Title:
Maternity comfort mattress
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A maternity mattress is disclosed which provides a cavity for accommodating the protruding abdomen of a pregnant woman as she lies in a frontally downward position upon the mattress surface. The maternity comfort mattress is essentially comprised of a foam core; of a cavity in the foam core for the enlarged abdomen of a pregnant woman; of a plurality of straps and a means to attach the straps to the foam core; and, of a removable cover to encase the entire device. Attachment and adjustment features are built in to the invention. These features include, but are not limited to, strips of material that have a loop and hook fastening means along two longitudinal sides of the mattress core and at each end of each of the straps.



Inventors:
Hirst, Shane M. (New Castle, IN, US)
Application Number:
10/857401
Publication Date:
12/02/2004
Filing Date:
05/28/2004
Assignee:
HIRST SHANE M.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/930
International Classes:
A47C20/00; A47C20/02; A47C27/14; A47C31/10; (IPC1-7): A47C20/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAYO-PINNOCK, TARA LEIGH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RITCHISON LAW OFFICES, PC (ANDERSON, IN, US)
Claims:

What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is:



1. A maternity mattress for supporting the abdomen of a frontally downward lying person, said mattress comprising: (a) a mattress having upper and lower surfaces, a defined thickness and a central opening therethrough; (b) a first means for adjustably adapting the top surface of said mattress over said cavity to the protruding abdomen of a frontally downward person; and (c) a removable and washable mattress cover, whereby said person may selectively adjust said first means of adapting to increase or decrease the depth of said central opening to more comfortably accommodate the abdomen of the person.

2. The mattress according to claim 1 wherein the person is a pregnant woman.

3. The mattress according to claim 1 wherein the person is an obese person with a large abdomen.

4. The mattress according to claim 1 wherein the person is in need of special care for the abdominal region because of a medical condition.

5. The mattress according to claim 1 wherein the mattress material is a foam material.

6. The mattress according to claim 5 wherein the foam is a polymeric foam.

7. The mattress according to claim 6 wherein the polymeric foam is a soft and open celled urethane foam.

8. The mattress according to claim 1 wherein the mattress material is a composite material with soft and resilient properties.

9. The mattress according to claim 1 wherein the mattress material is standard fabric filled mattress with an outer ticking.

10. The mattress according to claim 1 wherein the first means for adjustably adapting the top surface of said mattress over said cavity is a plurality of straps of resilient material.

11. The mattress according to claim 10 wherein the straps have a releasable fastening means to attach the ends of said straps to the mattress.

12. The mattress according to claim 11 wherein the fastening means is a loop and hook system such as Velcro®.

13. The mattress according to claim 11 wherein the fastening means is a snap system.

14. The mattress according to claim 11 wherein the fastening means is attached to the straps and mattress by an adhesive.

15. The mattress according to claim 11 wherein the fastening means is attached to the straps and mattress by sewing.

16. A maternity mattress for supporting the abdomen of a frontally downward lying pregnant woman, said mattress comprising: (a) a mattress having upper and lower surfaces, a defined thickness and a central opening therethrough; (b) a plurality of straps for adjustably adapting the top surface of said mattress over said cavity to the protruding abdomen of a frontally downward pregnant woman; (c) a means to removably attach the straps to the mattress; and (d) a removable and washable mattress cover, whereby said woman may selectively adjust the straps to increase or decrease the depth of the central opening to more comfortably accommodate her abdomen.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/475,293 filed Jun. 1, 2003 by Shane Marie Hirst and titled “Maternity Comfort Mattress”.

FIELD OF INVENTION

[0002] The present device relates to the field of maternity mattresses to provide a woman during pregnancy comfort and a sleep aid. This is particularly important in the third trimester when prenatal discomfort is at its peak. Various mattress devices have been adapted for assisting and providing comfort to women during pregnancy.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

[0003] Not Applicable.

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

[0004] Not Applicable

BACKGROUND-FIELD OF INVENTION

[0005] The maternity and comfort mattresses described in this specification are devices that are designed to assist people, such as a pregnant woman, who need to comfortably accommodate a large abdominal area especially when she is resting or sleeping. The mattress devices need to permit the abdomen to be comfortably supported and need to be easily adjustable for different sizes of people. The device needs to permit for growth of the abdominal area such as during a pregnancy. The present device may be utilized to comfortably support various sized abdomens and is easily adjustable for growth.

[0006] A. Introduction of the Problems Addressed

[0007] During pregnancy, especially in the third trimester, a woman is normally exposed to a large amount of discomfort due in part to the enlarged abdomen. This extended abdomen increases strain and stress to the muscular and skeletal support from the back. In addition, it has been suggested and generally accepted that the occurrence of certain complications during child birth, such as breech delivery, may be substantially reduced if a mother were to sleep facing downwardly during the pregnancy. Because of the enlarged abdomen, it has been difficult and uncomfortable for a woman to rest and sleep in a face downward position on a normal, flat mattress. Likewise, without some support to the enlarged abdomen, the stress and strain would be pronounced even further to the muscular and skeletal regions of the back if a mattress were only adjusted to provide a mere cavity for the abdomen. Therefore, a need exists to have a cavity or recess to accept the enlarged abdomen while maintaining a certain level of support to that region in order to prevent additional strain. Women are naturally various sizes and they progress and grow at differing rates during the entire prenatal period. Because of these size and rate variations, a maternity mattress with a cavity for the abdomen needs to be easily and quickly adjusted to maintain a firm, yet comfortable support to the pregnant woman throughout the prenatal period.

[0008] B. Prior Art

[0009] Methods and apparatus for providing a resting or sleeping environment for pregnant women have a long history of development. As pregnancy progresses, a woman's ability to find a comfortable resting position on conventional mattresses decreases significantly. In past years, this has led to the development of many types of mattresses having a suitably located central cavity to accommodate the distended abdomen. However, the degree and orientation of abdomen expansion changes dramatically over time, and a mattress with a more or less static cavity size, or other fixed attributes, cannot provide the needed comfort and other health benefits for the full range of fetus development.

[0010] Several different devices have attempted to address the problem as stated. In use, the prior art devices are placed on or against a flat surface, on top of an existing standard mattress, on mattress springs or as independent devices in and of themselves. However, the devices have not solved the needs of a comfortable and supporting device that may be easily adjusted as the size of the person's abdomen dictates. Like wise the prior art devices that have some adjustment means are more complex, more expensive to manufacture, and/or more difficult to use compared to a mattress like the maternity comfort mattress presented here.

[0011] Examples of prior mattress innovations begin with U.S. Pat. No. 2,089,854 issued to Pelligrini (1936). This teaches a multiple piece device including a wire-framed cot, a non-foam mattress with a large hole, and a cover for normal use. It provides no adjustable means of support to the abdomen. A small section of a mattress device for maternity was issued to Talley as U.S. Pat. No. 3,118,152 (1962). It teaches a small section of a foam mattress with a removable, tapered center. The device is used with another mattress or support means and may be separated and used as pillows. A further maternity mattress device was issued to Skinner as U.S. Pat. No. 3,378,862 (1966). This patent teaches a semi-spherical recess in a complete mattress, a complimentary filler section, and a zippered mattress ticking for removing the filler to permit a recess in the mattress. There is no adjustment means taught.

[0012] Other examples include U.S. Pat. No. 3,464,069 issued to Bien (1967) which teaches a portable sunbathing cot. It teaches an opening in the cot and an adjustable band across the opening. The band has multiple adjustment locations by a series of snap mechanisms along the side. A U.S. Pat. No. 4,021,872 was issued to Powell (1977). It teaches a maternity mattress with a modifiable cavity for supporting the enlarged abdomen of a pregnant woman. The mattress comprises resilient disk-like members as filler means removably received in a circular cavity. The disk-like members can be selectively removed to alter the size of the circular cavity. A U.S. Pat. No. 4,054,960 issued to Pettit (1977) teaches an inflatable body support cushion that has several sections including a removable center section that is positioned in an opening. The opening then may receive the abdomen. The section may also be left in the opening and partially inflated to provide some adjustable support to the abdomen.

[0013] A prenatal mattress U.S. Pat. No. 4,382,306 was issued to Lickert (1983) that teaches a multiple-piece mattress. The device has abdominal and head cushions which are adjustably filled with a fluid (liquid or gas). The two cushions are then secured in place to the base mat by a hook and loop mechanism such as Velcro® or the like. The device provides some adjustment by varying the amount of fluid, but the device is more cumbersome compared to the new maternity mattress. Two maternity mattress devices were issued patents to Halverson: U.S. Pat. No. 4,737,999 (1988) and U.S. Pat. No. 4,819,287 (1989). They both teach a mattress having close sided cylindrical cavities containing inflatable cells.

[0014] Additional inflatable mattresses are taught by U.S. Pat. No. 5,185,897 issued to Van Laanen (1993) and U.S. Pat. No. 5,237,712 issued to Ramsay (1993). Both demonstrate adjustable means to support the central recess in a mattress by inflating a section or sections with air.

[0015] A U.S. Pat. No. 5,369,824 issued to Powell (1994) describes a mattress having a close sided cylindrical cavity containing a series of removable cushions. A lounger for pregnant women is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,438,715 issued to Jackman (1995). This teaches a removable cushion that has a non-adjustable, attachable net to support the abdominal area. A U.S. Design Patent D 392,145 issued to Thurston (1998) shows multiple removable sections for a central recess area in an air mattress for pregnant women. A very similar design was shown in U.S. Design Patent 411,933 issued to Bernstein (1999) for a foam mattress. A U.S. Pat. No. 6,581,229 was also issued to Bernstein (2003). This teaches at least two foam pieces to adjust the central support for the abdomen.

[0016] Another inflatable support mattress is taught in U.S. Pat. No. 5,890,246 issued to Davis (1999). It has a central portion with a separate air chamber to adjustably support the abdominal area.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0017] The instant device presented here is comprised of a substantially rectangular foam or soft mattress core with a cavity to accept the enlarged abdomen area of a pregnant woman. The central cavity has one or more resilient straps across the top plane of the core mattress. The straps are attached along the sides of the core mattress and can be quickly adjusted for length. The entire device is then encased in a removable mattress cover for additional comfort and hygiene. These features permit one to adjust the support depth of the straps as the pregnancy advances—permitting firm support and plentiful room for the abdomen of a pregnant woman lying prone with her face downward. Other devices heretofore required complex and expensive components to provide similar opportunities for support and comfort. Other prior art does not suggest or disclose the features of the present maternity comfort mattress.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

[0018] Accordingly, there are several objects and advantages of the maternity comfort mattress. There currently exist inflatable and complex mechanisms for maternity mattresses. This Maternity Comfort Mattress provides an improvement because it is designed to be simply and easily adjusted and is inexpensive to manufacture as compared to the prior art devices.

[0019] One advantage of this device over others in the field is the simplicity of use. The straps are very easily adjusted to different attachment points when the mattress cover is pulled back from the foam core. The differing lengths provide different depths to the abdomen cavity. Additionally, all of the parts are essentially attached to the entire maternity mattress. Therefore there are no “extra” parts to keep track of or store when not required—unlike more complex devices.

[0020] Another advantage is multi-straps for adjusting to individual needs. Because of the different sized women and different growth rates, there is a need for an abdominal cavity that can be quickly adjusted to many sizes.

[0021] A further advantage is the inexpensive design. The foam core can be one of many inexpensive and readily available materials described below. The straps can be of various resilient materials. The attachment means can be of a loop and hook system (such as Velcro® or the like) or some equally quick and effective means. This results in a cost advantage over mattresses of conventional ticking and/or complex cavity and adjustment means. This new device with its cost efficient design even permits a device inexpensive enough to allow one to use the device for one pregnancy term and then discard the mattress.

[0022] Additional advantages of this new maternity comfort mattress are that it is flexible to use and it is easy to transport. Because it is roughly the same dimension area-wise as a twin mattress, it may be used in conjunction with a twin sized, a standard single or double, a queen size or a king sized bed. Because the design is of lightweight materials and does not utilize a frame, the device is portable and is easier to transport as compared to complex mattress substitutes in this field of inventions.

[0023] Another design feature is the washable and replaceable cover. The ability to easily remove the mattress cover affords a chance to maintain a clean and hygienically superior mattress. Also, it permits one to have different covers to switch periodically in the same way one may have multiple bed linens for their ordinary mattresses.

[0024] Another advantage of this device over others in the field is that the maternity comfort mattress is not a fluid-filled device. This removes the limitation associated with puncturing an inflated or fluid-filled device.

[0025] Finally, other advantages and additional features of the present device will be more apparent from the accompanying drawings and from the full description of the maternity comfort mattress. For one skilled in the art of maternity and other comfort mattresses and devices it is readily understood that the features shown in the examples with this new device are readily adapted to other types of inventions which are associated with comfort.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0026] The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate an embodiment of the present maternity comfort mattress that is preferred. The drawings together with the summary description given above and a detailed description given below serve to explain the principles of the invention. It is understood, however, that the new device is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

[0027] FIG. 1 is an ISOMETRIC VIEW of the invention—a maternity comfort mattress.

[0028] FIG. 2 is SIDE VIEW of a pregnant woman lying on the comfort maternity mattress.

[0029] FIG. 3 is an ISOMETRIC VIEW of the maternity comfort mattress depicting its several parts that are the preferred embodiment.

[0030] FIG. 3A is an ISOMETRIC VIEW depicting an alternative embodiment with a single strap or band.

[0031] FIG. 4 is a SKETCH from the SIDE of an actual prototype of the maternity comfort mattress.

[0032] FIG. 5 is a SIDE VIEW of the maternity comfort mattress.

[0033] FIG. 6 is various cross sections of possible adjustment positions for the maternity comfort mattress.

[0034] A-A is at the earliest use where minimal abdominal space is required.

[0035] B-B is at an early stage of the pregnancy where some abdominal space adjustment is required for comfort.

[0036] C-C is at a later stage in the pregnancy where additional comfort space is required for the abdomen.

[0037] D-D is at a late stage of the pregnancy where maximum space is required for comfort around the enlarged abdomen.

[0038] FIG. 7 is an ISOMETRIC VIEW of the maternity comfort mattress showing the operation of the straps.

[0039] FIG. 8 is a SKETCH from the END of an actual prototype of the maternity comfort mattress showing the straps in place.

[0040] FIG. 9 is Partial ISOMETRIC VIEW showing the mattress cover in relation to the maternity comfort mattress.

[0041] FIG. 10 is a SKETCH of an actual prototype of the invention showing a mattress cover being placed from an opposite end to FIG. 9.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS—REFERENCE NUMERALS

[0042] The following list refers to the drawings:

[0043] 21 maternity comfort mattress

[0044] 22 main foam core

[0045] 23 support straps

[0046] 24 removable mattress cover

[0047] 25 attachment means on end of straps

[0048] 26 attachment means on side of main core

[0049] 27 abdominal cavity

[0050] 28 ends of support straps

[0051] 29 top area of support strap—no deflection

[0052] 30 top area of support strap—some deflection

[0053] 31 top area of support strap—medium deflection

[0054] 32 top area of support strap—maximum deflection

[0055] 33 adhesive or the like

[0056] 34 top planar surface of foam core 22

[0057] 35 large single support strap or band

[0058] W pregnant woman

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PERFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0059] The present invention is a maternity comfort mattress 21 that has various features to enhance its use. These features are built-in to or integrally attached to the main foam core body of the device. The material comprising the main body of the device is preferably formed from well known foam or similar like materials described in more detail, below. The foam material is substantially rectangular in shape with a cavity 27 extending throughout for accommodating the abdomen of a pregnant woman W as she lies upon the mattress in a prone position. In the preferred embodiment, the abdominal cavity 27 is covered first by a plurality of resilient, elastic straps 23 that are attached to the outside surface of the foam core 22 by a means of quick yet secure attachment 25, 26 (such a hook and loop system—like Velcro® or the like—or an equivalent means of attachment). These straps 23 are adjusted to conform to the contours of the enlarged abdomen of the woman W at various stages of the pregnancy, gradually increasing the space for the abdomen of the woman W in the later stages. The entire device is encased in a removable mattress cover 24. The material used to manufacture the cover is virtually unlimited. It should be washable and soft for comfort, yet durable and resilient to assist in the support of the abdomen across the support straps. This mattress cover 24 provides comfort and strength as it encases the straps 23 and abdominal cavity 27. The cover 24 may be removed and washed for cleanliness.

[0060] A person having ordinary skill in the field of this invention appreciates the various materials and component parts that may be used to physically permit this maternity comfort mattress 21 to be produced and utilized. The improvements over the existing art are providing a device that: (1) is simple to use, (2) has multiple straps for adjusting to individual needs, (3) is an inexpensive design, (4) is flexible and easy to transport, (5) has a washable and replaceable cover, and (6) is not an inflated device subject to puncturing.

[0061] There are shown in FIGS. 1-10 complete operative embodiments of the invention. The invention generally relates to a maternity comfort mattress 21. The mattress is essentially comprised of:

[0062] A. a foam core 22 with a cavity 27,

[0063] B. a plurality of straps 23 and a means 25,26 to attach the straps 23 to the foam core 22, and

[0064] C. a cover 24 to encase the entire device.

[0065] Attachment and adjustment features are built in to the maternity comfort mattress and will be described in detail, below.

[0066] While the present invention shows a maternity comfort mattress 21 that approximately covers the area of a twin sized mattress as the embodiment for this new device, this showing is not meant to limit the intention of the present invention. The same concept applies to other maternity comfort mattresses of varying areas and depths.

[0067] In the drawings and illustrations, note well that the FIGS. 1-10 demonstrate the general condition of mattress having four (4) to six (6) support straps 23. This is done for simplicity and it is understood that many times in the descriptions, below, only one strap 23 will be referenced. The use of varying numbers or a plurality of the support straps 23 is possible. For simplicity of illustration of the invention, please note that the manner of attaching any of the support straps to the body of the maternity comfort mattress is not intended to restrict the attachment to only one manner. The manner of attachment is functionally understood by those skilled in the art to be one of several ways appropriate to attach all the support straps to the foam core of the mattress.

[0068] The preferred embodiment of the maternity comfort mattress 21 is comprised of the parts as shown in FIG. 1-10 of the drawings. These parts include, but are not limited to, the parts mentioned previously—the main foam core 22; a plurality of support straps 23; and a removable mattress cover 24. These parts have specific features noted in the descriptions below.

[0069] FIG. 1 is an ISOMETRIC VIEW of the invention—a maternity comfort mattress 21. This view depicts the general view of the maternity comfort mattress 21.

[0070] FIG. 2 is SIDE VIEW of a pregnant woman W lying on the comfort maternity mattress 21. This view shows the woman, denoted as W lying in a prone position with her face downward on top of the maternity comfort mattress 21.

[0071] FIG. 3 is an ISOMETRIC VIEW of the maternity comfort mattress 21 depicting its several parts that are the embodiment of the invention. This view shows the foam core 22; and, a plurality of the support straps 23.

[0072] The foam core 22 is not limited to a specific material. However, it is preferably polymeric foam such as a soft, open celled urethane foam or any other suitable foam with a softness or hardness selected for the particular application of the device. As materials and compounds are developed that have similar characteristics, one skilled in the art understands that the description or the foam core 22 is exemplary and not limiting to the material utilized in the present invention.

[0073] The support straps 23 may be of any suitable resilient material that permits some elasticity, yet maintains a firm presence in the cavity of the foam core 22. Although several materials are suitable, the balance between the elasticity of the material and the resistance to longitudinal forces are best confirmed empirically for each specific resilient material.

[0074] Further, the FIG. 3. shows the mattress cover 24; the attachment means 25 on each end of the support straps 23; two attachment means 26 that are integrally attached to the foam core 22; and, an abdominal cavity 27 extending through the foam core 22.

[0075] FIG. 4 is a SKETCH from the SIDE of an actual prototype of the maternity comfort mattress 21. The components are explained in FIG. 5.

[0076] FIG. 5 is a SIDE VIEW OF THE maternity comfort mattress 21. It specifically shows the attachment means 26 that is integral to the foam core 22. The support straps 23 are fastened to the attachment means 26 by the connection means 25 on each end of each of the support straps 23. Attachment straps 26 and connection means 25 can be one of many fastening systems. For example, they could be hook and loop systems (such as the well-known Velcro®); a snapping system or a slide engagement system. These functional examples are offered, as stated above, to show a person well skilled in the art one of several ways to appropriately attach all the support straps to the foam core of the mattress.

[0077] FIG. 6 is various cross sections of possible adjustment positions for the maternity comfort mattress 21.

[0078] A-A is at the earliest use where no or very minimal space is required. Note the ends 28 of the support straps 23 wrap around the underside of attachment 26. Note also that the top area 29 of the straps 23 are coplanar with the top surface 34 of the foam core 22.

[0079] B-B is at an early stage of the pregnancy where some space adjustment is required for comfort. The ends 28 are closer to the edge of the attachment strip 26. The top area 30 of the support straps 23 is now below the top surface 34 of the foam core 22.

[0080] C-C is at a later, middle stage in the pregnancy where additional comfort space is required. The ends 28 are at the edge of the attachment strip 26. The top area 31 of the support straps 23 is now far below the top surface 34 of the foam core 22.

[0081] D-D is at a latest stage of the pregnancy where maximum space is required for comfort. The ends 28 are on the sides of the attachment strip 26. The top area 32 of the support straps 23 is now at its extremely lowest point below the top surface 34 of the foam core 22. Here the abdominal cavity 27 is at its maximum capacity to hold an enlarged abdomen comfortably, yet firmly.

[0082] In the Enlarged Section of D-D in FIG. 6 note that the attachment strips 26 are integrally held to the foam core 22 by means of an adhesive 33 or the like to form a secure bond between the attached components.

[0083] Note well the attachment strip 26 is illustrated as an angular “L” strip that has surfaces along the sides and the bottom of foam core 22. This does not preclude alternative designs such as a simple strip along either the side or the bottom of the foam core 22. In fact, all the section views delineated above are provided as examples and not limitations for the concept of attaching the support straps 23 to the foam core 22.

[0084] FIG. 7 is an ISOMETRIC VIEW of the maternity comfort mattress 21 showing the operation of the straps 23. The support straps 23 extend across the abdominal cavity 27 and are attached along each side of the foam core 22 at the attachment strip 26 (each side).

[0085] FIG. 8 is a SKETCH from the END of an actual prototype of the maternity mattress 21 showing the straps 23 in place. The components are explained in FIG. 7.

[0086] FIG. 9 is Partial ISOMETRIC VIEW showing the mattress cover 24 in relation to the maternity comfort mattress 21. The mattress cover 24 can encase the foam core 22 and the support straps 23 from either end. The mattress cover 24 serves to encase the embodiment to provide a washable, durable, and replaceable hygienic surface. Additionally the cover 24 provides a comfortable surface over the support straps 23 and the surface of the foam core 22.

[0087] FIG. 10 is a SKETCH of an actual prototype of the invention showing a mattress cover 24 being placed from an opposite end to FIG. 9. The components are explained in FIG. 9.

[0088] An ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT of the maternity comfort mattress 21 is shown in FIG. 3A. Here, the view demonstrates that one large strap or band 35 is used rather than a plurality of smaller straps 23. The large strap may be less costly to produce. All other features and functions of the preferred embodiment are present with this alternative embodiment. However, one skilled in the art realizes the adjustment to just one strap 35 versus many straps 23 reduces some of the overall range of the adjustment to the support system.

[0089] In total all the points and details mentioned here throughout this detailed description of the drawings are exemplary and not limiting. Other components specific to describing a maternity comfort mattress may be added as a person having ordinary skill in the field of this invention well appreciates. The drawing and components have been focused on the parts shown in respect to the present invention.

[0090] Operation of the Embodiment

[0091] The new maternity comfort mattress 21 as the present invention has been described in the above embodiment. The manner of how the mattress 21 operates is described below. Note well that the description above, the included detailed drawings, and the operation described here must be taken together to fully illustrate the concept of the maternity comfort mattress 21.

[0092] The embodiment described above is a maternity comfort mattress 21 essentially comprised of:

[0093] a foam core 22 with a cavity 27 for the enlarged abdomen of a pregnant woman W;

[0094] a plurality of support straps 23 with means 25 and 26 to attach the straps 23 to the foam core 22; and,

[0095] a cover 24 to encase the entire device.

[0096] The a pregnant woman W as shown in FIG. 2 lies in a face downward position with her enlarged abdomen in the cavity area 27. As her term of pregnancy increases, the need for a larger cavity is a natural phenomenon. The manner in which the maternity comfort mattress is used to compensate for this increased need of the abdominal space is best-demonstrated in FIG. 6 section views. There in FIG. 6, the support straps 23 are shown as they are adjusted to allow the top areas (29, 30, 31, and 32) of the straps 23 to continue to be farther below the top surface 34 of the foam core 22.

[0097] The manner in which the support straps are accessed easily is shown by FIGS. 9 and 10. The mattress cover 24 is merely pulled down to expose the support straps 23 and the adjustments are quickly and efficiently made without the need of any tools.

[0098] The quick and efficient attachment and adjustment features are built in to the invention. These features include, but are not limited to, strips of material 26 (that have “loops” or other receiving means) along two longitudinal sides of the mattress core 22 and strips of material 25 (that have “hooks” or other engagement means) at each end 28 of each the straps 23. These features are best shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5.

[0099] The operation of the ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT shown in FIG. 3A is the same as described for the PREFERRED EMBODIMENT. The single strap or band 35 is adjusted in the same manner as the multiple straps 23 as discussed above.

[0100] Having discussed above the use of the PREFERRED and ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS of the maternity mattress 21 and its means of easy adjustment during the stages of pregnancy, one skilled in the art of support mattresses in general can readily understand that there are several alternative uses for this device. For example, both men and women that have had an injury or surgery that requires the person to lay face downward for recuperation and/or therapy can potentially benefit. Additionally, men or women that have large abdomens and wish to benefit from abdominal support when lying face downward may equally benefit from the device. These further examples are offered to show the expanse of uses and not to limit the use to others needing abdominal support for various reasons.

[0101] For a pregnant woman W or for any of the other exemplary uses described above, that person may use the preferred embodiment of the present invention in several ways. It may be placed on top of a twin mattress, a standard single or double mattress, a queen sized mattress, or a king sized mattress. Additionally, it could be used on various other flat surfaces.

[0102] Because it is lightweight, is made of durable materials, requires no special, complex frame, the maternity comfort mattress 21 may be easily transported and may be stored in a relatively small space. Other advantages as well as other uses of having the present maternity comfort mattress are readily understood by one skilled in the art.

[0103] The maternity comfort mattress 21 invention has been described above in connection with what is presently considered to be the most practical and embodiments. With this description it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiments. On the contrary, the invention is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the description.