I looooved the Belly Bed while I was heavily pregnant. I found it great for day time resting from the time I first got it, but it really became an amazing relief once I got to about 34 weeks pregnant and I started having more restless sleeps. You know that point where you need to wake up to turn over in bed? I found that I could sleep in the one position pretty much all night and not be woken up feeling like I needed to roll over like I did if I slept in our usual bed. I guess it’s the cushion of air thing.
I got a touch of sciatica in my right hip that really started playing up around 28 weeks, it came and went but settled in at around 37 weeks. I found that if I slept on the belly bed, I would wake with no pain. If I slept in our usual bed, I would wake with an aching hip. The really great thing about this bed is the belly cavity which actually accommodates the breasts as well. You don’t have to have it too deep, just enough to allow you to sink into the bed. Surprisingly, the belly cavity makes it comfortable to sleep on your back, belly or side. I prefer to sleep somewhere between my side and my belly and I was able to do this delightfully comfortably.
I also found that I wanted to sleep on my back a fair bit while using this bed. This is not usually comfortable and not really recommended during pregnancy. I just really loved the feeling of support under my lower back in this position. My bum and lower back just sank down into the bed and relived all the tension I felt. Again, I’d wake with no back pain whatsoever. If I slept in our usual bed, I would wake a little better than when I went to bed but not pain free as with the belly bed.
When I trained in pregnancy massage, I was told not to use pregnancy pillows that allowed for massage to be performed in the tummy down position because the ligaments in the pelvis are so stretchy during pregnancy and the weight of the baby, placenta and amniotic fluid pulling down on those pelvic ligaments can cause nasty strains. This is very different to the pregnancy massage cushions I have seen that are used for belly down lying. This has tailored support for YOUR belly. You use the hand held control to pump the belly cavity up to suit you and you still have support under your belly. There is a beautifully soft cushion stuffed with just the right blend of feathers and poly fill which you put into the belly cavity. This sits on top of the cushion of air and gently supports your belly while allowing you to be in the belly down position comfortably.
It was pretty simple to set up the bed. Really. You just unpack the inflatable bed, lay it out on the floor, plug the pump in, set the pump to position 1 and press the up button on the hand held control. It was a pretty noisy pump, sounded very much like a loud hair dryer but it didn’t take too long to fully inflate, so I didn’t find it too much of a drama. It was actually so easy to set up, I managed to talk my husband through it over the phone when I had to spend some unexpected time in hospital and my sister came to stay the night to look after the kids.
I found that I had to give the bed a top up of air every 2 days or so to keep it nice and firm. This was the only time the noise was a problem. If hubs went to bed before me and I had forgotten to give it a bit of extra air, it was way too noisy to use the pump while he was sleeping. I scared the hell out of him the one time I dared to try it.
There were a few drawbacks with this bed. Firstly, it was really bloody hard to get out of at 39 weeks pregnant. I only got up to go to the toilet at night when I really needed to. When I finally gave in to the call of nature, I found it best to do a comando type roll off the belly bed, landing on my usual bed and then had to crawl backwards off the end of my bed to the floor because I had the belly bed up against my side of the martial bed with hubs on the other side. Another drawback was that it was a bit noisy when I moved a lot or got in or out of the bed. It is an inflatable bed and it had that blow up bed sound at times. This didn’t disturb me much at all.
My biggest worry about using the bed was that I would have to sleep such a long way away from hubs. We have a double bed. We’re used to sleeping very close to each other. In reality, we only added an extra king single sized bed next to the double bed and I guess ended up with a normal queen sized bed. It did feel like he was such a long way away but we could have a cuddle and ‘whatever’ before sleep time and then I was very happy to move away to my own space. He was a bit too far away to nudge if the snoring got too loud but that was counteracted by the fact that I didn’t have snores directly into my ear.Unfortunately, that was my last pregnancy 🙁 If I was to ever be pregnant again, I’d absolutely want a belly bed. I was loaning this one to help road test it, but I would love to own it (update: I do own it now :-)). As well as being a great pregnancy bed, it is also a great guest bed and a great bed to quickly set up in lounge room if one of the kids are sick one night and I need to sleep with a child under my arm and catch vomit all night. All up- my opinion is that this is a useful pregnancy comfort product for all and a vital pregnancy product for those with pregnancy related musculoskeletal pain.
Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, nor asked to write it. I was simply asked to use the bed during my pregnancy and provide feedback to the manufacturer. The bed was provided to me on loan, I was later told I could keep the bed.