What is the Best Nursing Pillow for Breastfeeding?

Bassinet? Check. Pram? Check. Nappies? Check. Nursing Pillow...do I need one? The list of required items can seem endless when you are preparing for the arrival of a new baby, especially if you dare set foot in a baby store! Just how much ‘stuff’ can a tiny little human really need? It can feel overwhelming trying to prepare for this new season of life, especially if it is your first baby and there are just so many unknowns.  Yet there is a sense that the more you can get organised before baby arrives and the subsequent haze of sleepless nights begins, the better.

Before the arrival of my sweetheart son, my midwife gently explained to me that a newborn baby really does not require much more than to be warm, fed and cuddled - and hopefully some sleep in there too! And it certainly does not take much to provide this. It was important to me to breastfeed my son and so I wanted to ensure I did all I could to make this possible and even enjoyable once he was born. Did you know newborn babies will usually feed up to 12 times every 24 hours, often for 45 minutes at a time? This adds up to 3780 minutes of breastfeeding per week, or 63 hours. That’s more hours than a standard full-time working week! I began to think about and research more into the physical toll breastfeeding may have on my body and how I could look after myself through this season. So began my journey diving into the world of nursing pillows for breastfeeding.

Once my son was born, I quickly realized how awkward (and scary!) it feels initially to hold such a tiny hungry baby and support their entire body while trying to undo my nursing bra, move my top and position baby to the breast. I definitely needed help! I was given several different nursing pillows to try from friends and family, as well as purchasing my own to work out what would suit our needs.

So, what is the best nursing pillow for breastfeeding? In my opinion, I found the best nursing pillow to be the Boppy Bare Naked Nursing Pillow and Positioner. The ‘Boppy’ is a C-shaped nursing pillow that is designed to be positioned on your lap, hugging your body, so that your baby can be supported on top the pillow close to your chest as you nurse. This prevents the mother from hunching over and straining back and neck muscles unnecessarily as she breastfeeds, while also providing support to a new baby who cannot yet support their own head.

There are so many nursing pillows on the market and what has worked best for me may not work best for you. I have put together a review of four different popular and effective products (including my personal favorite!) which I hope will allow you to weigh up the pros and cons and make an informed decision for your breastfeeding needs. Why not also ask a friend or family member if they own any of these products themselves and perhaps, you’ll have the chance to trial a few different types of cushions before you purchase your own.

My Brest Friend Original Nursing Posture Pillow

Sale
My Brest Friend Original Nursing Posture Pillow, Grey &...
  • FEEL THE SUPPORT: Encourages better posture during breastfeeding,...
  • FIRM AND FLAT: Prevents baby from rolling out of position during nursing
  • CONVENIENT POCKET: Handy pouch keeps your maternity supplies within easy...
  • WRAP AROUND DESIGN: Adjusts to fit most sizes, this pillow surrounds your...
  • PREFERRED BY THE PROS: My Brest Friend is proud to be the top choice of...

Features a wrap-around design with back and arm support, secured to the body with a belt and clip to stay in place and avoid any gaps where the baby could slip into while feeding. This is a firm, flat recyclable foam pillow with a removable washable cover, though there is nothing protecting the foam pillow inside (which is not washable) if anything leaks through to the cushion. As a mother who experienced very leaky breasts as well as a refluxey baby who vomited (and pooped!) at every feed as a newborn, this would be a deal breaker for me.

A fun, thoughtful feature of this breastfeeding cushion is the attached accessories pouch where you can store any feeding supplies such as a burp cloth, breast pads and nipple cream or a small water bottle – things that are hard to grab once you’re stuck under a content feeding baby! The extra back and arm supports serve a great purpose though I found that they made the cushion too bulky for me to actually fit on some chairs to feed.

My Brest Friend Original Nursing Posture Pillow, Grey &...

Buy on Amazon

 

My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow for Comfortable Posture

My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow for Comfortable...
  • FEEL THE SUPPORT: Encourages better posture during breastfeeding,...
  • FIRM AND FLAT: Prevents baby from rolling out of position during nursing
  • ONE HAND USE: Deluxe strap has velcro and silent release buckle for easy,...
  • WRAP AROUND DESIGN: Adjusts to fit most sizes, this pillow surrounds your...
  • PREFERRED BY THE PROS: My Brest Friend is proud to be the top choice of...

A very similar design to Original My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow – it is also a wrap-around cushion with belt and back and arm supports, as well as an accessories pouch attached. The cover that comes with the My Brest Friend deluxe cushion is 100% polyester and designed to be a softer minky feel for baby, whereas the Original cushion covers are 100% cotton. Similar to the Original pillow, the covers are washable though the pillow insert is not.

Another other component on this pillow that is different to the Original nursing Pillow above is a double-feature strap that has Velcro for adjustment and a silent-release buckle. The silent buckle is helpful when removing the pillow without waking your baby, however I found the Velcro would stick to everything and make just as much noise and pull at the threads of mine or my baby’s clothing and blankets. Lastly, the My Brest Friend Deluxe pillow has two raised bumps built in to the foam cushion on each side to give a touch of extra support to the baby’s head.

My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow for Comfortable...

Buy on Amazon

 

Boppy Bare Naked Nursing Pillow and Positioner

Boppy Bare Naked Nursing Pillow and Positioner
  • 30 YEARS OF COMFORT AND SUPPORT WHILE NURSING: The original, award winning...
  • VERSATILE USES FOR 0-12 MONTHS: The Boppy Nursing Pillow supports your...
  • Fabric Care Instructions: Machine wash delicate cycle, 30 degree Celsius /...
  • AWARD WINNING QUALITY: The Boppy Pillow has won several awards voted on by...
  • NURSERY MUST-HAVE: The Boppy Pillow is a registry must-have, making it the...

This is the best nursing pillow for breastfeeding, in my opinion. There are so many features to love but most of all, I love the simple functionality of this cushion. It is a simple C-shaped design with a machine washable polly fill cushion and removable slip-cover, which is essential to easily clean up the baby vomit and milk that will probably end up all over your nursing pillow at times. There is also the option of purchasing additional covers so you can choose from a number of super cute pillow-case designs and chop and change them as you like! You can also purchase a waterproof pillow protector so that you don’t have to wash the whole pillow every time something is spilt on it.

The versatility of this nursing pillow was another huge winning feature for me. You quickly accumulate a lot of baby paraphernalia which can make your home feel cluttered and overwhelming. Any baby item that can serve multiple purposes, look smart and help to reduce unnecessary clutter is a big win in my book! This also means a little more bang for your buck. I love the look of this pillow so much that I continue to keep it as an extra cushion in our living room long after I finished using it for my son. Guests always comment how comfortable it is! A negative to bear in mind with the Boppy Bare Naked nursing pillow is that its softness may lend itself to the pillow flattening over time and therefore providing less support than other more rigid pillows.

The Boppy Bare Naked Nursing Pillow is a super versatile product because as your baby grows (and you soon no longer require a pillow for feeding), it can also be used for other purposes such as providing cushioned support for ‘tummy time’ activities, propping up your baby as they learn to sit or simply an extra cushion for your couch! I also offered it to friends and family to use while holding our newborn son as extra support. The Boppy Bare Naked Pillow is very user-friendly and no-fuss – it is washable, comfortable, easy to use and not too bulky.

Boppy Bare Naked Nursing Pillow and Positioner

Buy on Amazon

 

Boppy Best Latch Breastfeeding Pillow

This model of the Boppy nursing pillow was created in consultation with a lactation consultant and is designed to help your baby find the perfect latch while breastfeeding, eliminating a lot of potential pain and discomfort for the mother. It has two different surfaces – one side is a firmer, contoured minky-fabric cushion that helps to keep baby propped on their side as they nurse. The other side is a softer fill and could be used for propping the baby up as they grow. It also features a belt clipped around the mother’s back to keep the pillow snug against your body for breastfeeding, though admittedly the belt.

The pillow is machine washable once the belt and foam insert are removed.  For mothers who are experiencing a lot of trouble with positioning their baby to the breast to feed, this pillow could play a big role in allowing your breastfeeding journey to improve and continue. It is a bulkier design than the Boppy Bare Naked pillow.

Boppy Best Latch Breastfeeding Pillow, Kensington Gray,...

Buy on Amazon

Are Nursing Pillows Worth It?

Everyone’s preferences with nursing pillows – and indeed all ‘baby equipment’ – will be different according to your situation, your parenting style, your baby’s unique needs and what is most comfortable for your body. So you may find that nursing pillows just don’t work for you! It is also good to remember that in a matter of months your baby will likely be too big to breastfeed with a pillow at all. However, as you are going to be spending literally hundreds of hours feeding your baby, it is certainly worthwhile taking seriously the need for both of you to be comfortable and supported as you nurse. A breastfeeding pillow can also be a game-changing tool to help overcome some common breastfeeding challenges.

You could potentially just use one or two regular pillows for this purpose while feeding, though these are often not quite the right level of firmness needed to support your baby and the wraparound shape of a nursing pillow is certainly much more ergonomic. As an aside, you may notice that your nursing pillow fits a little snugly and proves even more effective a week or two after birth, as your enlarged uterus shrinks. For the multitasking mother, keep in mind a nursing pillow might help to free up your hands to type, eat and drink or make a phone call.

Are Nursing Pillows Safe?

Infant sleep guidelines state that a baby should never sleep on or near a pillow, so it is best practice not to let your baby fall asleep while using a breastfeeding cushion. There is also a risk that if left unsupervised or if the mother falls asleep while using a nursing pillow, the baby could slip off the cushion and into a position where their breathing is obstructed, increasing the risk of sudden infant death.

Is A Nursing Pillow The Same As A Boppy

A ‘Boppy’ is simply the name of one popular brand of nursing pillows and there are actually several different models of nursing pillows that Boppy offers. Often, when people talk about a ‘Boppy’, they are probably referring to the classic soft crescent-shaped design, the Boppy Bare Naked Nursing Pillow and Positioner. As can be seen in the above reviews, there are a lot of different types of nursing pillows out there.

In Conclusion

Breastfeeding a baby for the very first time in those early weeks as a new parent can seem daunting. I felt so clumsy and awkward initially as I got used to holding a newborn. Using a nursing pillow definitely helped me to gain confidence breastfeeding my baby. Importantly, a nursing pillow also reduced the strain of breastfeeding on my neck, back and arms and provided welcome relief during those long nights of cluster feeding where you just don’t seem to be able to out your baby down, even for a moment! It’s worthwhile considering a few different types of nursing pillows to find what works and feels best for you.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.