In the last few years the research and information regarding infants and how they are cared for has fluctuated quite a bit. Every year there is a new debate on which techniques are correct and which position is better. Leading many mothers and fathers to begin their journey either through trial and error. Lately there have been a lot of questions surrounding breastfeeding, and more specifically breastfeeding pillows. So is a breastfeeding pillow really necessary?
The answer is a complex one, are they necessary? Sometimes. Are they beneficial? Almost always. So let's delve a bit further into what a breastfeeding pillow is, and why some parents may be on the fence about them.
Propping: The main use for a breastfeeding pillow has almost always been to be able to prop the baby up in a certain position to either make latching simpler, or for the ease of the mother needing to bend or angle oddly. By creating a small pillow with curves on either side, the child's bottom is able to slide right between the ends of the pillow and stay propped in a more upright position.
This is also helpful outside of breastfeeding. Not only will this help the child have a place to sit up for feedings, but for face to face time as well. Not to mention as a helpful transition to early muscle building that is essential for sitting up on their own.
Pain: Sometimes finding the right angle for feeding can be tough. It's can be a real pain in the back trying several different positions with no avail. With out certain support, you could wind up with neck, hip, and even shoulder pain. With a breastfeeding pillow, you have twice the options available to you. More than that, you have complete control over the entire dynamic for any situation or off day you may have.
Fun: Children tend to get attached to things they have when they sleep or eat. Some have been known to really enjoy playing with their pillows outside of feeding time. Pushing and pulling them, and picking them up to squeeze and fling around. They may grow out of them after a while, but they may still get some use out of them after their unable to sit in them any longer.
Tips On Buying One:
Where: Many stores that carry other baby items will have breastfeeding pillows. Retailers and online markets tend to be around the same price range. However there seems to be a wider selection online, depending on how specific your choice of pillow is.
Price: Price will vary on two main things. The first is quality. Of course the better the quality the more expensive. But in the case it really comes down to; is it comfy? It may be a good idea to visit a couple of different stores and test feel some of the pillows to make sure you are getting a soft pillow for your child. They do tend to range from $10 - $50 on a normal site or store. So shop around for the best price available in your area.
Safety Feature to Look Out For:
Position: Be aware of how your baby is positioned with some of the pillows. There can be odd angles your child could fall or slide into if not careful or properly supervised. This could cause aches and pains for your child's neck and back areas. So just be extra sure they are comfy when using the pillow for an extended period of time.
Soreness: Sometimes the angle with a pillow will make the feeding easier for the baby, but irritating to mom. This could be due to a change in the feedings. Either adding or subtracting a breastfeeding pillow could be the issue. In either case it is always a good idea to talk over changes with your physician to decide what the best course of action is.
Size: Not really a safety feature, however size is certainly something to consider when looking at a breastfeeding pillow. Remember that some pillows can be larger or bulky, and you may have to carry it around from place to place. This could end up being cumbersome and a hassle to deal with on top of a baby.
There may also be an issue of the child fitting. Not all pillows will wrap nicely around every child. It is important to test these out in the store if possible or measure to scale the best accurate size of pillow to maximize results.
In summary, a breastfeeding pillow is not necessary. Not for all women. Not for all babies. One size will not fit all, and some babies will do better without them. However they have been a tremendous success with many mothers. Both to those who find it just makes feeding easier; to those who may have a harder time feeding without the pillow.It really comes down to the preference of the mother and the baby. That being said, it may not hurt to try one out. Buying and trying a pillow could lend you a better perspective on the matter, and give you a good idea if it could help you in anyway.