happy mother breast feeding her baby infant isolated on white
Last updated: June 19, 2020

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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 are acutely aware that a breastfeeding sessions can be quite long and tiring. This is why it is of the utmost importance that you find a position that makes it as comfortable as possible. This is why breastfeeding pillows were invented. In the following article we are going to provide you with some tips and information to ensure you get the breastfeeding pillow that is right 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.

Best breastfeeding pillows on the Canadian 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.

My Brest Friend – Original Pillow

My Brest Friend’s Original nursing pillow features fabric that is silky smooth to the touch and sure to be delicate enough for sensitive newborn skin. It comes in a number of different designs, including “fireworks”, “evening bloom”, “grey/yellow” and “grey/black”. The pillow’s strap both a Velcro, and a silent release buckle that lets you unhook the pillow with just one hand, without risking waking up a sleeping infant. Another great feature of this pillow is that it is totally machine washable on a gentle cycle (warm water).

For new mothers who are unsure about the best pillow to go with, this is the number one recommended nursing pillow by professional lactation consultants. With My Brest Friend’s Original Pillow, you get a nursing pillow that will not slide, and which helps ensure the best possible position for an infant to latch onto a breast. The comfortable elbow and arm rests also help eliminate stress on your joints while breastfeeding.

Jolly Jumper – Boomerang Nursing Pillow

Jolly Jumper is one of the most well-recognized names in infant and baby accessories, and their Boomerang Nursing Pillow is highly regarded by moms and professionals. The boomerang shape is specially designed to maximize comfort and support for nursing mothers, and the baby. It has been engineered to be a one-size-fits-all pillow that comfortably accommodates all moms and infants. The symmetrical shape allows for breastfeeding from either side (which is also a great feature when nursing twins).

What’s more, this cushion can also be used to provide support during pregnancy, and acts as a convenient prop for an infant while sitting and playing. The fabric is non-allergenic, so you can use this pillow with confidence, assured you are not provoking any allergic reactions. A simple, effective, well-liked pillow by Canadian moms that is multi-use, soft, high quality, and does what it is designed to do.

Boppy – Nursing Pillow and Positioner

Boppy’s Nursing Pillow and Positioner is a great dual purpose nursing pillow that can be used both pre and post pregnancy for moms and babies alike. Easily used for breastfeeding, bottle feeding, tummy time, sitting, and propping your baby up, this award-winning pillow comes with a single machine-washable slip cover that looks and feels fantastic. This time-tested pillow has been helping parents and babies for over 25 years.

This is also a product that can be utilized through multiple stages of development, especially when an infant first learns to sit up. Designed to be used for babies up to one year old, any mom would do well with at least one of these on hand. The Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner only includes one slipcover, so additional ones (which are a good idea to have) are sold separately.

I-baby – 4-in-1 Cotton Knitted Breast Feeding Pillow

I-baby’s 4-in-1 Cotton Knitted Breast Feeding Pillow is a multi-use nursing pillow that, for the price, is hard to beat. One of the most important features of any nursing pillow is the quality and material of the pillow cover, and this product by I-baby has a 100 per cent organic cotton high density cover that feels amazing on any skin. Designed to prevent back and neck fatigue/strain, this pillow also doubles as a training pillow for sitting, and a totally safe crib pillow for baby.

The material used is non-toxic and eco-friendly and can be machine-washed in cold water with other similar colours. The invisible zipper design keeps the one piece of metal on the pillow out of the way, so all you and your baby get is smooth, soft fabric. A bigger pillow than many other nursing pillows on the market, but one designed with maximum versatility in mind.

Lasinoh – Nursie Breastfeeding Pillow

Lasinoh is another well-respected name in baby accessories and nursing products, and their Nursie Breastfeeding Pillow is designed with maximum comfort in mind. It makes it easy for a new mother to engage is proper breastfeeding technique that creates an easy latch-on position for the baby, and is a great option for women who have had c-sections because it slides onto the arm, rather than around the waist.

Lasinoh is a company that was founded by moms and whose vision continues to be motivated by the needs of Canadian parents. The Nursie Breastfeeding Pillow is a great product to take on the go, and the simple, ergonomic design means it is a snap for dads to use as well. Small enough to put in a stroller storage pouch, diaper bag, or in carry on luggage, this is a great product for any new Canadian mom.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about breastfeeding pillows

Breastfeeding pillows are designed to make the feeding process as easy as possible for babies during their first months. Particularly at the beginning, the baby will need several feedings a day, which is why the mother should always feed the baby in a comfortable position. The following section details some of the key considerations about these products that you should know.

Young mother with baby in bed

A first aspect to take into account is the material of the pillow.
(Source: Trendsetter Images: 68751944/ 123rf.com)

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 wide range of designs, sizes, and lengths, with many of them resembling your classic wrap-around neck travelling pillow. They can, coincidentally, also be used for such purposes. Other models are much longer and are more optimally suited for use as a pregnancy pillow while breast and bottle feeding.

foco

Breastfeeding pillows are usually soft, flexible and lightweight.

What are the advantages of using a breastfeeding pillow?

Especially in the first few weeks of infancy, babies need several feedings a day. During each feeding session, the mother will have to be patient, because the baby needs time to feed. Maintaining an incorrect posture for a long period can cause pain and discomfort for the mother and in turn the mother can begin to dread feeding time.

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.

Mother with newborn baby in the nursing pillow

Breastfeeding pillows are soft and very flexible items designed to make your baby comfortable.
(Source: Trendsetter Images: 70940325/ 123rf.com)

What are the lactation pillows filled with?

Breastfeeding pillows are very flexible, soft-textured items. They are designed to adapt to different postures and positions when it comes to feeding the baby, either with the breast or a bottle. The versatility of the pillow is created by its filling. One of the most common fillings of breastfeeding pillows is polyester fibres.

One of the primary advantages of polyester fibers is that they will not warp, meaning the pillow stays firm and in the proper shape, while still being highly comfortable. 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 fibre

Very soft

Non-allergic

Cannot be subjected to high temperatures
Feathers Warm

Adaptable/Mouldable

Natural fibre

More expensive
Polyester fibres Non-deformable

Easy to wash

Does not deteriorate

Non-natural fibre
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 style of pillow is the circular breastfeedings pillow. These tend to be much longer than the former category, occasionally reaching up to 2 metres-long. They are typically purposely designed to be extremely practical for women in the latter stage of pregnancy, because they provide excellent support.

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.

Happy mother breast feeding her newborn in room, indoor

Breastfeeding pillows allow you to keep your hands free for other tasks, like reading.
(Source: Rimma Zaytseva: 34841895/ 123rf.com)

Shopping Criteria

When selecting the best breastfeeding pillow, there are several factors to consider. On the Canadian 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

One of the main features of your pillow to consider is the material it is made of. This consideration is further broken down into the interior and exterior fabrics. Your pillow should be made from non-irritating materials that your, and most importantly, your baby’s very sensitive skin will find pleasing to the touch. The fabric must also be breathable to avoid overheating.

five days old baby resting on white blanket

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 fibres such as cotton. For the internal material, an excellent option is pillows made from polyester fibres. These pillows do not deform easily yet are flexible for changing shape.

Size and weight

It is very important to consider the size and weight of the breastfeeding pillow, especially when thinking about storing or transporting it. Those that are the horseshoe-type, i.e. ‘U’ shaped, are easier to store as well as to handle as they are smaller. The advantage with these is that you can even manage them with 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.

Mother and baby in white bedroom

Maintaining an incorrect posture can cause pain and discomfort for the mother during feeding time.
(Source: famveldman: 54638788/ 123rf.com)

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 colours, patterns and shapes, depending on the model and brand. Some mothers prefer softer shades and pastels, while others will opt for bright, eye-catching colours.

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 LathamInsider Picks

“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

Lastly, you should ensure you get a pillow with adequate firmness. The ideal pillow is one that is both firm, but still highly adaptable. This is where the filling of the pillow is highly important. Softness and flexibility is important, but it should also be firm enough to provide good, comfortable support to both mother and baby.

Polyester fibre 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 which model you go with, you can use your pillow for more than simply breastfeeding. There are pillows that are made to be used during the final stage of pregnancy, but which are also optimal for when a baby begins taking a bottle. Some are even long and large enough that they can be used as a small mattress for your baby to rest on while he or she digests a meal.

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

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