When I had my first child, I was sure that a nursing pillow was a silly gimmick that companies created to make pregnant women spend more money than needed. I added one to my baby shower registry at the urging of my friends, but I still felt skeptical – what does a nursing pillow even do that would help me?
Well, then my first baby arrived, and I used it immediately in the hospital. I used it all day, every day for months. Then, I used it daily for months with my second, third, and fourth child. Now, I cannot rave enough about how amazing they are for mothers.
Are you feeling skeptical about buying a breastfeeding pillow as well? Let’s look at why you need to add one to your checklist.
The Benefits of Nursing Pillows
Here are some of the reasons why these pillows are so helpful for mothers.
They Help Your Back and Neck
Your baby is going to feed a lot in the first few months, sometimes up to 10-12 times per day. That’s a lot of sitting down and feeding your baby, so being comfortable is crucial.
Using a nursing pillow keeps your baby at the right height to reach your breast, which ensures your shoulders don’t need to hunch over. Hunching causes backaches, neck aches, and sore joints.
Bottle-Feeding Moms Can Use Them Too
Just because they’re called nursing pillows doesn’t mean moms who use bottles cannot use them. These pillows are for everyone!
Holding a baby and bottle feeding can be painful for your back and shoulders, so using a pillow makes feeding more comfortable.
They Protect Your C-Section Incision
I had four c-sections, and my nursing pillows were such an essential part of my recovery. It acts as a buffer zone between your incision and your baby. If you have older kids who still want to sit on mom’s lap, it acts as a blocker between your abdomen and busy knees or elbows.
They Help Get A Better Latch
One of the essential parts of breastfeeding is getting a good latch, and your baby’s position is crucial for getting your baby at the right height for feedings. Using a pillow can assist with latching, so give it a try.
Get Relief From Episiotomy Pain
If you had any vaginal tearing or had an episiotomy, the stitches make sitting for long periods uncomfortable. You can sit on one of these pillows to take the pressure off of your stitches.
You Can Prop Up Your Baby with Reflux
First, let me say that babies should never be in a nursing pillow unsupervised. If your baby has reflux or colic after eating, propping your baby up on a nursing pillow reduces the reflux. It’s recommended that you keep your baby in a semi-upright position for 30 minutes after eating to minimize the discomfort and spit-up.
You Can Use Them for Months
Don’t think that these pillows are just for feeding. You can use them for tummy time or help your baby with assisted sitting. They can be used during pregnancy as well!
When Can I Start Using a Breastfeeding Pillow?
You could start using these pillows during pregnancy if you wanted! They can act as a pregnancy pillow, supporting your belly or between your knees when your sleep to ease aching hips.
If you don’t want to use it before your baby arrives, bring your breastfeeding pillow to the hospital. I use mine as soon as I have my baby. When you’re tired in the hospital after childbirth, and your baby wants to breastfeed all the time, using one can help you.
How Long Can I Use One?
Expect to use these pillows for at least six months or longer. Since these pillows can help your baby learn how to sit unassisted, that might not happen until your child is 8-9 months old. You might not need it for feeding at that time (but I use mine for the first year), but it will be helpful to encourage your child to gain core strength.
You won’t regret using a nursing pillow. While simple, these little pillows make your life easier and comfier as you spend hours throughout the first few months of your baby’s life feeding them. It’s a small investment for more comfortable feeding times.
Hey, this is Linda. My biggest accomplishment in life is being a mother of four children. Their current ages range from almost ten years old down to 20 months old.
I’m passionate about writing parenting articles because I understand so well all of the problems and trials you face as a parent. From breastfeeding woes to budgeting problems and behavior problems, along with everything in between, chances are I’ve faced it over the last ten years. Read more about Linda here.