One of the most popular products expecting mothers is curious about are nursing pillows and their many associated models. Nursing your infant may be considered one of the most healthy choices you can make for your child’s health, but it doesn’t always come easy for many mothers. One way you can support both your nursing posture and your baby’s body is a nursing pillow of some sort.
If you have a child already, then you probably are aware of the many popular models currently available. Everything from different fills, construction, and covers can help determine what may work best for you and your newborn, or even for an older nurse- and if you have ever wondered about the difference between a nursing pillow vs a Boppy then this is the article for you.
What is a Nursing Pillow?
A nursing pillow is defined as a supportive pillow used to help promote proper positioning and comfortable latching of a nursing infant or child. These are usually a polyfill or foam pillow shaped in a c or similar that can be placed close or around the mother’s body. They are made specifically to help support the weight of the baby and her arms as she holds the child, and it also releases tension in the back and neck.
The multiple designs available are to help support variable comfort positions depending on need, body shape, and size. Plus, many can double as a support for a growing baby to help with tummy time and sitting positions. They also can be used with bottle fed babies as well.
- Helps keep baby in proper nursing position
- Supports mother’s posture and relieves tension on back
- Variable designs for personal preferences
- Not all designs work the same
- Needs quality checks
- Possible position limitations
Materials and Construction
As mentioned, most pillows are made with a soft polyfill or foam to ensure good hypoallergenic practices. Both polyfill and foam are synthetics and are naturally dust mite resistant – which can be the number one carrier of allergen triggers.
The pillows are then usually covered in soft cotton or cotton blend cases that can be zipped or folded on and off to provide a barrier between the pillow and baby- and for easy washing and drying.
Nursing pillows can be used in many ways to help support both mom and baby. They work well to support a pregnant mother prior to birth as the shapes may be supportive of a growing belly or simply as back support.
They also can help baby get a good nursing latch, and it can raise them into the correct position to allow for reduction of reflux. As the baby grows, it also doubles as an excellent body propping for tummy time and sitting up.
Unfortunately, most pillows are not completely washable and are considered spot clean only. Foam can break down in water and also breed bacteria when wet as it dries poorly, and polyfill may clump and create an uncomfortable pillow surface. The covers are machine washable and dryable, and many companies provide extra casings for purchase as well.
Nursing pillows are not for everyone, however, and when shopping for one it is important to look closely at personal reviews to see what issues could arise. Babies and mothers are not all the same size, and what does work for one mother may not work for another.
Pillows, rather than support proper positions, could displace the baby’s weight and cause a bad latch- or it may even cause extra strain on a mother if she leans forward into it. Sizing is also important for those that are made to wrap around the body. If they are not adjustable, you may find it fits too snug or too loose.
What is a Boppy?
A Boppy is a brand name of a type of C-shaped (or U-shaped depending on who you are talking to) type nursing pillow that has become a number one brand seller due to its versatility. First off, the Boppy Company creates many different types of pillows to support both expecting mothers as well as the baby after birth. The term “Boppy”, although technically a company name, has become simultaneously used to describe a very popular nursing pillow shape- even when made by a different company.
- Versatile for most body types
- Interchangeable cover
- May be too soft
- Lacks a strap
- May flatten over time
Materials and Construction
A Boppy nursing pillow comes in four different versions: the Boppy Bare Naked, the Classic Feeding and Infant Support, the Luxe Feeding and Infant Support, and the Best Latch Breastfeeding Pillow. The first three use a polyfill for soft support and have removable cotton or minky covers for easy washing. The pillows themselves are also washable according to the company.
The Best Latch is a foam and a U-shaped pillow that has a soft side as well as a more firm side to better meet personal preferences. The cover is also removable and features an adjustable belt to help keep it in place and fit the needs of a wider selection of body types and comfort.
Boppy Pillows are made to be versatile and grow with your child to help support various stages of their development. From nursing and feeding, propping, tummy time, and sitting- the shape and loft support a child’s balance as they reach new milestones. Many nursing pillows can be used in ways they are not specifically made for, but the Boppy is built with various uses in mind, even if it is not a good nursing choice for you.
As mentioned, the Boppy pillows are considered machine washable (except the foam inserts of the Best Latch version). This is a nice touch as babies can be rather messy, and if you are using your pillow as it is meant to be used, then you probably will have the occasion to want to wash the entire thing.
Like any nursing pillow, concerns surround its use and the fact that it may not be conducive to your nursing or feeding situation. Although Boppy offers three versions, there are only two designs to choose from, and one or both may not work comfortably for feeding posture.
There have also been some concerns about people allowing their infants to lounge within the pillows to nap. Although the company explicitly states that a child should never be left unattended when using the pillow, and never allow a child to sleep within a nursing pillow, many people do- which has drawn negative attention to the brand name when used to describe nursing pillows in general.
Your Best Choice Explained
Obviously, your choice of a nursing pillow very much depends upon what needs you have, and your personal preferences. There are many style options available out there, and you should always take the time to review the materials and comfort designs available both for you and the baby.
Boppy is an excellent, long-standing company name that has built a reputation for design and quality. Their versatile uses, as well as other products, have become a standard in the baby care industry. That doesn’t mean that other brands, or styles, should be discluded from your research.There are many new studies and ideas surrounding nursing and feeding support and care, and new products are making their debut all the time.
As an owner of both Boppy products and other brand names in this department, I can tell you that it truly comes right down to personal preference.
Nursing Pillow vs Boppy Comparison Table
|For support of baby and mother during feeding||For support of baby and mother at various
stages of growth
|Many different styles and comforts||Limited styles and comfort|
|Designs vary and many may not always be supportive||Dependable design made wide and firm enough
for a variety of body sizes