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Sleep well, live well – and be pain-free

Sleep well, live well – and be pain-free
with the revolutionary self-inflating Mumanu pillow

Friday 22 February, 2013

Sleeping well and waking up pain-free is easier than ever with the Mumanu selfinflating support pillow – designed and created in New Zealand, and now about to go international.

Mumanu, developed by pregnancy massage expert Sam Thurlby-Brooks, is designed to make sleeping easier, more comfortable and more beneficial for pregnant women or anyone suffering from lower back and hip pain or stiffness. And it’s the only pillow endorsed by the Osteopathic Society of New Zealand.

The idea for the pillow came about because Sam wanted to help the thousands of people she was treating with massage for lower back and hip pain, to get a decent night’s sleep.

“Back pain is such a common problem. I treat a lot of pregnant women who suffer from stiff and sore lower backs, as well as hips, that are often the result of struggling to find a comfortable and healthy position to sleep in.

“But it’s not just expectant mums who need to sleep in a better, more supported position. Lower back pain is such a common complaint for all kinds of people, whether it’s caused by arthritis, sciatica, or just everyday stresses and strains. “I realised there was a need for a lightweight, durable pillow that could be altered to suit anybody, and which was easy to use and portable,” says Sam.

She says the pillow is inflatable so it can be tailored to suit each individual user - whether you lie down in bed, on the floor or on the sofa; it will always give you the correct fit.

“For side-sleepers, using the pillow means the hip, knee and foot of the upper leg are supported and kept in alignment – preventing any twisting and strain on the lower back and hip,” she says. “It also takes pressure off the uterus and bladder as the body is not twisting and your leg is out of the way.

“For back sleepers it can be used under the knees to prevent lower back arching and strain and for front sleepers it can be used to slightly raise the feet, keeping the spine comfortable.”

The Osteopathic Society of New Zealand agrees. Spokesperson Sarah-Jane Attias says the Mumanu pillow is a good, useful, practical product that really makes a difference to anyone with lower back pain – pregnant or not.

“It means that a person’s sleep position is supported, which both encourages a better healing sleep and helps maintain the benefits of osteopathic treatment.”

Sam talked to and tested the pillow on more than 1,500 pregnant women and says the response has been hugely positive with 96% saying they found it more comfortable than what they had been using before.

It has been such a success she is now expanding to sell the pillows in Australia, USA, UK and Canada.

One huge fan of the Mumanu pillow is Kiwi actress and new mum Miriama Smith. "I discovered Mumanu in my third trimester and it was a saving grace. It's perfect for when sleeping becomes uncomfortable. Mumanu helps to ensure your spine stays aligned and you don't roll on to your belly and squash bubs - or put your back out!" "I would recommend Mumanu to expectant mums (and dads) because it not only helps you sleep easier but the soft, durable fabric means you aren't afraid to put your weight into it as it gives a really good support without disintegrating like a normal pillow.

“I used it as a multi-purpose comforter in bed. By putting the pillow under my knees it gave me greater back support for reading or resting my laptop, or by lying on my side and draping my top leg over the pillow which kept my hips nice and open.” For more information about the Mumanu pillow, visit


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