Breastfeeding Pillows – 3 Things You Need To Know

Breastfeeding Pillows - 3 Things You Need To Know

When it comes to breastfeeding, all you really absolutely need are breasts and a baby.

Yet most pregnant women are told there are various things that are a must have for breastfeeding.

For example, you might be told you need a breast pump, nipple shields, certain nipple creams etc.

Breastfeeding Pillows – 3 Things You Need To Know

A breastfeeding pillow is often suggested as something you need for breastfeeding too. There are various breastfeeding pillows on the market. Some mothers decide not to buy a pillow but make do with pillows they have at home.

But are breastfeeding pillows really necessary for breastfeeding?

Here are 3 things you need to know about breastfeeding pillows.

#1: Breastfeeding Pillows Aren’t Essential

While breastfeeding pillows may be helpful for some mothers, such as those who are breastfeeding twins, they certainly aren’t an essential item for breastfeeding. There are many comfortable breastfeeding positions that don’t rely on breastfeeding pillows.

Many mothers find reclining with pillows behind their back for support a comfortable way to breastfeed. Reclining back means much of your baby’s weight is on your body as opposed to your arms.

#2: Breastfeeding Pillows Can Affect Positioning And Attachment

In some situations, breastfeeding pillows can actually cause more problems than they fix.

One of the biggest potential problems with using a breastfeeding pillow is the baby can be positioned too high at the breast. For optimal positioning for breastfeeding, your baby’s mouth needs to be level with your nipple, not below or above it.

#3: If You Like Your Pillow, Keep It!

If you use a breastfeeding pillow and you find it helps, there’s no need to stop using it. If you don’t have one and breastfeeding is going well, you don’t need to run out and buy one.

As your baby gets grows, you may find you feel like the pillow is becoming more of a hindrance than a help. For example, you may find as your baby grows the pillow means your baby gets positioned up too high, that you start to get sore nipples and your baby becomes fussy with feeds.

In such a situation, the solution may be to ditch the pillow. Many mothers with older babies find that most of their babies’ weight rests in their lap.

So, breastfeeding pillows are definitely not essential for breastfeeding but it’s important to do what works best for you and your baby.

If you need help with breastfeeding, be sure to contact an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant without delay.

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Renee Kam is a mother of two daughters, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), a physiotherapist, author of 'The Newborn Baby Manual' and an Australian Breastfeeding Association Counsellor. In her spare time, Renee enjoys spending time with family and friends, horse riding, running and reading.

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