Pregnancy can be a very exciting time for an expectant mother, but it can also cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Fortunately, weighted blankets are well-known for helping with these exact problems (anxiety and stress). Plus, they can help you sleep better, too.
Still, we’ve talked to quite a few pregnant women who have questions, like:
- Will a weighted blanket still work if I have another tiny human inside me?
- Are weighted blankets even safe while I’m pregnant?
- Should I change which blanket I use or buy one specifically to use while pregnant?
We’ll answer all of these questions and more below, but the short version is that weighted blankets are generally safe and healthy. They won’t affect your baby. And you can likely use the same blanket you’ve been using or would use on your own.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the nuances of each area. We’ll cover what to look for in a weighted blanket (and how that changes when you’re pregnant). Then we’ll discuss how safe weighted blankets are for your unborn baby, and look at some of the benefits of weighted blankets for pregnant women specifically. By the end, you’ll have everything you need to make an informed decision for yourself and your little one.
At a glance:
Best Weighted Blanket for Pregnancy
If you’re pregnant and shopping for a weighted blanket, there are a few things to look out for. For instance, the extra weight in a weighted blanket often has a tendency to trap heat, which is of particular concern to pregnant women who are experiencing night sweats due to hormonal changes (a common problem during pregnancy). So, we'd recommend looking for a cooling weighted blanket so you don't get too hot.
Additionally, it’s important to look out for a weighted blanket that evenly distributes weight to make sure it’s not bunching up on your baby or falling off the bed.
Thankfully, Hush weighted blankets can help with both concerns:
Helps You Stay Cool (or Warm!)
As we’ve just seen, many pregnant women experience night sweats during pregnancy because of hormone changes. Thankfully, the Hush Iced 2.0 cooling weighted blanket is cool to the touch, designed to keep you from overheating.
Meanwhile, some women may feel colder than usual during pregnancy, in which case the Hush classic weighted blanket may be a better choice. And for those who can’t decide, you can buy a weighted blanket that comes with both types of duvet covers! Simply swap the duvet cover of your weighted blanket with whichever one you need on a given night.
Perfect Weight Distribution
The benefits of Hush blankets don’t end with the flexibility in temperature. We also worked hard to ensure the weight inside the blanket won’t accumulate in any one part of the blanket. This is a common problem with weighted blankets, and it may be of particular concern to women in later stages of pregnancy.
Our weighted blankets were designed to avoid this problem. Hush blankets have hundreds of individual pockets, each with a fixed amount of weight that can’t move to other parts of the blanket. So you can sleep in whatever the most comfortable sleeping position is for you without worrying about the weight getting bunched up in the lower parts of your body.
Also, while other companies use small glass beads to add weight, we use non-toxic glass sand, which is even smaller than beads. This aids in weight distribution and cooling, as it allows air to pass through while settling evenly throughout the blanket.
The combination of the many individual pockets and tiny grains of glass sand allow for the best weight distribution you’ll find in any weighted blanket. No need to worry about all the weight getting stuck in one part of the blanket.
Are Weighted Blankets Safe While Pregnant? Generally Yes
Before we get into the benefits of weighted blankets for pregnant women, let’s address one common question we get from potential customers:
Are weighted blankets safe to use while pregnant?
In short, they should be generally safe. More specifically, Shivani Patel, MD of the UT Southwestern Medical Center says bumping your belly while pregnant is almost never a problem, and a pretty normal experience while pregnant.
Similarly, Owen Montgomery, MD of parents.com says, “Mother Nature provides a safe and protected environment for a fetus, which floats in amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac, which in turn is protected by the muscles of both the uterus and the abdomen.” In other words, lightly bumping or hitting your tummy while pregnant is not cause for alarm.
So if the pressure from bumping or hitting your pregnant belly is unlikely to cause harm, then the same is probably true for a weighted blanket. Again, this hasn’t been studied directly, but there is no reason to think a weighted blanket would cause harm to your unborn child. This is good news, since a weighted blanket can help with insomnia, which is a common problem during pregnancy.
Benefits of Weighted Blankets for Pregnant Women
While no studies have been performed directly with weighted blankets and pregnant women, there still are plenty of benefits that pregnant women can realize by using one.
For instance, as we’ll see below, research shows that pregnant women are more likely to suffer insomnia, while weighted blankets are shown to help with insomnia. Below we’ll go over three such benefits, including help for insomnia, anxiety, and chronic pain.
Pregnancy Increases Risk of Insomnia
A 2020 review from the Journal of Sleep Research estimated the prevalence of insomnia during pregnancy by looking at 24 studies with a total of 15,564 participants. According to this review, 38.2% of participants experienced insomnia during pregnancy. To put this in perspective, that’s more than one third of pregnant women.
As a study from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine explains, this creates a paradox: Sleep is extremely important during pregnancy, but many of the normal physiological changes that occur during pregnancy can actually inhibit sleep. For instance, nausea, heartburn, frequent urination, and back pain are all common during pregnancy — and all can interfere with sleep.
Pregnancy also increases the risk of developing certain sleep disorders, including sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome. This can happen as a result of hormone changes. All these factors — insomnia, sleep disorders, unpleasant side effects of pregnancy, etc. — can keep you from getting quality sleep.
With this in mind, pregnant women may need to try a variety of remedies in order to improve both their sleep as well as their experience of other unpleasant symptoms. This is where weighted blankets can help.
Weighted Blankets May Help You Sleep Better
Both anecdotal as well as scientific evidence suggests weighted blankets improve insomnia. A randomized, controlled trial from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine split 120 participants with psychiatric disorders into two groups: Members of one group received weighted blankets, and the other group received regular blankets.
After four weeks, the weighted blanket group was experiencing significantly better sleep. They had higher levels of energy during the daytime, and their anxiety and depression symptoms had also improved.
This finding is especially important for pregnant women. A review from the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine found anxiety and depression during pregnancy to be independent risk factors of adverse obstetric, fetal, and neonatal outcomes.
So pregnant women who are experiencing anxiety or depression may want to treat these symptoms, and weighted blankets are a great way to treat anxiety and depression without the use of medication.
Weighted Blankets Can Help Relieve Anxiety and Chronic Pain
What’s more, weighted blankets don’t just help with insomnia. As we’ve just seen, they may be a promising treatment for anxiety. There’s also scientific evidence that suggests they can treat chronic pain.
A 2020 systematic review from the American Journal of Occupational Therapy that assessed eight studies on the effects of weighted blankets concluded they could help to reduce anxiety. This, too, is backed up by anecdotal evidence: Many customer reviews claim our blankets help to relieve anxiety and stress.
More recently, a 2022 randomized, controlled trial from the Journal of Pain tested the effects of weighted blankets on those who experience chronic pain. In this study, 94 people with chronic pain were given either a 15-pound weighted blanket or a 5-pound regular blanket. After one week, the weighted blanket group reported significantly less pain than the control group.
This is in part because weighted blankets provide deep pressure stimulation. This has similar effects to those of acupressure, which is known to relieve chronic pain.
Pregnant Women Have a Higher Risk of Anxiety and Chronic Pain
These studies may be of particular interest to pregnant women, who (as we saw above) may be at an increased risk of chronic pain. And for those experiencing stress or anxiety during pregnancy, this can cause negative outcomes for the baby (as explained by an article from Frontiers in Psychology), so it’s especially important to treat anxiety during pregnancy.
That said, keep in mind that choosing a weighted blanket during pregnancy may be a bit more complicated than usual, since your body weight is changing. In general, we recommend choosing a weighted blanket that’s 10% of your body weight. So, the 15-pound weighted blanket used in the study from the Journal of Pain would be ideal for those who weigh 150 pounds.
Even though your body weight increases while you’re pregnant, the easiest thing to do is choose a blanket ideal for your pre pregnancy weight. That way, you’ll be able to use it after you give birth, and you won’t have to worry about it being too heavy in the earlier stages of your pregnancy.
Talk to Your Doctor to See if a Weighted Blanket Is Right for You
When it comes to pregnancy, we always want to err on the side of caution. After all, even something that seems completely safe might not be the best idea for certain individuals. So, for this reason, we suggest talking to your doctor about any new treatment you’d like to try while pregnant — including weighted blankets.
Weighted Blankets Are Generally Safe, But Use with Care
To recap, weighted blankets are considered safe to use during pregnancy, plus they may have many benefits. They can help treat insomnia, anxiety, and chronic pain, all without the use of potentially harmful drugs. But with the lack of scientific studies directly assessing their effects during pregnancy, we suggest speaking with your doctor before trying one while pregnant.
For the best weighted blankets on the market, try Hush. As we explained above, we make weighted blankets with cooling covers, so you don’t have to worry about overheating. And if you want something a little warmer you can try the cozy mink cover. Either way you can’t go wrong. But we also offer duvet covers that are more warming, so whether you sleep hot or cold, we’ve got you covered.