Relaxed breastfeeding with a nursing pillow
Breastfeeding is one of the most intimate and familiar moments between your baby and you. However, not only the "hunger is satisfied", but also the important need for closeness. All the better if there is a little helper that makes these moments as pleasant and relaxing as possible: the nursing pillow. However, such a pillow is not only worthwhile during the breastfeeding period. Even during pregnancy it will give you a restful sleep.
The market offers a wide range of variants, all of which have their advantages. We are sure that you will find the right breastfeeding and pregnancy pillow for your needs.
FAQs - Questions and answers about breastfeeding pillows
When can I start using a nursing pillow? You can use a breastfeeding pillow already during pregnancy, after birth it is perfectly suitable as a positioning pillow for your baby. There are no general age recommendations for the use of breastfeeding pillows. What size should a nursing pillow be? The actual size of a nursing pillow depends on its use. For breastfeeding, the pillow can at best be placed around your body so that you can sit comfortably and your baby can lie optimally. Which nursing pillow is right for me? If you really only want to use the pillow for breastfeeding, a smaller nursing pillow in the so-called "American" shape is sufficient. A larger breastfeeding pillow in the banana shape, on the other hand, can be used during pregnancy and later as a positioning pillow. Are breastfeeding pillows also available for twins? Yes, there are also special breastfeeding pillows for twins to breastfeed both babies at the same time. The pillows are wider and longer and offer more space.
What is a breastfeeding pillow?
Mothers and midwives swear by the use of breastfeeding pillows. And they do so even during pregnancy. Thanks to the soft pillows, you will not only be supported while breastfeeding. As a pregnancy pillow, it supports your back as it becomes more and more strained due to your growing belly. After birth, you can also use the pillow as a positioning pillow for your baby.
But what is the actual function of a nursing pillow?
Basically, such a pillow should make breastfeeding as comfortable as possible for you and your child and ensure that every breastfeeding position is pleasant. This also helps to counteract breastfeeding problems.
Are there differences between breastfeeding and pregnancy pillows?
The terms nursing and pregnancy pillows are often used interchangeably. However, not every nursing pillow is also a pregnancy pillow. Unlike a nursing pillow, the sole purpose of a pregnancy pillow is to provide you with better support while sleeping, resting and sitting. Overstressed areas of the body are thus relieved, possible pain is prevented or at least alleviated. A classic pregnancy pillow has a U-shape with two long legs that can be optimally clamped between the knees. Depending on the shape, this is also possible with nursing pillows, but these are somewhat more flexible.
How big are breastfeeding pillows?
Nursing pillows come in very different shapes and therefore sizes. All have their advantages and certainly disadvantages. All nursing pillows have one thing in common, regardless of size: the shape is optimized for more comfortable breastfeeding.
The best known are so-called "nursing snakes" in the shape of a banana, such as the Theraline nursing pillows. They are between 120 and 220 centimeters long, can be placed around the body and are also suitable as pregnancy and positioning pillows.
Another form are nursing moons - nursing pillows in the shape of a half moon. They are slightly shorter and can also be used as neck pillows.
Furthermore, there are breastfeeding pillows in American shape, which resemble a neck pillow and are especially suitable for traveling, as well as breastfeeding eggs, which are rather small with dimensions of about 80 x 40 centimeters.
Which shape and size you choose depends on the intended use and your individual preferences.
Is a nursing pillow washable?
Sooner or later, your baby will surely spit out some milk after breastfeeding. That's why breastfeeding pillows are washable in most cases. Some models can be washed in the washing machine without any problems. Manufacturers usually recommend the use of a special laundry bag to avoid any damage to the washing machine by escaping microbeads.
However, depending on the size, not every nursing pillow fits in the washing machine. In this case, a nursing pillow with a removable cover is recommended, which you can wash separately if necessary.
What you should bear in mind when caring for a nursing pillow
Nursing pillows are usually quite easy to care for and clean. The right temperature and the right washing cycle are specified by the manufacturer, and you can find information on this in the instructions for use that come with the pillow. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions in order to enjoy your nursing pillow for a long time.
If the nursing pillow is not suitable for the dryer, hang it normally on the clothes horse. Shaking the pillow from time to time helps to prevent the filling from clumping. Do not use the pillow until it is completely dry.
Clean the surface of a nursing pillow with natural filling regularly. Be sure to use a cover for these pillows that you can wash separately. It also makes sense to let these pillows air well in the fresh air.
If you follow the care instructions for the nursing pillow, then a healthy environment for your offspring is guaranteed throughout the entire breastfeeding period.
Which nursing pillow fillings are available?
The filling has a special meaning for a nursing pillow. This is because it influences how pleasantly soft and at the same time stable the pillow is. With nursing pillows, therefore, the "inner values" play an important role, although personal preferences also influence the choice of nursing pillow filling.
EPS beads (micro beads)
EPS pearls (micro pearls), as used in Theraline nursing pillows among others, are considered the standard among nursing pillow fillings. The foam beads, which are about 0.5 to 1.5 millimeters in size, have a fine structure, are low-noise, lightweight and are very suitable for allergy sufferers. They are also breathable and can store heat. A nursing pillow filling made of microbeads adapts to the shape of the body.
PES hollow fiber beads
In addition to the common EPS beads, PES hollow fiber beads are often considered as a filling. They are soft and cuddly, odorless, allergy-friendly and can be put in the washing machine and dryer for cleaning.
Furthermore, some manufacturers also use natural products as fillings. For example, spelt husk is quite popular. The natural filling material comes from controlled cultivation, is adaptable, breathable, warming and comfortable. However, a nursing pillow with this filling cannot be washed in the washing machine and is only conditionally suitable for allergy sufferers. In addition, breastfeeding pillows with spelt filling are quite heavy and therefore well suited mainly as support pillows.
ATTENTION: Nursing pillows with natural filling absolutely do not like moisture! Should "something go wrong" please make sure that the filling dries very quickly and completely, otherwise there is a risk of germs or mold.
Filling too hard or too soft? - What you can do
Over time, a nursing pillow can sometimes lose its shape and filling. Microbeads are gradually compressed, other fillings may not be able to be cleaned. Or the pillow is just too hard or too soft? No problem. In these cases, you can change the filling or adjust it accordingly. Basically, the more filling, the harder and more dimensionally stable the pillow. But also less flexible.
For the exchange or the filling you choose in the best case a pillow with zipper. With a little skill, however, the seam can also be carefully opened by hand and sewn back together.
The advantages of a nursing pillow at a glance
Breastfeeding with nursing pillows is possible in different breastfeeding positions, which can prevent breastfeeding problems (e.g. milk congestion, sore nipples).
- When breastfeeding with nursing pillows, various areas of the body such as the back and arms are relieved due to the special shape.
- Nursing pillows are already excellent as support pillows during pregnancy.
- Nursing pillows can be used as a positioning pillow for the baby.
- Nursing pillows can be used flexibly.
What you should look for when buying a nursing pillow
Breastfeeding with nursing pillows has many advantages and the variety is so great that surely every mom will find the right one for her. It is best to consider the following criteria when buying:
- Look for a material that is as pleasantly soft as possible and that does not cause skin irritation for you or your baby. Quality seals such as Oeko-Tex, TÜV or Toxproof can provide information about this.
- At best, the nursing pillow filling is low-noise, breathable and easy to clean.
- Think about the intended use and choose the pillow in the appropriate size and shape. If you want to use it exclusively for breastfeeding, then perhaps a nursing pillow in American shape is sufficient. If you also want to use it during pregnancy or later as a positioning pillow, go for a banana-shaped nursing pillow.
- Pay attention to the workmanship. The seams should be clean, the closure at best hidden inside. A zipper proves to be useful, as it facilitates the exchange of the nursing pillow filling and cleaning.