Breastfeeding is one of the most intimate activities between a mother and her newborn. However, finding a comfortable nursing position could become a challenge and may affect the baby’s ability to feed properly. To solve this problem and other discomfits experienced during breastfeeding, the idea of a nursing pillow was conceived. This pillow is one of those nursing essentials that will be cherished and used by moms. It keeps the newborn snuggled tight to the mother, and with the extra lift, he/she latches on well and gains unrestricted access to the breast.
If you were bottle-feeding the baby or breastfeeding without a pillow, you might have had to bend forward and hold the baby all through the feeding time. This process exerts pressure and stress on your back, neck, and arms. It also results in poor posture and may lead to body aches and pains. With a nursing pillow, the mother’s back and arms get adequate support. As a result, she can relax comfortably and feed her baby.
Before choosing a nursing pillow, either for your baby or as a gift for expecting parents, there are specific features you should consider since they are not all the same. They have different firmness levels and shapes. So you should decide carefully on which one you need so you do not get a pillow that will accumulate dust instead of being put to good use. Below are five of the best nursing pillows that we believe will satisfy your needs and preferences.
Best Rated Nursing Pillows Reviewed
Boppy is a brand known for baby products such as loungers, support positioners, and other breastfeeding products. The baby support positioner is one of the most sought for pillows for nursing mothers and their babies. It will be needed and appreciated all through the first year of a new baby. By drawing the baby closer to the mother, Boppy nursing pillow allows excellent positioning of babies for feeding. The pillow’s firm curvature is such that it can fit the waist of most baby caregivers easily. This feature makes breastfeeding time very comfortable for mothers. The pillow is also perfect for propping babies from 3 months and can be used for tummy time too. For older babies, Boppy provides support and cushion for them as they learn to sit.
Boppy nursing pillow features a cotton blend fabric, and so it is washable. It has a removable water-resistant slipcover as well as another outer fancy covering. The pillow cover is available in a wide range of designs and colors. You are free to purchase more than the cover it came with, so you can switch them up between washes.
- Removes stress from mom’s arms and back during breastfeeding
- Features a firm and soft side that is usable alternatively
- Holds its shape even after washing
- Pillows and covers are machine-washable
- Great for different stages of growth and development in the first year of a baby’s life
- Might not be a firm fit on the waist
- Might be softer than needed
Borje newborn breastfeeding pillow features a polyester fabric covered with a cotton material to make it more suitable for babies. It is specially designed for smaller babies that require a softer cushioning and support when being nursed.
As the baby gets elevated to a better position, the mother keeps her hands free or uses only one during breastfeeding. This positioning relieves stress exerted on the arms and back. There is a little pillow attached to keep the baby’s head elevated on it. The small head pillow is removable when not in use, or positioned to stay on the side of the breast the baby feeds on.
Borje nursing pillow is best hand-washed to ensure the shape and color do not change. When necessary, however, it can be machine washed using a gentle cycle and dried using the lowest dryer setting. The cover is available in several prints and colors. It is also machine washable at all times.
- Most suitable for newborns
- Comes with a little head pillow for the baby
- Multi-color options
- Pillow does not shrink or lose size and shape.
- Quite affordable
- Not firm or big enough to be used for older babies
This model is a wrap-around nursing pillow that provides a very comfortable position for the mother and baby during feeding time. Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, My Brest Friend is designed to form a base where your baby lies comfortably. It supports the baby and places him/her in an elevated position so that the mother can nurse with ease. As such, it promotes good posture and relieves back, neck, shoulder, or arm pains. The pillow is free of any harmful chemical and has an organic cotton cover that suits babies’ sensitive skin.
My Brest Friend has a side pocket where items such as a water bottle, phone, the baby’s face cloths, and a lip balm can be kept for easy access. It guarantees that the baby is not disturbed when he/she is feeding. With a strap that holds it securely positioned around the waist, you can rest assured that the baby would not roll into any spaces between the mother and the pillow. The strap also makes it ideal for mothers that underwent a caesarian section during childbirth as they can keep the pad as tight or loose as they desire.
- The flat surface ensures the baby latches on adequately when being fed
- A storage bag for keeping small supplies that may be needed while breastfeeding
- Excellent for several breastfeeding positions
- Organic cotton fabric cover
- It features polyurethane and is free of preservatives, fire retardants, or other chemicals
- The Velcro is on the outside and may ruin furniture or clothes that come in contact with it
- The color of the cover may not be exactly as the one in the picture
Bamibi is a multifunctional polyester pillow for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and their babies. It is used by a pregnant woman as a body pillow to provide cushioning and support. As a nursing pillow, it alleviates pain from the mother’s arms and back by keeping the baby in an uplifted position for easy feeding. It helps prevent the baby from tugging at the nipples and injuring the mother. After your baby must have gotten bigger and you have no need for a nursing pillow, Bamibi can become an excellent choice for tummy time, propping, and keeping him/her in a balanced sitting position. It can also be used by any family member for neck and lumbar support when sitting or sleeping. The pillow is soft and machine washable. It also comes with a removable cotton cover.
- Provides back support for pregnant and nursing women
- Excellent for nursing and breastfeeding a baby
- Can be used as a cot bumper and an anti-roll cushion for babies
- Great for propping and supporting older babies
- It may not provide adequate support for the stomach during pregnancy
Infantino was designed to overcome the limitations of nursing pillows that have only one positioning and elevation. It has several layers that can be adjusted to provide three elevation options. The nursing mother is free to choose any one of the best comfortable levels for her and her baby during breast or bottle feeding. This level chosen is often dependent on the baby’s developmental stage and the position the user prefers. Newborns will usually need the maximum elevation, while a two months old baby might feed comfortably in the neutral position.
Infantino is very flexible and permits the mother to hold the baby in various ways, such as the cradle, cross-cradle, clutch, upright, or angled positions. The pillow is machine washable and easy to hand wash too. It can be stored by folding and tying with a ribbon.
- Prevents slumping over when feeding your baby
- Promotes several nursing positions
- Machine washable
- Adjustable, flexible and supportive nursing pillow
- Great for traveling and nursing
- Does not have a strap to hold it close
- Quite expensive
Key Considerations When Choosing a Nursing Pillow
Multi-functionality: Most mothers prefer buying a nursing (breastfeeding) pillow with more than one purpose since it is unequivocally essential in the early weeks after childbirth. As the baby grows, the pad becomes needless and gets in the way. If the pillow has more than one function, it then gets converted for alternate use. As a result, many brands have incorporated this option into the manufacture of their pillows. Such applications include propping the child up during tummy time by balancing him/her on it and using the pad as support for when the baby begins to learn how to sit. Some nursing pillows can also be used entirely as a neck pillow for watching television by persons without babies.
Fabric: Your nursing pillow’s fabric will determine if it is machine washable or not. Since most models feature a polyester, cotton, polyurethane, or a blend of any two materials, they are mostly easy to clean. However, some can only be hand-washed so that the shape is not affected. But most pillow covers are made of cotton, which is machine washable and easy to clean.
Shape and Fit: To support the baby’s head and neck, nursing pillows are placed around the waist. So you need to choose the one that will fit around you shortly after birth. However, they come in several shapes depending on your choice, taste, or the level of comfort you desire. Some are U, O, C, and L-shaped. The various forms are also designed to determine the level of comfort you get when using it. C-shaped pillows are most common and tend to fit nearly most waists. O-shaped ones provide more support for the mother’s back and arms. In addition to shape, some pillows have fastening straps around them that help you adjust it to a more pleasing and secure fit.
Popular Breastfeeding Positions/Hold
Side-Lying Position: It is a well-known breastfeeding position. Here, mothers lay down on their side on a comfortable surface and also place the baby to face them with the baby’s face close to their breast. They can then draw the baby closer for a good latch. It is beneficial when the mother is sick or tired and wants to rest while nursing, after giving birth through a cesarean section and she needs to protect her stomach, or when she has overly large breasts.
Football/Clutch Hold: Here, the mother lays the baby down on his/her back next to her, providing support with her palms. She then brings the baby up, so the nipple is level with the kid’s nose. It derived its name from how mothers hold the baby in a manner that resembles the way one holds a football. It allows the mother to feed the baby using only one hand and is excellent for women with large breasts or twins.
Cross-Cradle Hold: Also called the crossover position, this posture allows the mother to watch her baby as he/she feeds. It is handy when babies have a hard time latching on, and with the aid of a nursing pillow, the child stays at the same level as the breast. Here, the mother holds the baby on her arm and supports the head with her fingers. She then gets the baby to open his/her mouth and latches the breast inside.
Cradle Hold: The most popular of breastfeeding positions, this hold is often tricky at first but becomes comfortable for both mother and baby once they have mastered the act.
Laid-back Position: In the laid back posture, the mother lies on a bed or reclines on a chair with her face up and cuddles the baby on her stomach. She then supports the baby if need be. It is also called biological nurturing and is excellent for nursing twins.
When breastfeeding babies, it can be quite difficult for the mother to comfortably do so without bending forward, lifting the baby, or staying in an awkward position. The wrong posture can make breastfeeding very stressful for the mothers as it hurts the back, neck, and arms. In such cases, a nursing pillow becomes a lifesaver. It is a comfortable pillow that allows mothers to position their babies properly when feeding them. It also provides lower back support and puts less strain on the arms. Most nursing pillows will serve you and your baby all through the first year as they often have more than one purpose. Ensure to get a waterproof cover for the pillow, especially since babies can spit up at any instance.