What Makes a Good Breastfeeding Pillow?
A good breastfeeding pillow can make the difference between a mother and baby who are both frustrated and tired, and a mother and baby who are contented and relaxed. All experts agree that breastfeeding is highly beneficial for babies, and should be a joyous experience for all concerned. Yet, if the mother has trouble getting comfortable and the baby has trouble staying latched on to the mother’s breast, the alternative of bottle feeding can become very tempting. Breastfeeding pillows can be very helpful in solving these problems.
Breastfeeding pillows come in different styles, and as with any product, some are better than others. What you want to look for is a pillow that provides back support for the mother, and a surface for the baby the baby that is sufficiently firm.
Back support for the mother is vital, as some degree of back pain will almost inevitably develop if a breastfeeding mother does not take care that she is maintaining good posture while nursing her baby. The surface of the pillow needs to be firm enough for the baby so that he or she will stay in the proper position and maintain a successful latch-on. Pillows that are soft seem like they would be more comfortable, but a baby will sink down into a soft pillow, and have a harder time staying connected. Also, with a soft pillow, the mother will tend to hunch over to bring her breast down to the baby, which is not at all optimal for either of them. The mother’s back is supposed to be held straight, with the baby held up level to the breast, with its nose and mouth directly facing the nipple.
Constant repositioning during a feeding is to be avoided, as this will distress the baby and tire out the mother. So, when choosing a nursing pillow, make sure it has back support for the mother and is sufficiently firm for her baby. Then both will have the best possible nursing experience.