Nursing pillows are a great help for expectant and new mothers. They support the baby’s belly, relieve the strain on the back, and can thus ensure more restful sleep.
Once the baby is here, a nursing pillow helps to keep the little one comfortable and hands-free while breastfeeding. Many nursing pillows can also be converted into a nest for the baby or used as a bed surround. The large nursing pillows are also excellent for side sleepers. Nursing pillows come in many shapes and colors. We want to help you find the perfect nursing pillow for you. For this purpose, we have compiled a checklist with the most important criteria as well as helpful breastfeeding pillow recommendations so that you can enjoy breastfeeding as much as possible.
Nursing pillow advice
A breastfeeding pillow or pregnancy pillow is primarily designed to help pregnant women and nursing mothers.
Most often, the pillows have an elongated, crescent, or U-shape. The sizes vary from under a meter in length to pillows that enclose the entire body.
Nursing pillows are usually very flexible and can be shaped into the desired form. The filling perfectly adapts to the body of mother and child and supports it at the same time.
A breastfeeding pillow is versatile but mainly serves as a relief for the nursing mother.
Although the baby’s weight is low in the beginning, breastfeeding several times a day for a longer period of time can be very exhausting if the mother has to hold the baby. The baby can be placed comfortably and securely on a nursing pillow. This is easy on the mother’s shoulders and back and can reduce or prevent back pain. The pillow also relieves pressure on the pelvic floor, which can be a great advantage after childbirth.
Even if the baby is not yet born, a nursing or pregnancy pillow can serve the mother well. When folded, it can support the back very well. In its full length, it serves as a side sleeper pillow and supports the growing baby bump. As support and for more comfort when sleeping on the side, a nursing pillow is also suitable for women who are not pregnant or for men.
Some women buy nursing pillows to have support while breastfeeding that relieves back and arm strain and helps position the baby properly. Some nursing pillows can also help with falling asleep during pregnancy by relieving pressure on the back and abdomen when used as a side sleeper pillow.
For the baby, they are not only suitable as a comfortable base for breastfeeding, but also as a baby nest, sitting aid, or soft cushion for the first attempts at standing and walking. Nursing pillows are therefore true all-around talents and the purchase is definitely worthwhile. But that raises the big question: Which pillow suits me best? That depends entirely on what you primarily want to use the nursing pillow for. To help you decide, we have a few questions for you to consider before buying your nursing pillow.
Which nursing pillow suits me?
Nursing pillows come in different shapes and sizes. We present you the two most common ones.
Large nursing pillows
The most common nursing pillows are banana-shaped and about 140 to 190 cm long. You can use such a nursing pillow as a side sleeper pillow from the 6th month of pregnancy. One end serves as a pillow and the other supports the knees, while the rest of the pillow nestles around the belly.
After your baby is born, you can comfortably drape the nursing pillow around you while seated and place your baby on it. As your baby grows, the pillow will give you more relief. Hold your baby’s head for half an hour or more – you’re bound to experience tension in your shoulders and neck.
Other practical functions:
You can lay a newborn baby on the pillow. This means you don’t need a separate recliner if you want to lay your baby down next to you.
In addition, you can use the nursing pillow as a nest or bed boundary. When your baby sleeps in the family bed, he has his own little place. Later, it can cushion the hard wall, so your baby doesn’t bump into it while sleeping.
Which nursing pillow size suits me?
Large nursing pillows score points for their wide range of uses. Midwives recommend standard sizes between 1.80 m to 2.20 m. Smaller sizes are more suitable for petite women and long pillows for large and stronger women. Your nursing pillow should be at least 10 cm longer than your height.
Small nursing pillows
If you prefer to be mobile and sleep comfortably on your side without a special pillow, a small nursing pillow may be more suitable for you. Small nursing pillows come in different shapes, such as a nursing moon, nursing horn, or nursing muff. A moon-shaped nursing pillow is simply placed around the front of your stomach. A nursing muff is a pillow that you pull over your arm. This way your arm is padded, and your baby lies softer.
There are the following forms of breastfeeding pillows:
U-shaped or C-shaped nursing pillows are very common. U-shaped pillows are very large and often enclose the entire body of the mother. Thus, they can be used very well as side sleeper pillows. C-shaped nursing pillows are often very compact in their dimensions and provide firm support. They hug the mother’s waist and hold the baby in place very well without sinking in or slipping. Small C-shaped nursing pillows with a firm filling are excellent for new mothers who have had a C-section. They relieve and take pressure off the scar. Nursing pillows in the shape of a half-moon are very long and taper to a point at the ends. They can be used and shaped very flexibly and are also suitable as side sleeping pillows. Nursing pillows with asymmetrical shape or in the shape of a figure eight are also suitable for use as positioning and support pillows.
Best Nursing Pillow for Good Posture
What to consider when buying a nursing pillow?
Nursing and pregnancy pillows are available in many designs. The following criteria should help you find the right breastfeeding pillow for your individual needs.
- Purpose: Before buying, it should be clear how the nursing pillow will be used. This determines the size and shape. If you want to use the pillow during pregnancy, the long half-moon shape is a good choice. If the pillow is to be taken on the go, a smaller version is better. Women who had a cesarean section can benefit from a close-fitting, firm pillow with a manageable size.
- Filling: Nursing pillows are filled with different materials, the advantages, and disadvantages of which have already been discussed above. Choosing the right filling is an important criterion. For example, if you want an easy-care nursing pillow, you should avoid a natural filling.
- Care: Apart from the variants with natural filling, the care of a nursing pillow is usually very simple. Often, the cover and ticking can be washed in the washing machine at high temperatures. The covers are usually also suitable for tumble drying. Those who want to buy a very large U-shaped pillow that encloses the entire body should note that the ticking may not be washable or may not fit in the machine due to its size.
- Design: nursing pillows come in countless shapes and colors. While the shape plays an important role, the color and pattern of the cover are secondary. Bright colors and restless patterns should be avoided, as they could make the baby restless. Most manufacturers offer changeable covers in different designs for their nursing pillows.
Nursing Pillows Review
Materials and fillings of breastfeeding pillows
n very many cases, the cover of a nursing pillow is made of cotton. Recommends the use of 100 percent cotton. It is very robust and can be washed at a relatively high temperature. This is important because something can easily go wrong when breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. A 140 °F wash can reliably remove most dirt and germs from the cover. The cotton covers are also suitable for the dryer, which ensures even more hygiene. In some cases, other fabrics, such as jerseys, are also used. However, this material may only be washed at a maximum of 104 °F and is not as robust as cotton.
- The filling of a breastfeeding pillow can consist of different materials with various advantages and disadvantages:EPS beads: The small balls made of polystyrene are often used as filling material for breastfeeding pillows. They are very adaptable and make it very easy to shape the pillow into the desired form. The material is very light. This makes the whole pillow very easy to carry and shape with one hand. A great advantage of the filling is that the inner pillow can be put in the washing machine at up to 140°F. This ensures hygienic cleanliness and makes the nursing pillow optimally suitable for allergy sufferers. Another advantage is that the amount of filling and thus the support and formability of the pillow can be adjusted individually. A disadvantage is that the beads flatten faster than other fillings. Also, the rustling noise that they cause can be perceived as unpleasant. To make the beads more robust and quieter, some manufacturers coat them with silicone.
- Polyester hollow fibers: Hollow fibers made of polyester are very soft and are perceived as comfortable by many mothers and children. The filling is noiseless and odorless, but not as stable as other filling materials. Due to the material and texture, according to the manufacturer, hollow fibers are uninteresting for mites, which makes the pillows very hygienic. However, as a rule, they can not be washed quite as hot as the pillows with EPS filling. The material is very light, which can make the nursing pillow easier to handle.
- Natural fillings/spelt chaff: Spelt chaff is also common as a filling material for nursing pillows. The pure natural product has the advantage that it does not contain any harmful substances and is very dimensionally stable. Thus, the child is safely supported by the pillow, even if it is already somewhat larger and heavier. A big disadvantage is that the spelt filling cannot be washed and must be completely replaced if necessary. Spelt chaff quickly absorbs moisture and odors. Once the filling becomes damp, there is a risk of mold.
- Cotton fluff: Some nursing pillows are filled with flakes of cotton. The material is also natural and very breathable, but also very soft. The pillows are comfortable but do not have a good supporting effect. The inner pillow is machine washable, but should always be well fluffed so that the filling does not clump. Since the cotton quickly takes on odors, regular washing is recommended.
Best Breastfeeding Pillow for Twins
TwinGo Nurse & Lounge Nursing Pillow
The TwinGo Pillow allows you to stack the two U-shaped feeding pillows to achieve optimal height for tandem breastfeeding. Height is so important for a successful latch, as well as your ability to comfortably sustain the duration of the feed (and then repeat over and over day after day). If you do cannot raise your babies to the height of your chest, you will find yourself leaning forward to compensate (straining your neck and back in the process).
Best Adjustable Nursing Pillow
Infantino Elevate Adjustable Breastfeeding Pillow
The flexible design allows you to breastfeed with the baby across your lap (cradle and cross-cradle) or at your side (football or clutch hold). The football hold is a recommended position for moms recovering from C-sections, as it keeps pressure away from the incision site. In addition, at full elevation, the pillow supports upright nursing, ideal for babies with acid reflux or gerd. Machine washable and can be dried on tumble dry low setting.
Best Nursing Pillow and Positioner
Bamibi Multi-Use Breastfeeding Pillow
The perfect baby feeding pillow for newborn breast or bottle feeding. Easy-care cotton cover, polyester blend infant feeding pillow with quality zips – also includes a baby positioner pillow. These are breastfeeding pillows for babies and parents to enjoy.
Best Breastfeeding Pillow for C-Section Moms
Lansinoh Nursie Nursing Pillows for Breastfeeding
Lansinoh’s nursing pillow was designed by a breastfeeding mom to support comfortable positioning, latching, and feeding. It’s particularly helpful for moms that are recovering from a C-section as it relieves the pressure from their sensitive and healing stomach. This baby nursing pillow is compact and portable for nursing on the go.
What carrying positions are possible?
Different carrying devices allow different carrying positions. Many baby carriers offer several options and can be used in different positions. Which position parents choose should depend not only on personal preferences but above all on the age of the child. The following is an overview of some carrying options:
- In front of the belly, facing the body of the person carrying the child: This is the classic carrying variant, which is already suitable for newborns and is recommended for very small babies. The baby has a lot of body contact with the wearer and is protected from too many stimuli. In the best case, the baby sits in an ergonomically correct position, also known as the M-position.
What is the “Anhock-Spreiz-Position”? The body position is the position that newborns reflexively assume when they are picked up. The legs are squatted and the knees are at about navel level. The thighs are spread apart. The baby’s lower body forms the letter M, which is why the position is also called the M-position. A baby carrier is considered ergonomic and healthy if it supports the posture.
- In front of the stomach facing forward: the carrying position is becoming increasingly popular, but is often criticized. Some baby carriers allow the child to be carried in front of the body facing forward. Parents should only do this when the child is a little bigger, and even then it is better to do it only very briefly and in quiet surroundings. There are few carriers that allow an anatomically correct position of the baby in this position. The main argument against carrying in this position is that babies perceive too much of their environment and the feedback to the parent is missing. The overstimulation of the child can lead to an increased pulse, restlessness and sleep disturbances.
- On the back: Most carriers are designed to allow the baby to be carried on the back. This variant is recommended for babies who are somewhat larger and can already sit independently. For the little ones it is less comfortable and the eye contact with the parent is missing, which is why many manufacturers recommend carrying on the back only at the toddler age. Parents who carry their child for a long time should switch to the back position at that age because the child becomes too heavy to be carried in front of the body.
- On the hip: This is the classic carrying option for larger babies who can already sit. Many parents also carry their children on their hips without a carrier. In some baby carriers, the upper part can be removed. What remains is a hip belt with a seat that distributes the child’s weight over the entire hip of the carrying parent via the belt and reduces the punctual load on the hip. In the carrying variant, the parent must hold the child with one arm.
Infantino Elevate Adjustable Nursing Pillow – Video
Meet Our Team
BabyAmo is a magazine of top products for infants and babies. We writing best reviews and do our best for people who want to save their time and energy while searching for an ideal product regardless of the budget they have.