The 10 Best Breastfeeding Pillows
This wiki has been updated 28 times since it was first published in April of 2015. Yes, being a new mom is filled with all kinds of joys, but it can also be extremely uncomfortable and trying at times, especially during baby's meals. If you and your little one are fussy about nursing, try one of these helpful breastfeeding pillows. They alleviate discomfort, provide a safe surface while suckling, and help to create a special bonding experience. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
March 05, 2019:
We know that nursing moms have a lot of concerns, and we tried to alleviate at least those pertaining to comfortable and safe feeding with our selections. Mothers who worry about synthetic or irritating materials going near their precious infant will like the all-organic Blessed Nest ONPA. Meanwhile, new mommies who don't want their cutie moving around too much while they get the hang of this nursing thing will love the stabilizing strap on the Leachco Cuddle-U. Parents who are overwhelmed by all the things they must buy for baby will like that the Fisher Price Perfect Position has a toy bar attached already. If you were surprised with two bundles of joy, you'll definitely appreciate how the Twin Z One makes your life a bit easier in this somewhat trying time, since it accommodates both of them at once. If you need something slightly smaller than traditional options that you can use when traveling, take a look at the Lansinoh Nursie, which simply slips onto the arm to make football and cradle holds more comfortable for both participants.
Why You Need A Breastfeeding Pillow
Breastfeeding pillows help to hold your baby up at the proper angle for feeding.
With so many items to buy for a new baby, it's normal to question just how essential each one is. But you'll quickly discover that the breastfeeding pillow is one that will make life so much easier. Considering that babies should breastfeed for at least the first six months of life, and newborns generally need to feed eight to 12 times per day for the first 30 days, only to decrease to seven to nine times per day in later months, new mothers spend a lot of time with a little one latched onto their bodies. Moms with a slow milk ejection reflex will spend even more time feeding. So, it's important to find ways to make this process more comfortable for everyone.
Breastfeeding pillows help to hold your baby up at the proper angle for feeding. This angle will help an infant latch on quickly, and keep his head and neck in an ergonomically correct position throughout the process, so the milk will flow easily down his throat. Manually holding a little one like this can be exhausting on a mother's arms. It's only normal that, as a mom becomes weary, she begins to drop her arm slightly, but this puts the baby at the wrong angle. A nursing pillow won't grow tired and it won't slowly drop down lower; it will keep the baby in the perfect place, and give mom's arms a much-needed break.
These unique pillows don't only ensure a baby is more comfortable during feedings, but they improve mom's experience, too. They help naturally prop mom up into a good posture. After carrying a baby in their stomach for nine months, mothers will often experience back pain, posture issues, and overall physical fatigue that makes it hard to sit up or maintain whichever nursing position they choose for a long time. Since nursing pillows help to support a mother, they will also give her muscles a chance to relax when her baby is feeding.
The Best Positions For Breastfeeding
There is more than one way to breastfeed your little one. The best position for you will depend on a variety of factors, so let's discuss each option. The football hold is one of the first positions new moms tend to learn about. In this position, you'll tuck your baby beneath the arm on the side of your body from which he will feed. Naturally, his feet will be pointing towards your back, and his head will be up by your breast. You can use that arm to clutch your baby's body, and that hand to support his head up towards your nipple. Many moms like this position because it leaves the other arm completely free. It's also a great choice for moms who have had the increasingly popular c-section and don't want to lie their baby across their abdomen.
The baby lies face-down on its mother, with his arms clutching her breast.
New moms obviously don't get much sleep. Their little ones are waking every few hours for a feeding and a variety of other reasons. While there are things you can do to help munchkins sleep longer, like introduce solid foods earlier, a nursing mom is bound to be exhausted. That's why many enjoy the laid-back position. In this position, the mother reclines at about a 45-degree angle. The baby lies face-down on its mother, with his arms clutching her breast. This one is easy to do anywhere, from a couch or a bed to a changing room in a store, so it's also a convenient option for busy mothers.
If you need to breastfeed a baby in the middle of the night, but are too tired to get up, just ask your partner to bring your newborn to you in bed. From here, you can do the side-lying position. You and your baby will lie stomach to stomach and your little one will feed on the breast that is closest to the mattress. You can use a nursing pillow to encircle you and your baby, holding him firmly against your body in this position.
Choosing The Right Pillow For You
There are three main shapes of nursing pillows: the O-shaped, the C-shaped, and the crescent-shaped. The O-shaped design is ideal for mothers who need complete support, as these wrap around the entire midsection. These prop up a mother's back, and give her plenty of room to rest her elbows and arms. The C-shaped models only hug the front of the body, and are mostly designed to prop the baby up towards the breast. The crescent shape is a good choice if you just want a little nesting area for your baby to hold him securely during feeding. Crescent options do not hug mom's body much.
Some even feature attachable toy bars to provide entertainment for growing babies.
Since the size of your stomach is bound to shrink drastically throughout the nursing months, you may want a pillow that has adjustable straps so you can get a secure fit while your body changes. Since you may be in a hurry to feed once the baby gives you those hunger signals, you might also want Velcro straps, as these can be opened, closed, and adjusted rapidly. If you have a squirmy baby, some pillows even have harnesses or straps to hold your little one still. Another thing to consider as your stomach shrinks is that you may need more help propping your baby up, as your own body bump won't be much help there. That's why some pillows have additional, adjustable support pillows on top of the main portion.
As your munchkin grows and starts to transition from the breast to the bottle and, eventually, to solids, you may appreciate versatile pillows that you can use for years to come. Some models can double as tummy time pillows once your baby begins to crawl around. Others are filled with materials that stay cool, that make them a nice laptop pillow. Some even feature attachable toy bars to provide entertainment for growing babies.