Feeding:nursing pillows

When you're feeding your baby, finding a comfortable position can be a challenge. Your lap isn't high enough for proper support, and holding your baby in your arms can start to feel like some sort of weird endurance test.

A rounded feeding or nursing pillow that fits around your waist can help support your child at the proper elevation, making your job a lot easier and saving you from cramped arms. Position is especially important for breast-feeding moms, and these pillows let you easily navigate the perfect elevation for achieving a good "latch"—the key to productive and comfortable breast-feeding.

your basic choices

There are two different styles of feeding pillows, plus a minimalist option that utilizes an everyday pillow.

horseshoe style
Just as the name implies, these pillows are shaped like a horseshoe and fit partway around your waist, allowing you to sit on a couch or rocker while you nurse.

doughnut style
The doughnut style reaches further around your waist than the horseshoe and has a strap that latches in back. The strap holds the pillow in place so you can walk around with it, but still allows you to lean back when seated. The trade-off for some is the boxier shape and firmer feel that's a little less pillow like.

regular pillow
If you really don't want to add yet another thing to the pile of baby stuff, you could get away with using a regular pillow. It won't offer the customized fit and support of the other two options, but it can be used for other purposes.

features to look for

  • Machine-washable. Breast-feeding pillows get dirty. Look for a removable, washable cover and consider picking up a spare cover for busy wash-days.

  • Multiple-capacity. If you have twins or multiples, look for special versions created just for you.

  • Storage pockets. To keep essentials close at hand, some pillows offer cargo space in the form of pockets for stashing goods.

stage considerations

A horseshoe-style feeding pillow can enjoy a second life when your child is learning to sit up. Just as you would wrap the pillow around your front to support the baby, you can wrap the pillow around your baby's backside to give her a little extra support during the wobbly early stage of sitting.

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