The 5 Best Nursing Pillows In 2017
Last Updated September 3, 2017
Finding a comfortable position when breastfeeding isn’t always easy. Do you constantly struggle to find something that works for both you and your baby?
If it feels like you’ve tried every position short of standing on your head and you still can’t find one you can live with, let us help you find the best nursing pillow that suits your needs.
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*All links above will take you to the latest prices on Amazon.com or you can read our in-depth nursing pillow reviews below.
How Do You Use a Nursing Pillow?
The way you use a nursing pillow depends on how you position yourself during breastfeeding. If you’re sitting down on a comfortable chair while breastfeeding and your child is positioned across your lap, you can use the pillow to give your baby’s head and neck support – that’s particularly important for newborns and young babies who don’t have much neck strength.
If you feed your baby in a manner where he is positioned on your side and you’re holding him under your arm like a football, pillows will help place you or your baby comfortably and correctly.
If you opt to feed your baby while you’re lying on your back, your body will be your baby’s pillow so you don’t need to have a nursing pillow in this case, unless it makes you more comfortable.
Even if you choose to bottle feed, nursing pillows can help support the baby, so you don’t constantly strain your muscles to hold the baby up for feedings. That’s particularly useful if the mom had a C-section delivery.
Some nights my shoulders, neck, and arms were so tight and painful from trying to hold my baby in position for so long that I felt like I was participating in some kind of physical endurance challenge. It hurt, and I wasn’t prepared for that as a new mom.
What is a Boppy Pillow?
Boppy pillows look like travel neck pillows – like a C-shaped doughnut that someone has taken a bite out of. These pillows have so many uses. You can use them to prop up your baby while you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
The pillows are sold plain like a bed pillow would be. You then buy a slipcover for it so you can use whatever color scheme fits in with your house. Because you can change and wash these slipcovers, it helps keep pillows from having that sour milk smell if your baby spits up on them.
Boppy pillows aren’t big enough to go all the way around you, so you’ll need a separate pillow if you want to support your back.
Boppy pillows have uses other than just helping you feed your baby. You can use Boppy pillows to sit on when you’re still sore for the first two or three weeks after delivery. It’s especially soothing for moms who had stitches as a result of delivery.
Related reading: 5 Ways to Use a Boppy
You can use them to help an older sibling find a safe position on the floor to hold their baby brother or sister. Or use the Boppy pillow to support your baby while he learns the sitting position.
Boppy pillows can be used to help prop up babies during their dreaded tummy time. My children hated tummy time with a passion, but doctors say it’s good for babies so we would go through our daily ritual of supervised tummy time. Boppy pillows can make it more enjoyable for infants so having one around is worth the money just for that reason to me.
What is My Brest Friend?
My Brest Friend is a nursing pillow that in many ways is like a Boppy. They both help with the sometimes awkward process of breastfeeding. But, unlike the Boppy, the top side of My Brest Friend is flat, which means your baby stays where you put her, and there’s no rolling baby syndrome while you feed her.
My Brest Friend also has two added features that I love – there’s a snap that secures the pillow in place, and the pillow goes all the way around the mother, giving her much-needed back support.
My Brest Friend vs Boppy
The debate between these two types of pillows has raged on in recent years. They are both so popular and offer great support for moms, whether they are breastfeeding or bottle feeding. They each have their selling points, and sometimes moms find they want both pillows to cover everything they are looking for.
My Brest Friend’s primary purpose is as a nursing pillow, while the Boppy pillow is a multi-stage pillow that can also be used for nursing.
Boppy pillows aren’t always the best choice for nursing newborns because of their rounded nature and the fact there aren’t any straps to hold it in place. Plus, when a baby is a newborn, that’s when moms can most use the added back support that My Brest Friend offers.
Childbirth can be extremely hard on your back, and you can get backaches for weeks afterward. I did, and they were brutal. I would be trying to feed my baby, and my back would be on fire no matter what position I tried. The only thing that helped was a pillow jammed behind my back, supporting just the right spot.
The pain, coupled with the feeling of failure for not being able to feed your baby without agony, isn’t a good combo when your body is still flooded with pregnancy hormones. It’s enough to send you spiraling into the biggest pity party in the world. If a pillow can stop those feelings of self-doubt from creeping in, it’s worth every penny.
The Best All Round Breastfeeding Pillow
Breastfeeding requires a lot of coordination, creative thinking, and an iron will. You are going to fail at so many things when you begin breastfeeding. The key is never to give up and to look for anything that will help you on your mission. A great breastfeeding pillow is one tool you’ll want to assist you in your way.
This nursing pillow has a super soft slipcover that moms should love, and the best part is that it stays soft after multiple trips through the washing machine.
The pillow also has room for mom’s arm and elbow to rest which helps for those who suffer from fatigued shoulder muscles from holding up the baby for extended periods.
Since this pillow wraps around moms, it stays put, thanks to its fastening strap and latch. Moms may especially appreciate the backrest that gives them added support when they need it most.
- This pillow addresses every area of pain a new mom feels from breastfeeding, other than her breast.
- Helps the baby stay at just the right height for breastfeeding.
- The flat surface stops the baby from rolling out of position.
- Difficult to put on with one hand.
- It doesn’t fit plus-size women well.
The Best Nursing Pillow For Bottle Feeding
Bottle feeding presents challenges, although not as many as breastfeeding. When one parent does most of the bottle feeding, it can lead to sore muscles in multiple places. Having a pillow to raise the height of the baby who is sitting on a parent’s lap can save moms from the pain of stiff, aching muscles.
Made of polyester and cotton, this pillow can be used to position bottle fed babies in a way that takes the strain off of their mother’s sore arm, shoulder and back muscles. It doesn’t just help moms – it can provide neck and head support for babies during their bottle time.
Slipcovers for the pillow can be bought separately and are machine washable. Mothers may appreciate how versatile this pillow is – it can be used for years, not just the short time your baby is fed from a bottle. The Boppy pillow can even be used to prop up your newborn during picture times.
- This pillow is affordable, especially when you factor in its versatility.
- The soft fabric makes it good for soft, sensitive baby skin.
- Can help babies learn to enjoy tummy time.
- There is no back support with this pillow.
- The rounded top of the pillow can cause your baby to roll or turn inward during feeding.
- Not a good choice for plus-size women.
The Best Nursing Pillow For Plus-Size Moms
Moms come in all shapes and sizes. Even moms who weren’t packing much extra weight before pregnancy can find themselves in plus-size territory because all the weight they gained while carrying their baby doesn’t vanish overnight once the baby is born.
Finding a pillow that fits and is comfortable is an important priority for moms of any weight.
Moms who wear a larger size may want to invest in this pillow, which is designed in a completely different shape than many other popular nursing pillows.
Shaped more like a boomerang, this pillow doesn’t have a backside that uses a fastener. Women who have had a C-section may like that this pillow doesn’t sit too close to their bodies, which often irritates the sensitive incision area.
Made in the U.S., these pillows use a soft fabric both mothers and babies might enjoy. Flame retardant chemicals aren’t used on these pillows, which moms of babies with sensitive skin might appreciate.
- The slipcovers are easy to get on and off.
- Large enough to support a variety of body types.
- More decorative than a nursing pillow – visitors to your house might think it’s a regular pillow if they see it on your couch.
- Its large size doesn’t work well for travel.
- Pricier than many other nursing pillows.
The Best Nursing Pillow For Twins
Twins are twice the fun, except when it comes to feeding time. Feeding two babies presents its own set of challenges, particularly if they need to be fed at the same time. If you are the mom of twins, you need a nursing pillow that can accommodate two babies at once, while providing you with the support and comfort you need.
This pillow is specifically designed for twins and the unique situation they create when it comes to feeding time.
Parents of twins should appreciate how much back support this pillow provides for a nursing mother who is often struggling under the weight of holding two babies.
Mothers of twins will be able to breastfeed in any position that a mother of a single would with the Twin Z pillow. It isn’t a lightweight pillow – it weighs about 6 pounds.
The outside of the pillow is made of cotton, which feels soft. It has a buckle to keep it securely in place.
- Babies can be positioned on the floor side by side on their backs after feeding time is over.
- Works well for larger women.
- Because most chairs won’t be big enough for feeding twins, you’ll need to use this while on the floor, couch or a bed.
- Because of its size, this pillow isn’t ideal for traveling.
- It is expensive, about twice the price of single pillows.
The Best Travel Nursing Pillow
Finding a comfortable nursing pillow you can take on the road with you can be tricky. Your regular nursing pillow is likely too big to make the trip because it will take up too much trunk space or won’t fit in a carry-on bag for an airplane. You need something a little smaller that will work in a pinch.
Just when you thought there weren’t any good options for a travel nursing pillow, this one proves you wrong.
This pillow is perfect for moms, but dads won’t feel foolish using it either. It’s a pillow designed much like a toddler’s swim floaties – it just slides over your forearm to give support to your feeding baby while not straining your muscles.
It also props a baby’s head up enough that it will help lessen the chance of acid reflux from awkward feeding positions.
The small convenient travel size pillow is machine washable.
- Easy to use.
- Fits in a diaper bag.
- It doesn’t provide back support for moms.
- The pillow doesn’t have a variety of uses.
Our Favorite Nursing Pillow
When you are considering the best pillow solely for nursing, My Brest Friend takes the cake because of its outstanding back support and its fastener which helps it stay put.
The flat surface is a great feature so your baby will stay exactly where you want her with no rolling or shifting during feeding, which could cause her break her latch on your breast.
Even though this pillow isn’t as versatile as the Boppy, it offers the best features for nursing purposes. If you are considering the long-term use and don’t mind that the Boppy isn’t quite as good for nursing as My Brest Friend is, the Boppy is still an outstanding choice.