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|Breastfeeding a baby might seem like the most natural activity. Ask any experienced mom, though, and she’ll tell you it’s no walk in the park, especially at the beginning.
A nursing pillow can be a lifesaver for breastfeeding moms. It supports and positions babies close to the breast, allowing moms to focus on getting the best latch. A good nursing pillow also helps moms keep good posture to avoid back and neck pain. That’s important, considering around-the-clock nursing during the first few weeks!
Read on to see our top picks for the best nursing pillows. Also check out our buying guide so you can choose the nursing pillow that makes your breastfeeding journey as smooth as possible.
The Best Nursing Pillows of 2019
Editor’s Choice – The Nesting Pillow
The Tried-and-True – Boppy Nursing Pillow
Best Support – My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow
Best Travel – Luna Lullaby Lil’ Something Pillow
The Nesting Pillow by Blessed Nest is a highly versatile nursing pillow made from premium materials. It’s great for eco-conscious parents because it has a GOTS-certified organic cotton cover and is filled with organic buckwheat hulls rather than foam. The buckwheat fill also gives it a unique moldable quality, similar to a beanbag. It conforms easily and comfortably to your body and your baby.
The pillow has a crescent shape, which many prefer for its versatility. It can also serve as a pregnancy pillow or can be used for tummy time. The removable cover is machine-washable. The pillow is a bit heavier than others, but its unique feel and quality materials make up for it.
For many, Boppy is synonymous with nursing pillow. It makes sense, considering the company has been making nursing pillows for nearly thirty years (and many parents swear by them). The Boppy Nursing Pillow is a classic, c-shaped pillow that fits comfortably around your waist. The inner foam has the right amount of support while still feeling plush.
The entire pillow can go in the wash, making clean-up a breeze. You can also purchase separate slipcovers and waterproof covers. The Boppy is specifically designed to be a nursing pillow and a baby “positioner” so you can use it for tummy time or to prop your baby.
My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow is a wrap-around pillow that provides excellent support. It’s often recommended by lactation consultants because of its unique design. It buckles around your body, so it won’t move, and it has a built-in back cushion. Many find it especially well-suited for newborns because the top is firm and flat, so babies won’t accidentally roll.
The cover is 100 percent cotton and comes in 18 different colors. It also has a pocket in the front to hold your water, snacks or anything else you need within arm’s reach. The cover is machine-washable and the foam insert can be spot-cleaned.
For moms on the go, the Luna Lullaby Lil’ Something is the perfect size. At only 9” by 23”, this minimal nursing pillow can easily fit in a diaper bag, stroller or carry-on luggage. The L-shape makes it highly versatile—you can position it however you need. It’s also designed to be multi-purpose. You can use it for tummy time or even as a neck pillow for yourself.
The super-soft cover is machine-washable. Its unique fold-over design means no zippers or velcro to interfere with the pillow’s plush feel. The pillow comes in nine different colors.
Considering you’ll use your nursing pillow multiple times a day (and night) for months, you want to make sure you pick one that’s perfect for you. In this guide, we’ll outline what a nursing pillow is, whether you need one and what to look for in a nursing pillow.
A nursing pillow is essentially a pillow designed specifically to support you and your baby while you’re breastfeeding. They tend to be firmer than bed pillows so you or your baby won’t sink into them. Many moms are most familiar with the c-shaped nursing pillow that fits around your waist, but nursing pillows come in a variety of shapes and sizes to meet individual preferences.
To use a nursing pillow, you can either lay your baby on top of the pillow or cradle your baby in your arms and rest them on the pillow. Then simply position them so your baby is lined up with your breast. Unlike trying to balance your baby on your arm, a nursing pillow lifts your baby up to the right height. Nursing pillows allow moms to nurse their babies comfortably in a variety of positions. They can also be helpful for parents who bottle-feed.
While a nursing pillow isn’t exactly a necessity for breastfeeding a baby, many moms find it to be very helpful. And when you consider how difficult it can be to adjust to breastfeeding, a nursing pillow can feel like an essential tool. In fact, despite the many benefits associated with breastfeeding, many moms experience so many challenges in the first few weeks that they feel they have to stop. A nursing pillow may help you breastfeed longer, more comfortably.
There are a variety of reasons you might use a nursing pillow, including:
No two moms breastfeed in exactly the same way, so you want to choose the nursing pillow that’s just right for you and your baby. Below, we’ll run through the most important considerations to keep in mind when choosing a nursing pillow.
Nursing pillows come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on your needs and preferences. The most common include:
Proper support in a nursing pillow depends on your preferences and how you’re going to use it. Be sure to find a pillow that props your baby to the right height. If you’re especially long-waisted, you may want to look for a taller pillow so you can avoid hunching over.
Some moms enjoy the versatility of a more minimal nursing pillow, while others prefer wrap-around styles that provide added back support. If you find yourself slouching while breastfeeding or experience back pain, a nursing pillow with added lumbar support might be the way to go.
You also want to ensure your baby is properly supported. Some nursing pillows are firmer than others. You might want a firmer pillow when your baby is a newborn with little to no head control. As he or she grows, a plusher pillow may work fine.
Many moms are picky when it comes to the material that touches their baby’s delicate skin. Some prefer nursing pillows with soft, blanket-like covers, usually made from polyester. Others prefer to only use natural or organic materials. There’s also variation when it comes to fill. Most nursing pillows are filled with foam, but some use natural materials, like buckwheat hulls. No matter your preference, a little searching will reveal the pillow with the right feel for you and your baby.
Your nursing pillow is guaranteed to get dirty, whether it’s from spit-up or an unfortunate diaper blow-out. You’ll want to find a nursing pillow that’s easy to wash. Some pillows are entirely machine washable, which some parents find to be the easiest option. Depending on the accident, it may also give you peace of mind to know that the entire pillow was run through the wash. Other pillows simply have a removable cover, which some parents find to be completely adequate.
Some nursing pillows are only designed for feeding your baby, while others can be given a second life when you no longer need them for breastfeeding. Wrap-around pillows tend to only work well for feeding, but other styles can be used for other purposes, such as tummy time or propping your baby when he or she is learning to sit up. If you like multi-purpose products, then a versatile nursing pillow may be the best fit for you.
Warranty and Return Policy
A lot of expecting parents may receive a nursing pillow prior to their baby being born, or they might buy one and realize it isn’t the right choice for them and their baby. Knowing the return policy, and the warranty should anything not be as advertised or quickly malfunction, is always a good rule of thumb.
A perfect fit is crucial when it comes to a nursing pillow, which is why warranties and return policies are so important. Many parents receive nursing pillows before their babies are born, making these even more crucial. Most nursing pillows have a one-year limited warranty, meaning any manufacturing defects are covered. Return windows tend to be between 30 and 45 days.