pregnancy sleep - story of senmata
Interview with Beata, happy mum of daughter Ada, designer and a producer of senmata®.

Where did inspiration for senmata® come from?

From the simple, basic need, which is the mother of all inventions :) I think I will speak for all pregnant women when I say that being pregnant is not as glamorous as described in color magazines. It is tough! And trying to get some sleep when the belly is growing and the baby is kicking is close to impossible. On top of that you have everybody tell you what's good for you and your baby including how to sleep. I was always a belly sleeper, but try to sleep on your belly when you're pregnant... it's like asking a turtle to lay on his back :) Not to mention the health implications. The doctors recommend sleeping on the left side.. but for me it was mission impossible. I knew that there were pregnancy pillows on the market that supposedly helped with this problem, so I bought one... than another one, because the first one was simply useless... I was on a verge of buying a third one, but there was not much choice left. They were all using the same concept – just a shape and maybe the filling was different. They were either too small, or too impractical to use. One had a filling that was moving around every time I found the right position and had to wake up in the middle of the night to fluff it to get back the required support under my heavy belly and the knee. One had a filling that simply made noise when I moved around, plus I could literally feel the little hard balls on my sensitive skin.
I am very much solution driven so I decided to use my engineering skills to make what I needed. I needed something that provided proper support under my head, belly and my knee and the hip. Something that wouldn’t change its shape after a few hours of sleeping on it, something that I wouldn’t need to chase around in my bed to catch it, and something that would be adjustable to my growing belly. So I went to the supermarket, bought the cheapest sawing machine and started experimenting on myself :) This is how senmata was born, and now it is also patented.

Why did you decide to launch senmata® onto the market?

Before I have made the final version of the pregnancy pillow that you can now purchase in the store, senmata® had its many prototypes that either myself or my other pregnant friends were testing to choose the best option. Other women that tested senmata® were very enthusiastic about it and assured me that what what I've created really works and it's helping others. There were several improvements made as a consequence of their honest feedback and when it was finally ready I decided to mass produce it for other women in quest of a good night of sleep while pregnant. And it was  a good decision judging by the thank you letters I get :). 
What improvements you've  implemented in your product then?

Mostly the possibility to add/remove the amount of filling from the leg support section and belly rest section. The entire pillow consist of 3 sections (modules) that are filled with different amounts of polyester fiber to provide dedicated support different for different body parts. This way the leg support has a different density than the belly and head rest. Plus nothing moves around. The filling stays put where you need it the most. Of course I made sure that the materials used are highest quality available and I didn't want to compromise a bit on that. It has taken me a very long time to finally find the right filling for my maternity pillow.   

Can you elaborate on the material selection used for senmata?

In my study of possible materials for my pregnancy pillow I've discovered that it is actually scary what you can find in pillows in general, especially those cheep ones sold in supermarkets. I was buying pillows from different sources and cutting the pillow cases open and couldn’t believe the things I have found sometimes. Pieces of fabric, threads, pieces of paper, plastic among the polyester fibers - literally thrash from the manufacturing site. I've decided then and there that my product will not cut corners and I will not allow low quality nowhere near my product. Initially I've considered dawn and feathers for the filling but since many people are allergic to this I've turned to polyester fibers. There is a wide variety on the market available and the difference is huge, but I have test driven many and chose one that is soft, but flexible and can be washed in the washing machine. It is also fire proof.  As for the pillow cases and other fabrics used I knew that it had to be 100% natural - so cotton was the obvious choice. It couldn't be even partially synthetic in any way, period.    

Where do you manufacture your product?

senmata® as well as all materials used to produce my pregnancy pillow are made in Poland, so in EU, not in Asia. I did not want to move the manufacturing to China for example, even though the costs would be probably three times lower, because the quality of the product would have been compromised. Plus I would not be able to maintain high product and manufacturing standards. Sure, the low cost is tempting, but as money is not my main motivator I decided to produce it in Poland also hoping that by giving work to people locally I will contribute to getting all of us out of the crisis.

Do you have any advice for future and curent senmata® mamma users?

I honestly recommend sleeping on senmata early on, so purchasing it as early as in the first trimester. It makes sense to invest in the pregnancy pillow because if you calculate how much a good night of sleep will cost daily versus for example other things you buy during pregnancy (pants, tops, stretch marks cosmetics, vitamins, bras, undies etc.) you will discover than paying 25 Eurocents per day is very inexpensive in relation for what you get in return  - a good night of sleep, a healthy pregnancy. Sometimes women wait until the very last two months when they really suffer from lack of sleep and they feel resistance to buying it so late, but IT IS NEVER TOO LATE to get a good night of sleep when you are pregnant. Trust me you won't get a lot of sleep when your baby is born, so when if not now? Plus senmata can be used after giving birth to your baby- when you breast feed for example. It will support your back while you lay on your side and breast feed you baby.

Any plans for the future?

I am soon going to launch a new product for not only pregnant women, but for all who like to sleep on the side. Many of men use senmata for example after its not used by their wifes. Many overweight people sleep on senmata, because they too have a belly :) And senmata actually is a full body pillow.  Also people with back problems sleep on senmata too, as it provides them with back pain relief. Anybody who has tried sleeping on senmata knows that it's addictive :) and hard to let go...

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