For moms, especially new moms, breastfeeding is a stressful experience to get the hang of. Sore nipples, engorged breasts and sleepless nights are some of the things you are forced to deal with during the early days of pregnancy.
The good news is that there are ways to make this process smooth and enjoyable for both mum and child. One of these ways is using a nursing pillow.
Since there are numerous types of nursing pillows in the market, selecting the most suitable one can be challenging. Before anything, there are factors you have to keep in mind when purchasing a nursing pillow. Some of these factors include size, price, ease of cleaning, shape, firmness and straps.
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How To Choose The Best Nursing Pillow
No matter the position you choose to breastfeed your baby, you will need to sit up to ensure maximum safety and comfort of your baby. You will need to go for a pillow that fits your torso to ensure your baby’s head is aligned to the nipple of your breast. While some pillows are taller to support longer torsos, others are shorter and wider. Here are factors to consider when choosing a nursing pillow.
No matter the position you choose to breastfeed, you must be seated to give your baby a good resting position. Therefore, you must select a breastfeeding position that fits your torso and that of your baby.
Ideally, your baby’s head and torso should be positioned at the same height as the nipple of your breast. Some nursing pillows can have taller, shorter or broader torsos than others.
Different mothers have different waist sizes; therefore, it is crucial to go for a nursing pillow that comfortably stays in place throughout the breastfeeding process.
Whether you are looking at a tight budget or have good money to spend, you will always find a nursing pillow that suits your budget.
However, make sure you don’t compromise too much on the price at the expense of quality. Remember, your infant is delicate and requires maximum comfort when breastfeeding, resting or sleeping.
Easy To Wash
Ease of cleaning is another crucial factor to consider since the pillow requires daily care and cleaning. Babies unlatch unexpectedly and spit up milk during feeding; therefore, you need to stray away from pillows that are difficult to wash.
When it comes to cleaning, nursing pillows with removable covers are the most suitable. Alternatively, choose a nursing pillow that is washable both by hand and machine.
It is also important to consider the shape of the nursing pillow you are interested in. Some nursing pillows are C-shaped and designed to hug the front of your body, while others Are shaped and designed to wrap around your midsection.
Others are crescent-shaped and do not conform to the body much but rather create a deeper space around the baby to keep the baby safe and secure while breastfeeding.
When breastfeeding, remember that a newborn baby should not lie with its neck straight facing the breast. If you feel that the baby is too high or sunk too low, the nursing pillow might be using the wrong nursing pillow.
It also depends on what you feel most comfortable on; while some mums love curved breastfeeding pillows, others are for flatter and firmer breastfeeding pillows. When looking at the firmness of your pillow, it boils down to three things your favorite feeding position, body type and personal preference.
Imagine a situation where you have to breastfeed your baby 8 to 12 times a day. Would you prefer a situation where once you are done with breastfeeding, the pillow falls off, or would you prefer straps around your breast while breastfeeding?
The good thing about straps is that you can walk around the house while your nursing pillow is on to make you ready all the time for breastfeeding.
How To Use A Nursing Pillow?
A nursing pillow is specifically designed to ease the work of breastfeeding mothers. They come in various styles and designs and are made to give your baby a convenient breastfeeding position and ease the strain on your spine.
A nursing pillow is a long-term investment for any mum. If you get the right one, you will enjoy using it, and it will work well for you and your baby, and you will never stop using it until you complete the breastfeeding process. Before anything else, keep in mind that selecting the right nursing pillow is essential.
If you plan to breastfeed for 3 or 4 months, you will need to worry much about the length or size of your pillow. A baby that fits in that age range should fit comfortably in most breastfeeding pillows without much trouble. Also, other mothers breastfeed for up to a year or more; you should go for a larger-sized nursing pillow in such a case.
Ensure that the shape and size of the nursing pillow fit you and your child. Most mothers only consider the size of their babies without evaluating their size. Many nursing pillows are designed to strap around your torso to help support the baby’s head and neck during breastfeeding. Go for a breastfeeding pillow that fits your midsection a few months after birth.
Nursing pillows come in different sizes, “C” shaped, “O” shaped, and others crescent shape. Most mothers prefer the “C” pillows since they are the most universal and fit most body shapes while providing adequate arm support to the user. “O” shaped pillows wrap around the entire body is good, especially if you need extra support after a c-section.
Lastly, crescent-shaped pillows are designed to wrap one side of your body. However, they might not work perfectly for smaller women since they might fall to the back of your chair when breastfeeding. The good thing is that some of these crescent pillows are adjustable and can be set to fit multiple sizes.
When purchasing a nursing pillow, it is you to decide if you need fastening straps. These are buckled straps that help the pillow to fit around your pillow perfectly. The main advantage of having a nursing pillow with fastening straps is that they help keep the pillow secure, and one of their undoings is the difficulty in getting them on and off.
Always keep in mind that breastfeeding is a highly unpredictable exercise. You can encounter issues such as spitting, other kids needing your attention or even distraction from pets. Straps could delay your response time in case of an emergency during breastfeeding.
Benefits Of A Nursing Pillow
Nursing pillows come with numerous benefits both for the child and the mother. During the first few months, you may have to breastfeed so many times a day, with each session taking up to an hour. As a mother, the last thing you will want as a new mother is to find yourself on a chiropractor because of a damaged back.
A good nursing pillow ensures that the baby is at the right height, so you don’t have to make use of your shoulders. When your back is supported, it means your shoulders and neck will relax. Some of the benefits you should expect when using a nursing pillow include;
Multipurpose: Nursing pillows are not designed just for breastfeeding mothers; bottle-fed kids can use them too. What many mothers do not realize is that bottle-feeding can be more taxing to the back and shoulder. Investing in a nursing pillow is the only sure way to ensure your posture survives.
Faster recovery for c-section moms: If you are recovering from a c-section, a nursing pillow should be your best friend. It provides a good buffer between your baby and abdomen during breastfeeding.
Encourage latching: Nursing pillows give your baby a good resting position to assist the baby with latching.
When Should You Start Using A Nursing Pillow?
Ideally, you should use a nursing pillow in the early weeks of birth to provide extra support for your baby during breastfeeding. Babies can be delicate during the first few days; it is important to set your baby in a good position to make them latch to suggest they are in a comfortable position.
It is also important not to apply pressure on the infant’s head; always ensure that the head and neck are supported below the ears. As long as you have your baby lined up in a good position and stay tight, make use of the nursing pillow.
How Long Can You Use A Nursing Pillow?
Unlike other children’s pillows, there is no definite rule on when you should stop using a nursing pillow. It boils down to personal preference and comfort.
As the baby grows, the need for a nursing pillow lessens as their ability to hold their heads up and control their movement improves with age.
However, keep in mind that your baby can get accustomed to it, and you will have to use it to the end. When evaluating whether to stop using the nursing pillow or not, some of the questions you should ask yourself include; How is your breastfeeding experience? How big is your child?
Best Nursing Pillow Review
My Best Friend Nursing Pillow
Navy Bells Polyester Pillow – 100% cotton, Firm & Flat, Convenient Pocket, Wrap Around Design
Best for – Best feeding mothers
What Makes This Nursing Pillow Outstanding?
Maximum support – The nursing pillow enables better posture during breastfeeding, alleviating strain on the mother’s back, neck and arms. Additionally, it is firm enough to prevent the baby from rolling out of position during breastfeeding.
Handy pouch – It comes with a convenient pocket to keep all your maternal supplies for safety.
Wrap-around design – The pillow is designed to fit most sizes. It is made to surround your body securely for an ideal breastfeeding position.
Baby soft fabric – It is made from fabric to provide a soft touch for the baby. Babies’ skin is delicate, so you need a soft enough pillow to avoid any irritation.
“A friend of mine recommended this nursing pillow after the birth of my child. It has been a game-changer for me! As a first-time mum, it took some time to get used to holding my baby, especially during breastfeeding.”
“I find it easy to use and adjust. My baby looks comfortable on it, and I feel relaxed feeding him. The nursing pillow is handy during those late-night feeds when you do not have enough energy to hold your baby for more than 30 minutes.”
What You May Not Like
Baby outgrows fast – Babies grow very fast. Depending on the size of your child, the pillow can be rendered too small after just six weeks of use.
No waterproof cover – A waterproof cover should have been part of the design to avoid a situation where you have to purchase one.
Boppy Original Nursing Pillow and Positioner
Breastfeeding positioner – Cotton Blend Fabric, Machine Washable, Removable Cover
Best for – Breastfeeding mothers
What Makes This Nursing Pillow Outstanding?
Designed for comfort and support – Created by a mom to provide a pillow to your back and arm. It also lifts the baby to an ergonomic position when breastfeeding or bottle-feeding.
Versatile Wake-Time Support – 0 to 3 months – feeding, 3 to 6 months – propping, 6-9 months tummy time, nine and above sitting. Only made for baby’s awake time.
Multiple feeding styles – The nursing pillow works in multiple feeding styles like a cradle, football hold and bottle feeding.
Zip removable slipcover – It comes with a removable cover with an easy-on-covered zipper design. The pillowcase is also machine washable.
“Love it! It is comfortable for the baby and me. If you are a new mum, I would recommend you go for this pillow.”
“I bought this nursing pillow after my first child. It is thick enough to boost my son to the right height when I’m breastfeeding him. The pillow is great to lay on, especially when the baby is gassy. I would recommend it to new moms.”
What You May Not Like
Not flexible enough – The nursing pillow is not flexible enough to be used on a rocking bed or chair.
Too tight – Some users feel that the nursing pillow is too tight and does not expand enough to suit their babies.
My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow
Evening grey breastfeeding pillow – Firm and Flat, Wrap Around Design, One Hand Use, Orthopedic
Best for – Breastfeeding Mothers
What Makes This Pillow Outstanding?
Better breastfeeding posture – The pillow encourages for better breastfeeding position and helps to alleviate strain on the back, arms and neck.
Firm enough – The nursing pillow is firm and flat enough to prevent the baby from rolling out of an appropriate position during breastfeeding.
One-hand use – The deluxe strap comes with Velcro and release buckle to enable easy, one-hand use. It also allows you to keep and store your maternity supplies within the attached pouch.
Wrap-around design – You can adjust this nursing pillow to fit various sizes. It is designed to surround your body securely for an ideal breastfeeding position.
“I used the bobby pillow for the first one week for my newborn, and it never stayed in place. A friend recommended the Brest Friend, and I immediately ordered it. I’m impressed; it comfortably carries all my child’s weight while I concentrate on the latch. Additionally, it helps me keep lanolin, nipple shields, burp clp9th and even cell phone.”
“This nursing pillow improved my breastfeeding journey. I previously used Bobby, and it wouldn’t just stay in one place during breastfeeding. My baby would easily slip down between my hands. Also, my tongue has a tongue-tie making nursing more difficult. My Friend Brest took away all the struggle. I can breastfeed, readjust and sit comfortably.”
What You May Not Like
Wird smell – Most customers have complained about the nursing pillow having some weird smell, especially when new.
It is not easy to wash – One of the biggest downfalls of this nursing pillow is its inability to wash the item quickly.
My Brest Friend Supportive Nursing Pillow
Plus-Size Twins Nursing pillow – Convenient Pocket, Wrap Around Design, Maximum infants support
Best for – Breastfeeding kids 0-12 months
What Makes This Pillow Outstanding?
Convenient for Tandem Nursing – Its design is large enough to support twins during breastfeeding comfortably.
Good support – The nursing pillow encourages better posture during breastfeeding, thus alleviating strain on the back, neck and arms.
Allows for Tandem Nursing – The design of this nursing pillow is big enough to support twins during breastfeeding comfortably. Additionally, it is scratch-proof, anti-reflective and dust-free.
Handy pouch – It comes with a handy pouch that keeps your maternity supplies within reach for safety and easy use.
Wrap-around design – It is adjustable and can fit various sizes and is designed to surround your body securely, providing for proper support for both mum and kind.
“For me, this is the best pillow available for breastfeeding twins. It provides the right breastfeeding position for my kids. If you are a mother of twins, go for it.”
“I have been using a nursing pillow for three weeks, and I love this product. At first, I was unsure about spending money on it, but after going through customer reviews, I decided to give it a shot. My twins are far more comfortable, and I love the pouch I use to keep chapstick, bottle and even phone. If you are plus size like me or have large breasts, go for this product, you will love it!”
What You May Not Like
Too small for weighty kids – If your babies are too big, this nursing pillow may disappoint as the babies may fall back while you are nursing.
Too bulky – Handling two kids during breastfeeding is not an easy thing to do and so adding this big nursing pillow to the mix may cause some inconvenience.
Choosing the right breastfeeding pillow can improve your breastfeeding experience. A good nursing pillow can provide adequate relief for your back during pregnancy and when the baby arrives. Always keep in mind how and where you will be breastfeeding. With multiple times and long hours of breastfeeding, you need a nursing pillow.