The Anna pillow at a glance:
Natal Comfort have created the first cushion of its kind which allows pregnant women to lie bump-down without putting any pressure on the bump. You place the Anna on a flat surface, position yourself over the cushion with your bump over the middle section and you knees behind the cushion. Lower yourself carefully with your breasts positioned on the top end of the Anna and then once you feel comfortable relax your legs.
How did this product make your life easier?
The Anna takes some getting used to as it feels unnatural to lie bump down when pregnant, especially as I progressed through to my third trimester. I couldn’t lie on the Anna bump down for more than a few minutes without feeling self-conscious that my bump was touching the floor. I also think my 5ft 3in torso was just not in proportion to fit the cushion correctly.
I suffer from lumbar disc prolapse so was quite keen to try out the Anna as Natal Comfort boasts some impressive benefits, such as:
- Helps escape/reduce back pain
- Eliminate sore hips
- Relives pelvic pain (and pelvic girdle pain)
- Promotoes optimal fetal positioning
- Reduces stiffness in your back and legs
- Improves sleep
- Reduces stress
- Improves blood and oxygen flow between mum and baby
- Improves blood circulation
- Assists with heartburn
That’s quite a plethora of suggested benefits and I can’t say I was able to experience the reduction of all of these as I simply was unable to use the cushion for it’s main lying bump-down purpose. However, I could see how if other pregnant women were able to use the bump-down function, how the relief from the lower back pain is alleviated.
Natal Comfort have used a chiropractor on their social media to use the cushion and discuss the benefits of pregnancy massage, so you could explore this option, if you were interested:
Would you recommend this to other parents?
While there seem to benefits and alternative ways to use the Anna, to be honest, my toddler and cat got more out of the Anna than I did. While it feels plush and is at a reasonable price point (if you use it for its main purpose) I mainly used the cushion as a side support whilst watching television. There was no way I could fall asleep or take a nap, as Natal Comfort suggest, with the Anna. I tried, but I constantly felt the tip of my bump touching the base, and once again the anxiety kicked in. I positioned and re-positioned myself, ensured I placed the Anna on a ‘flat, wide surface, to ensure proper stability’, but it simply isn’t one for me.
Natal Comfort do say that if you cannot find a comfortable position you can seek help from one of their team for guidance. I also tried to lie down with my back perched up against the Anna, as shown below in their Instagram picture, but this proved quite uncomfortable also. My body couldn’t relax and was always in an awkward position, unless, as I said, I lay next to the Anna with an arm over the side.
Would you choose this product above all others on the market?
While not exactly the same as the Anna, there are a few other options out there if you’re looking to explore bump-down cushions or pillows. One being the Ladyeaze.
However, now in my second pregnancy, I much rather prefer using a body pillow which supports me sleeping on my side and takes the weight off my bump like this from Kally Sleep or perhaps give this Babymoov Dream Belt a go?
What changes would you make to this product?
In January 2021, Natal Comfort posted information on their website stating why it was "safe" to sleep front-lying during pregnancy, based on Google search. This didn't put my confidence in the brand and so I would suggest that some midwife guidance and endorsement is seeked ASAP to develop this product to ensure safety is at the absolute forefront of the Anna. I don’t feel the cushion supported my pregnant body the way I had hoped it would. The top and bottom end of the cushion didn’t feel to support my weight to keep my bump off the ground.
While the cushion looks plush and feels well-made as far as cushions go, and as I mentioned above is a reasonable price point if you use it for what it’s in intended - in terms of purpose, I think the Anna is a little overpriced.