Do you need a nursing pillow?

Mother feeding breast with nursing pillowAs a Certified Lactation Counselor and Newborn Care Specialist, I see nursing moms on a very regular basis. Of these new moms I would estimate roughly 90% of them are using a Boppy, My Breast Friend, Ergo Natural Curve, or the Mombo Nursing Pillow. Just like everything else in Baby Land, there is no one size fits all but there are a few things to consider as you use or put a nursing pillow on your registry.

Consideration #1: Your size.

Are you tall? Are you short? Are you petite? All of these attributes fit into if I would recommend a nursing pillow (and which one) for you. You want to look at the length of your torso, specifically the space between your lap and your breasts. Is there a lot of space? If so you would probably be a really good candidate for a tall nursing pillow such as My Brest Friend. If you are on the shorter, or more petite size you will want to use a smaller pillow, such as a pillow from your bed or even no pillow at all.

Here’s why: baby’s mouth should be even with mom’s nipples. When this doesn’t happen you are more likely to have a bad latch and sore nipples. If you are a woman with a long torso and don’t use a pillow, chances are that baby’s mouth is going to be too low and as a result, baby may tug on your nipples trying to reach them. Contrary, if you are a shorter person using a really tall nursing pillow, chances are you baby is going to be too high and have to support the weight of your breast with their mouth or struggle to get a good latch resulting in sore nipples.

Consideration #2: Where will you nurse most often?

If you are constantly on the go or nurse in multiple points around the house you’ll need to consider whether or not you want to carry a nursing pillow with you everywhere you go. It is my opinion that every mom should know how to nurse without the use of a prop because your location doesn’t determine when baby is going to get hungry and if you don’t know how to nurse without a pillow you can find yourself in a sticky situation. If you do choose (or need to use) a nursing pillow on the go, Boppy does make a travel version of their nursing pillow that has a strap and you can travel with.

Consideration #3: Do you know how to use your nursing pillow?

Using a nursing pillow isn’t as easy as it may look. You shouldn’t have to lean over to baby or bring your breast up to mouth level for your baby. The nursing pillow should be flat on your lap and there shouldn’t be a gap between your stomach and the pillow. Baby should be tummy to tummy with you. If there is a gap, you will have to lean over to baby which will likely hurt your back.

In conclusion, you may or may not need or desire to use a nursing pillow. Keep the above considerations in mind when you are nursing or working on your registry. Still don’t know if you need a pillow or don’t know how to use one? Let’s talk! A Hush Hush Little Baby CLC would love to meet with you and get you on the road to a successful breastfeeding relationship and help determine what that looks like for you and your little one.

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