In my experience, newbie nursing moms will benefit greatly from a nursing pillow. A newborn can conceivably spend four hours a day on the boob (pardon?), so it behooves you to get comfy.
Nursing pillows are designed to be used while mom is sitting upright. An alternative approach is “laid back nursing,” which many feel is a more natural position. If you find that laid back nursing is more comfortable, these pillows won’t be of much use.
Here are some of the best nursing pillows, in order of price — these are the five pillows that mommies love most:
The Boppy Original ~$29 — Budget/Economy Pick
The best-selling Boppy is a thicker, horseshoe-shaped pillow that fits around your waist (no buckling necessary). (It comes “bare,” so if you want a design and/or a washable cover, note that those are sold separately for ~$10 each.)
It’s easier to get on (and off) than the My Brest Friend (below), but it may not feel as sturdy.
The Boppy is a multi-use pillow; your baby can hang out in it on the floor or on your bed (not for sleeping!), and you can use it later for tummy time. Heck, I even used mine as a sleeping pillow.
In my experience, the Brest Friend (next on the list) is wonderful during the early days when your baby has no head control, while the Boppy is better around 2-4 months because it’s less of a hassle to get on and off. After about 4 months or so, your baby is big enough to nurse without a pillow.
There’s also the Boppy Best Latch ($44), which is a two-sided nursing pillow. It has one soft side (like the Original Boppy) and one firmer side (shockingly similar to the My Brest Friend). And like the My Brest Friend, it wraps around you and clips in place. Some think this pillow is the best of both worlds; others find it too big and complicated. *Not recommended for short-waisted or petite women.
My Brest Friend ~$35 — Best Most Unfortunately-Named Nursing Pillow
The My Brest Friend is essentially more like a nursing shelf. It wraps around your whole body and buckles on the side, which makes it very secure.
Because of this, the setup is a little more tedious because you need both hands. On the plus side, the security is wonderful — and you don’t feel like baby is going to slip between you and the pillow.
However since it’s tightish around your middle, the My Brest Friend is not ideal for C-section moms (not until you heal, at least).
Some people find it hard to hold the baby and wrap this thing around you at the same time. I agree, but I still think it’s a great tool. It also makes a very fashionable skirt or tutu to wear to the door when the UPS man is delivering your diapers (if you don’t have any idea what that means right now… you will!!!).
One Z Nursing Pillow ~$59 — Most Back Support
The singleton version of their popular Twin Z pillow, this one is GIANT (about the size of a dog bed), but soooo very comfortable.
If you get this, I recommend you keep it where you nurse most frequently because you won’t want to be carrying it from room to room. You can also use it as a baby lounger (again, not for sleeping).
Luna Lullaby ~$59
While most pillows are ‘U’ shaped, this one is an ‘L.’ A few advantages to this:
- It’s not tight around a sore postpartum or C-section belly
- This pillow is longer than most, so it won’t be outgrown as quickly
- It looks fine on your couch and doesn’t scream “nursing pillow!!” Many moms even report sleeping with it.
- Many plus-size women prefer the L-shape for comfort
Because there’s no clip in the back, it’s not as secure or tight-fitting as the Brest Friend or Boppy Best Latch; people either like this about the Luna Lullaby pillow or they don’t.
Blessed Nest Nursing Pillow ~$98 — Upgrade/Organic Pick
The Blessed Nest pillow is shaped like a crescent moon and made of buckwheat hulls — yes, buckwheat hulls — with an organic cotton cover. It may sound weird, but the grain filling actually makes for a great product. The Blessed Nest is heavy (5.5 pounds, to be exact) and moldable (like a bean bag). It’s designed to conform to your baby and help keep her in place while you’re nursing, rather than just support your arm (like most nursing pillows).
Like the Luna Lullaby, this pillow can go on to serve other purposes beyond breastfeeding because it’s so comfy — sleep with it, snuggle with it, use it as a leg rest, use it for tummy time, etc. It’s quite versatile (for a pillow!).
Many moms and lactation consultants prefer the Blessed Nest to the Boppy or My Brest Friend for its heft and support — if you can splurge and/or you definitely want something organic, this is where it’s at!