when pregnant.
Getting good sleep can be very difficult during pregnancy. But the calming and stress-relieving effects of a weighted blanket can be a fantastic tool for helping you to get better rest at night during pregnancy, as well as helping you to relax easily during the day.