Breastfeeding pillows are products specifically designed to facilitate the breastfeeding process. They are available in different sizes, shapes and materials to make breastfeeding easier. The objective of a breastfeeding pillow is to make both mother and baby as comfortable as possible.

Most moms don’t need to be told twice how long and exhausting a breastfeeding session can be. This is why it is so necessary to have a good quality breastfeeding pillow. In the below article we will lay out in-depth information about these products, and inform you on how to go about choosing the best one for you.

Key Facts

  • Breastfeeding pillows are usually very ergonomic, so that they easily adapt to both the mother and the baby’s shape.
  • With comfort being their main purpose, they are usually lined with very soft materials which have a pleasant touch and are easy to clean.
  • There are very versatile models that can be used from pregnancy as a pillow right through to when the baby begins to take the bottle.

Ranking: Best Breastfeeding Pillows on the U.S. Market

If you are thinking about buying a breastfeeding pillow, take a look at the following models that we have listed below. Don’t forget that these products are designed to make breastfeeding a relaxed and peaceful time for both the mother and baby. Assess your needs and choose a model that suits you.

No. 1: Boppy – Bare Naked Nursing Pillow

Boppy’s Bare Naked Nursing Pillow is a 90 per cent polyester, 10 per cent cotton blend pillow that is designed to provide maximum comfort and softeness to both baby and mom. Boppy has been manufacturing a well-respected and popular breastfeeding pillow for the last three decades. Thanks to its special ergonomic design that lifts a baby to a more comfortable, less strenuous position, your back and arms are not left exhausted and sore after a feeding.

This pillow is designed to be used by infants from 0 to 12 months-old. In addition to providing support while feeding, this pillow is also great for tummy time, propping and sitting. You can machine wash this pillow on a delicate cycle, but it is recommended that you throw a tennis ball or shoe (wrapped in a pillow case) into the drier to help the pillow maintain its shape. This award winning pillow is a must have for moms all over the world.

No. 2: My Brest Friend – Original Nursing Posture Pillow

My Brest Friend’s Original Nursing Posture Pillow is an imported product made from 100 per cent organic cotton, that looks and feels incredible. This pillow was made with breastfeeding mothers in mind, and the entire design provides optimal back, arm and neck support. The cushions are both flat, and firm, ensuring that your baby does not roll out of position during breastfeeding.

This pillow’s wrap around design is great because it can be adjusted to fit your body type. Additionally, My Brest Friend has included a convenient pouch attached to the pillow which is a fantastic place to store other maternity and nursing supplies while you are breastfeeding. Beloved and highly recommended by lactation consultants everywhere.

No. 3: Borje – Newborn Breastfeeding Adjustable Pillow

Borje’s Newborn Breastfeeding Adjustable Pillow is another pillow with a 100 per cent cotton pillow cover that provides maximum comfort to baby and mom. The well thought-out head rest gives your baby all the neck support he or she needs to comfortably latch on and breast feed during each and every feeding session. For those moms who are worried about zippers and metal on their breastfeeding pillow, Borje has covered it with a layer of soft fabric so that it never touches your baby’s skin.

Completely machine washable, and easy to take with you on the fly, this is a great pillow to either give or receive as a baby shower present. It’s total weight is 1.75 pounds and it measures 13.1 x 9.2 x 3.1 inches, so this pillow is great for airplanes, or throwing in the car to take to friends and family’s places. A great way to comfortably feed and bond with your little one.

No. 4: Lasinoh – Nursie Breastfeeding Pillow

Lasinoh’s Nursie Breastfeeding Pillow is a great alternative to waist pillows, especially for moms who have had c sections. This pillow slides onto the arm, and comes in a great one-size-fits-all design and works great for moms of all shapes and sizes. This is a small, compact, easy-to-pack pillow that can be placed into stroller storage pouches, diaper bags, or left in the car for when you need it.

The ergonomic design of this product mean that dads can also use it quite comfortably. Lasinoh has been making breastfeeding accessories for 35 years now, so they certainly know what they are doing. This pillow is nice because it allows you to bring a baby up to the breast to feed, rather than having to bend over, which can seriously strain the back. Like any good breastfeeding pillow, this product is completely machine washable on a delicate cycle.

No. 5: Infantino – Elevate Adjustable Nursing Pillow

Infantino’s Elevate Adjustable Nursing Pillow is a polyester breastfeeding pillow that works by elevating your infant’s head to breast height to create optimal conditions for latching. It is also a great option for breastfeeding infants that frequently get acid reflux and gerd. Whether you prefer to nurse in cross-cradle or the football position, this popular nursing pillow designed by moms makes nursing your little one easy.

When it gets dirty and it is time for a wash, simply place it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle with warm water, and tumble dry on a low setting. This product has been featured on Parents.com, and is a favorite among American moms for its durability, how easy it is to pack up and take anywhere, and how simple it makes the sometimes strenuous task of breastfeeding.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about Breastfeeding Pillows

A breastfeeding pillow is made to make the process of breastfeeding as easy and effective as possible for new moms during a baby’s first few months of life. This is particularly important at the very beginning, when a baby is going to need a number of feedings a day, making it vital that the mother be able to do her job comfortably. The below section will lay out some of the most important features of these products that will help you make your decision.

A first aspect to take into account is the material of the pillow.
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What exactly is a breastfeeding pillow?

A breastfeeding pillow is a special type of pillow specifically designed to make the breastfeeding process more comfortable for both mother and baby. The purpose of these products is to elevate the baby’s body while being breastfed, so that the mother’s neck, back and arms are not strained for long periods of time.

Breastfeeding pillows come in a number of designs and lengths and many of them look the classic neck travel pillows, which they can actually also be used for. There are other models that have a longer length, which makes them optimal for use as a pillow during pregnancy.

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Breastfeeding pillows are usually soft, flexible and lightweight.

What are the advantages of using a breastfeeding pillow?

Particularly during the first critical few weeks of infancy, a baby is going to need feedings several times a day. During each feeding, new moms have to be incredibly patient as the baby takes his or her time to latch on and feed. Sitting hunched and in strenuous positions for a long period of time can cause a lot of discomfort for moms, which can end up meaning moms have a bad first experience with breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding pillows have been introduced to correct these postures and make the lactation process much more bearable. By helping to improve the position of the baby, it will mean less effort from the baby when feeding. With this, their digestion will be much better and the baby will be more satisfied. For the mother, it helps to prevent pain from poor posture.

Breastfeeding pillows are soft and very flexible items designed to make your baby comfortable.
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What are the lactation pillows filled with?

A good breastfeeding pillow is a flexible, soft, but firm maternity accessory. They are made to be adaptable, so that mom’s can find the posture and position that is most comfortable for them during feeding time, whether with a breast or a bottle. A pillow’s versatility depends on what it is filled with. Among the most common fillings found in these pillows are polyester fibers.

The advantage of polyester fibers is that it does not deform and contributes to giving firmness to the pillow itself, without neglecting comfort. There are also pillows that incorporate feathers or cotton inside, which are great for providing warmth. Finally, there are other models that are filled with polystyrene beads that are very adaptable but less durable.

Types of fillers Advantages Disadvantages
Cotton Natural fiber

Very soft

Non-allergic

Cannot be subjected to high temperatures
Feathers Warm

Adaptable/Mouldable

Natural fiber

More expensive
Polyester fiber Non-deformable

Easy to wash

Does not deteriorate

Non-natural fiber
Polystyrene beads Adaptable

More economical

Easily deformed

Shorter life-span

Foam Resistant

Widely used

May be a bit firm

What types of breastfeeding pillows are there?

Broadly speaking, there are two types of breastfeeding pillows, based on their their shape and length. First, there is the horseshoe or ‘U’ shape pillow. Its design adapts to the mother’s waist so that the baby can lean on it while nursing. Ideally, the mother is in a seated position.

The second category are the circular-shaped breastfeeding pillows. These tend to be significantly longer than the previously mentioned ones, often sold at lengths of up to 2m. They are often designed to be used not only for breastfeeding, but also during the final stages of pregnancy when women can use all the support they can get.

Are the breastfeeding pillows suitable for the washing machine?

To find out whether a nursing pillow is machine washable or not, you’ll need to take a look at its materials and cleaning instructions. You have to take care of both the outside and the inside of the pillow. There are models that incorporate a removable cover, which means that it can be put into the washing machine so that they are always remain clean.

In the case of pillows made from a single piece, the manufacturer’s instructions should be checked. Remember, depending on the filling of the pillow, that it may not be machine washable. There are fillers such as polystyrene pearls that can actually become deformed if they are put in the washing machine.

Breastfeeding pillows allow you to keep your hands free for other tasks, like reading.
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Shopping Criteria

When selecting the best breastfeeding pillow, there are several factors to consider. On the U.S. market, you’ll find such a wide variety of models to suit the different needs of parents and babies. Here we discuss the main buying criteria to help you make the right purchase decision.

  • Material
  • Size and weight
  • Maintenance and Care
  • Design
  • Firmness

Material

The first thing to consider when purchasing a breastfeeding pillow is the material. When you are evaluating a pillow’s material, two major considerations should be made: the the material of the cover, and the material of the filling. You should always opt for a pillow that is made from non-irritating materials that are pleasant and soft to the touch. You must also make sure that your pillow is made out of breathable fabric.

Breastfeeding pillows are designed to make the feeding process as easy as possible for babies during their first months of life.
(Source: Kati Finell: 13153683/ 123rf.com)

When assessing the exterior material options, the pillow should ideally have a removable, washable cover made from natural, quality fibers such as cotton. For the internal material, an excellent option is pillows made from polyester fibers. These pillows do not deform easily yet are flexible for changing shape.

Size and weight

It is equally important to consider the weight and size of a breastfeeding pillow. This is especially the case when thinking about how you are going to store and transport it. Pillows that are horseshoe design (i.e. a ‘U’ shape) are typically easier to store and handle because they tend to be smaller. The great thing about these is that they are often able to be used with just one hand.

Circular (or “churro”) pillows are longer, usually between 170 and 180 cm. The best thing about these models is that they not only serve to breastfeed the baby, but they can also provide significant comfort to the mother in bed during the pregnancy process. However on the downside, they are much bigger and a little heavier when it comes to storage and transport.

Maintenance

A breastfeeding pillow is a product that you are going to use quite often, at least several times a day. As it is a breastfeeding product, it is bound to get dirty, either from the food itself or from possible vomiting of the baby. That is why it is very important to select a breastfeeding pillow that is easy to clean.

Ideally choose a model that incorporates a removable and washable cover. This way, no matter how many times it gets stained, it can be machine washed easily. Keep in mind that if you don’t have a cover, the pillow may not be suitable for the washing machine.

Maintaining an incorrect posture can cause pain and discomfort for the mother during feeding time.
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Design

Like any other baby item, it’s obvious to look closely at the design. The good news is that breastfeeding pillows are available in an endless range of colors, patterns and shapes, depending on the model and brand. Some mothers prefer softer shades and pastels, while others will opt for bright, eye-catching colors.

It is also important to take into account the smaller details of each pillow. There are the U-shaped pillows that incorporate a closing in the front part (with button or with a lace) to help keep the baby snug and avoid any accidents from rolling out. There are also other models equipped with useful pockets in the pillows or supports for the baby’s head.

Saundra LathamBusiness Insider Magazine

“Nursing pillows give babies a boost, positioning them close to your breast so you can focus on getting a pain-free latch. Some can also be used as normal pillows or soft “nests” for growing babies to lounge or sit on”.

Firmness

Finally, you should assess the firmness of the pillow. Ideally, it should be a model that has a good balance between firmness and adaptability. The filling of the product is key in this respect. A model that is soft and flexible, but firm enough to be comfortable for mother and baby is perfect.

Polyester fiber filling is one of the most popular materials as it stands out for its firmness even after using the pillow for a long time. Do not forget that the idea of using one of these pillows is to facilitate the breastfeeding process. Therefore, these items should promote a comfortable position that relieves muscle tension.

Summary

Breastfeeding pillows may not be on a parent’s priority list when preparing for the arrival of a new baby. However, it is clear that they have a very important function and, in the long run, are worth buying. Not only does it help to improve the baby’s feeding, but it is also helps the mother stay comfortable during breastfeeding.

Depending on the model chosen, you can also use it at times other than breastfeeding. There are pillows that can also be used during the last stage of the birth process, but also when the baby begins to take the bottle. They can even be used as a small mattress for the baby to rest and relax while digesting.

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(Source of featured image: Oksana Kuzmina: 15644976/ 123rf.com)

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