Nursing Pillow: a Variety of Choice, Types, Advantages, Tips on Use

mom holding the baby on a nursing pillow

It’s not a secret that a breastfeeding mother gets really tired holding the newborn at the breast for hours. Especially if the baby often takes the breast and sucks for a long time. Then a nursing pillow comes to the rescue. It reduces the load and allows you to relax and rest. After all, the comfortable posture and good mood of the mother is the key to successful lactation and prolonged breastfeeding.

In this article, we will analyze why a nursing pillow is a must, review several types of nursing pillows, will learn how to choose and buy a model correctly, or how to make a product yourself.

Is Nursing Pillow a Must?

As soon as a baby is born, he/she requires special care and more attention from the mother. Then the agonizing nights begin, which are accompanied by weeping. There are many things that can help in care for an infant. One of these things is a nursing pillow.

The most important process during this period is breastfeeding. It takes a long time and a lot of strength and efforts. After all, one feeding can take 20-40 and even more minutes. And the baby asks for the breast every 3 hours. This is not very joyful information for those who just plan to have a baby. Most often young mummies keep their kids in their arms, but few are able to withstand such tests. After all, the child is not so light. Besides, pains in the back and hands may appear. But with a nursing pillow breastfeeding becomes much easier.

You can raise the nursing pillow higher – to the level of the breast, especially it will be convenient for those women who have a small breast size. For a better effect, the pillow has a peculiar circle, wrapped around the waist of the mother. Also, there are stickers that help to control the girth. It is enough just to hold the pillow a little by hand and the process will move forward painlessly for the mother.

The Main Functions of a Nursing Pillow

  • Reduces the strain on the muscles of the hands, back, and neck;
  • Helps to lay the baby under different angles, which will allow to quickly and comfortably feed the baby. Also, a nursing pillow will help to avoid solid formations in the breast and the corresponding diseases;
  • A nursing pillow helps to teach the child to sit;
  • Some, still pregnant women, use such pillows for a comfortable sleep;
  • You can also leave the baby in a sitting position on the pillow.

mom breastfeeds the baby on a nursing pillow

Despite all the pluses of the pillow, keep in mind that stickers cannot hold the child. This attachment can only hold on to your body without additional weight. So, always hold your child when you lean or stand up.

In order to get the desired effect of the purchase, you need to be able to choose the right model. After all, not always good advertising and beautiful packaging correspond to the quality of the goods. Often we make mistakes during shopping. But in order to make the right choice, consider the following advice regarding the choice of a nursing pillow.

Basic Principles of Choosing a Nursing Pillow

You need to choose individually for yourself. Pay attention to the height. A nursing pillow must fit your breast;

A good nursing pillow should be stuffed well, because if it is too soft, then the baby will sink in it.  And if a nursing pillow is too thin, the baby may roll down;

Also, it is worth paying attention to an important detail – the fasteners that fix the pillow on your body. But they are not present in all models;

Some mothers feel discomfort when they do not hold their babies during feeding. And if it is your first child and you do not yet know what is more convenient for you, it would be wonderful to try to feed the baby with a nursing pillow at a friend of yours.

3 women with babies on nursing pillows

Before you buy a pillow, carefully examine the product. Check what it’s made of. The label should include information about the filler, washing conditions, date of expiry and the manufacturer. Choose only natural hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly filler. It should be elastic and antistatic, preferably with orthopedic and water-repellent properties.

Take pillows with removable covers that are easy to take off and wash. Choose covers from cotton, satin or other natural material.

Before buying, touch and try on different models. And after the purchase, do not forget about the proper care. Regularly wash covers and check the products for integrity. There should be no holes and protruding filler on the surface.

Types of Nursing Pillows

Today, there are different types of pillows, which vary in form, purpose, size, and fillers. The most popular among nursing mothers are models in the form of a crescent, a letter C or a bagel. This is a universal product, which is suitable for feeding one and two babies.

Note that there is a special pillow for feeding twins in the form of a horseshoe. Feeding toddlers or twins simultaneously synchronizes the biological rhythms of children, which positively affects development. A pillow for breastfeeding twins is bigger than a standard model.

nursing pillow types

In addition, the market offers models in the form of a pipe and a boomerang, a rectangle, and a triangle. The length of the products varies from 120 centimeters to 2 meters. Some models are supplied with special pockets for a handkerchief and other additional items. Many products contain special stickers and straps that fix the pillow behind your back. With such a model, the mother can safely move without fear that the pillow will fall.

Types of Nursing Pillow Fillers

  • Sintepon and foam rubber are cheap and safe materials, but they will not allow you to fully relax as they compress and spring;
  • Hollofayber – is inexpensive, environmentally friendly and practical material. However, it quickly loses its form and original appearance;
  • Buckwheat husk is a natural and safe material that ensures high-quality air exchange. Buckwheat freely moves, which makes the pillow soft and durable. The product repeats the contours of the body of the child and the hands of the mother, so it is comfortable to use. But such a nursing pillow can’t be washed. Therefore, it is shaken out or vacuumed. In addition, buckwheat may create a noise that scares the baby or prevents the baby from relaxing while breastfeeding;
  • Polystyrene balls are soft and light materials that will make the pillow airy, elastic and comfortable to use. The product repeats the shape of the body of the child and mother and has orthopedic properties. In addition, the baby can touch and play with the balls;
  • Wool and feather are not suitable because they can cause allergies in the baby. In addition, the wool easily slips and becomes electrified. This nursing pillow cannot be washed.

How to Use a Nursing Pillow?

For feeding: The use of a nursing pillow for feeding depends on the type of a pillow. But according to the usual rules, the pillow is placed around the waist of the nursing woman and the baby is placed side by side on the pillow. If the pillow for feeding is equipped with straps, then with the help of them fasten the child so that the baby does not fall and does not crawl during feeding.

A nursing pillow allows placing the child at any angle to the mother’s body. The pillow can be fixed at mother’s waist with the help of stickers or ties.

Some models can be used when moving in an upright position, but the mother’s hands must always hold the child from the bottom.

a woman playing with her baby on a nursing pillow

Feeding sitting is much easier if you wrap the pillow around your waist and put your child on top of it in close proximity to the breast. In this position, a woman does not need to lean and hold the baby in her arms or pull her knees to her chest.

The pose from under the breast is recommended for intensive outflow of milk, which is necessary not only for normal breastfeeding but also during lactostasis. The child is laid on the pillow in such a way that he is under his mother’s hand, and his chest is touching her side. This position helps to quickly empty the lower lobe of the breast.

Simultaneous feeding of twins is also possible in such a way.

Using a Nursing Pillow for the Development of the Child

Nursing pillows help to strengthen the muscles of the back of the baby when the baby is lying on the tummy with the chest on the pillow. Do this only if the child is confidently holding his head. In addition, this position allows the baby to look around and feel relaxed.

Later, when the child is able to independently turn over, the pillow serves as a kind of stopper to prevent falls.

use of a nursing pillow

A Nursing Pillow for the Baby’s Development and Games

A nursing pillow serves not only to support the mother and the baby but also can help stimulate the baby’s development.

That’s why the manufacturers use bright fabrics on pillow covers. The fillers inside also contribute to the development of sensory sensations. You can simply place the baby on the pillow while the baby is awake so that the child can see the mother. During sleep, if the baby is sick and has a stuffy nose let the baby sleep on the pillow to make breathing easier.

The nursing pillow can support the child when it lies on the tummy, which is very useful for the development of the musculature of the back and hands.

Lying on a nursing pillow increases the view: often the kids do not like to lie on their stomachs because they cannot see anything.


You can not only buy but also make a pillow with your own hands. Before sewing, determine the shape and length of the product, select the material and filler. Long pillows are used for any age, whereas a short version is suitable for children only up to six months. Flat nursing pillows’ support is distinguished by comfort and orthopedic properties. Use foam rubber, polystyrene beads or hollofayber for filling.

To sew a nursing pillow with your own hands, use coarse calico, satin or 100% cotton. When the product is ready, make a pillowcase or a removable cover to facilitate washing.

On the Internet, you can find different sewing pattern schemes. The size depends on the desire of the woman, as well as on her body (for example, the width of the inside of the pillow depends on the size of the breast/waist of the mom). For a removable pillowcase it is better to choose a waterproof fabric.



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