Maternity Air Bed – Does It Work?

A maternity air bed is an inflatable mattress that has a belly-sized hole in the center. It is designed with the idea that pregnant side or belly sleepers can comfortably rest on such a bed. Having tossed and turned my way through four pregnancies, a maternity bed sounds like a great idea. But before you rush out and buy one, let’s look at what facts we can find.

— Maternity air beds are, in fact, still air beds. That’s important to realize because they are susceptible to the same types of problems as any other air mattress. Holes, slow leaks, and uneven support are issues for any inflatable bed. So checking to see that the maternity air mattress bag is of superior quality is simple common sense. Also check on what the procedure is for patching any leaks. You want a thick gauge vinyl with an extra-durable patch.

As I said earlier, while these issues are true of any inflatable mattress, they are not deal-breakers, in my opinion. I’ve slept on a waterbed for over twenty years and the occasional leak happens. But with a high quality bed, leaks are extremely rare and with the correct type of patching material, leaks can be fixed in minutes and remain leak-free for years.

I’ve also purchased air beds that developed a leak the first time I inflated them. Just remember, ‘quality’ is the buzz word here.

Let’s look at another occasional problem with air beds. The uneven support issue is a bit tougher to deal with than the leakage issue. Usually an inflatable air bed just needs more air to offer better quality support. However, it is possible to over-inflate such mattresses and no mama-to-be needs to feel like she’s trying to sleep on top of a huge ball!

The truth is twofold here. The inflation issue of a maternity air bed would come down to:

1. Individual preference. You might need to spend a few nights experimenting with different amounts of air to find the optimum amount for you. The belly hole in these air beds usually comes with an inflatable pillow, as well, so you can adjust the size and support for your growing tummy or fill the hole completely and use the air bed as any other inflatable mattress.

2. You love it or you hate it. I think this is especially true if you’re pregnant. Let’s face it; pregnancy is a challenging time when it comes to physical comfort and what works for one woman is torture for another. I love my waterbed, but I had to find a more conventional bed during the last month of my pregnancies. As any pregnant woman will tell you, you’ve got to do what works for you. In addition, what works may change over the course of your pregnancy.

Another word of caution. Some folks simply don’t like sleeping on a vinyl mattress. It just doesn’t feel right to them and, of course, vinyl doesn’t breathe well. Again, I think a helpful thing to keep in mind is that this is no one’s idea of a perfect bed. This is a possible temporary solution to some of the discomforts of pregnancy. That means it’s going to work for some women and not for others.

— The pros of using a maternity air bed would be similar to any inflatable mattress as well. For not a lot of money, you’ll have a spare bed that conveniently deflates and folds up. An air bed is portable and can be used wherever you need one. They can be very handy when traveling, for example. So an added benefit of this particular maternity purchase is that you can actually use this product when you’re no longer pregnant. Or you can sell it to your friend who just found out SHE is having a baby!

Another pro to using a maternity air bed is back to the inflation issue. You can add or remove air over the course of your pregnancy to adjust to your growing needs and aching back. This is a huge issue for most pregnant women and is probably the area in which these types of beds really work their magic, if they’re going to work for you at all.

The bottom line in deciding whether a maternity air bed would work for you is to try one, of course. And if you’re comfortable on your current bed, then don’t fix what’s not broken! But for those pregnant women who are experiencing a great many sleepless nights and are avid side or belly-sleepers, a maternity air bed is worth considering.