Whether your baby is about to arrive or is already in your arms and you feel the need for support at feeding time, this section will answer all your questions about the effectiveness of the breastfeeding pillow for the comfort of mother and child. Follow along with us.
What is a nursing pillow?
The nursing pillow is a relatively simple piece in a mother’s wardrobe. It is a pillow with a differentiated design that serves especially to help support the baby while it feeds. It has, generally, a density that allows firmness when accommodating the little one, since, if it is too soft, it will sink and hinder the mother’s correct posture when breastfeeding.
What are the types of breastfeeding pillow?
Although there are not many differences between breastfeeding pillow models, it is possible to divide them into three basic groups according to their shape, as shown below:
- U-shape – It is the most common and has a shape that fits the mother’s waist, allowing the baby to be supported at the ideal height for feeding.
- Elongated – It is similar to a pillow for pregnant women and can be modeled according to the place and posture at the time of feeding. Ideal for mothers who choose to breastfeed lying down.
- Nest type – It has a shape similar to that of a cot nest, but with low sides. It can be placed in the mother’s lap during breastfeeding.
What material is indicated for the breastfeeding pillow?
The purpose of the breastfeeding pillow is to ensure the support necessary for mum to achieve the correct posture when feeding. For this reason, it needs to have a firm consistency.
In this sense, the most common is to use medium-density foam. There are also viscoelastic fibre models. Just like pillows with this technology, they are interesting because they model themselves to the baby’s body, leaving it cozy and safe at the same time.
How to use the breastfeeding pillow correctly?
There are several ways of using the breastfeeding pillow depending on the baby’s and mother’s adaptation to certain postures at feeding time. In general, we can say that there are basically two ways to make this moment even more comfortable and special:
- Traditional posture: the mother fits the pillow at the waist and accommodates the baby on the pillow at a height just below the breasts;
- Inverted posture: with the pillow at the side, the baby lies down next to the mother.
What are the benefits of using a breastfeeding pillow?
Using a breastfeeding pillow brings benefits to both mother and baby by making breastfeeding easier and more comfortable. Besides, we can describe other positive points (and some inconveniences) of using this piece in mother and child’s daily life.
- It helps with correct body posture because in addition to serving as a support for the arms of the mother who breastfeeds sitting down (reducing muscle tension), it doesn’t let mum’s arm fall asleep and prevents shoulder and neck pain;
- The spine is kept erect, avoiding tiredness and back and lumbar pain – one of the biggest complaints of mothers during this phase!
- It also serves to support the head and back of the mother who breastfeeds lying down. In short, it is all good for mums to feel comfortable to live these moments that are always so special.
- It offers the ideal position for correct and peaceful sucking! And this is no-nonsense, it is very important for the baby!
- It serves for resting after feeding, as it keeps the baby’s head a little elevated, preventing reflux episodes;
- After six months, the breastfeeding pillow is used so that the baby can lie face down for longer, thus strengthening the neck and back muscles;
- Helps with coordination to learn to crawl;
- Helps with limiting the baby’s space on the bed! Especially when they don’t turn over, you can let your baby sleep “surrounded” by the pillow in complete safety while they don’t have the strength to change position too abruptly.
- From nine months onwards, it can serve as a support for the baby while they learn to sit up.
What should I look after while breastfeeding?
When it is time to breastfeed your child, it is important to ensure their comfort and well-being. To ensure this, you can rely on some tips on how to breastfeed correctly, for before, during and after feeds:
- Accommodation: make sure you are in a comfortable position, that your shoulders are not bent and there is no strain on your arms. This way, you won’t feel backache;
- Latching: check that the baby is able to fit their mouth correctly when latching onto the breast. The ideal is that it covers the areola;
- Post-breastfeeding: Keep the baby in a comfortable position, with the trunk higher – the breastfeeding pillow may help in this – so that he/she can burp.
Can a breastfeeding pillow be machine washed?
To find out if a breastfeeding pillow can be machine washed you need to know what material it is made of, both the outside and inside. There are models that have a cover that can be removed and put in the machine whenever necessary.
If your cushion does not have a removable cover, you will need to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remember that, depending on the filling, your cushion may not be machine-washable, as is the case with those made with polystyrene microspheres, as they can become deformed.