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Best Pillows for Nursing: Comfort Positioning for Mom and Baby

Whether you are a new mother, or well-versed in breastfeeding position and comfort, a nursing pillow can be a way to provide a soft surface for both mom and baby to rest against. The best nursing pillow is one that fits the mother’s body type, baby positioning, and latch, as well as personal preferences surrounding material construction.

A mother’s body undergoes many changes as she nurses, and a good pillow should provide certain adaptability features to help make these transitions easy and unnoticeable. The following pillows are some of the best taken from current nursing pillow reviews. They highlight some of the most popular styles and materials in use and provide a good overview of what choices you have available for comfort and effective nursing positions.

Rank Products Highlights Warranty
#1

My Brest Friend Original Nursing Posture Pillow

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  • Good for all body types
  • Can move around and walk with it on if needed
  • Handy pocket
1 year
#2

Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner

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  • Completely washable
  • Supports child’s growth
  • Nice choice of patterns
1 year
#3

Infantino Elevate Adjustable Nursing Pillow

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  • Excellent for body shape variances
  • Keeps pressure off c-section
  • Highly adjustable
 1 year
#4

Leachco Cuddle U Positioning Pillow

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  • Thicker than original C-shaped design for helpful support
  • Works well when laying or sitting
  • Good firmness
 1 year
#5

Lansinoh Nursie Breastfeeding Pillow

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  • Washable
  • Soft, comforting material
  • Great for feedings while traveling
1 year
#6

The Twin Z Nursing Pillow

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  • Supports your back for optimal comfort during breastfeeding
  • Allows you to feed both babies at the same time comfortably
  • Suited for newborns and older babies alike
N/A

 

Best Nursing Pillows

1. My Brest Friend Original Nursing Posture Pillow

SPECS

  • Shape: O-shaped
  • Cover Material: 100% cotton
  • Filling Material: Foam
  • Washable: Cover only
  • Warranty: 1 year

My Brest Friend is an O-shaped pillow style made to provide both support to mother and child while feeding. The unique foam core is shaped to support the mother’s posture by providing back, arm, and elbow rest to alleviate muscle fatigue. The wide front positions nicely for the baby to rest comfortably while feeding, and a convenient pouch is available at place easy access to bottles, water, television, remotes, or any other item that may be wanted nearby while relaxing.

Made from a 100% cotton cover, it is completely removable and easy to wash, while the foam itself can be spot cleaned and blotted to dry if needed. The adjustable strap makes an easy fitting for body types of all kinds and is a favorite amongst novice, as well as experienced nursing mothers. Made specifically for newborn nursing through the first year, this is a pillow made for easy adjustment and the ability to move around as needed without repositioning. Although larger in nature, consumers praise it for comfort and usefulness.

Pros Cons
  • Good for all body types
  • Can move around and walk with it on if needed
  • Handy pocket
  • Off gassing upon opening
  • May only be comfortable for babies up to 6 months

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2. Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner

SPECS

  • Shape: C-shaped
  • Cover Material: 100% cotton
  • Filling Material: poly fiberfill
  • Washable: yes
  • Warranty: 1 year

As one of the first companies to introduce to the world an aide in breastfeeding comfort and positioning, the Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner original design has withstood the test of time to continue to be a favored choice. Made to help raise the baby to provide relief to the arms and back, the design lends itself well to your child as they grow to serve as support for tummy time, a lounging support, as well as sitting security.

Both the 100% cotton cover and poly fiber filled pillow are machine washable, and can even be further protected with the use of an optional protective slipcover that fits under the decorative cover. This design is a bot more compact than foam styles, making them perfect for travel of any sort. This is a great design for use with babies up to one year for not only feeding but also support in their balance and growth. Lightweight and easy to wash, it is an excellent choice for mothers and father alike no matter how you feed your child.

Pros Cons
  • Completely washable
  • Supports child’s growth
  • Nice choice of patterns
  • May not work well for larger body types
  • Requires readjustment when you move

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3. Infantino Elevate Adjustable Nursing Pillow

SPECS

  • Shape: layered adjustable
  • Cover Material: polyester
  • Filling Material: Poly fiber fill
  • Washable: yes
  • Warranty: 1 year

The Infantino Elevate Adjustable Nursing Pillow is an entirely new design made to support baby in multiple positions no matter the mother’s posture. Made from a series of stacked pillows, each layer can be flipped over to create a thicker support surface joined together by a bolster like center. Football holds in particular benefit from this pillow, as do babies with acid reflux and GERD.

Made from a hypoallergenic polyester fabric and fill, the entire pillow is machine washable and is designed with convenience in mind. Not only is it very adjustable, it also ties up easily for quick storage or travel purposes. This is a great alternative to more traditional shaped choices and is considered an excellent addition to baby feeding aides when other shapes haven’t worked well, especially for preemie sized babies. This is especially nice for plus size body shapes, as well as c-section recovery.

Pros Cons
  • Excellent for body shape variances
  • Keeps pressure off c-section
  • Highly adjustable
  • Offgassing smell
  • May not work well for cross-cradle holds

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4. Leachco Cuddle U Positioning Pillow

SPECS

  • Shape: C-shaped
  • Cover Material: cotton blend
  • Filling Material: poly fiberfill
  • Washable: yes
  • Warranty: 1 year

Similar to the Boppy pillow, the Leachco Cuddle U pillow is a C-shaped design made to wrap around the mothers front to help lift and support a feeding child. This is a favored shape, and it is very useful for infants through toddlers as support for nursing, sitting security, or lounging. The Leaco version also includes a seat wrap that helps secure the baby when in a lounging position to ensure the baby cannot roll or compromise themselves in any way. This wrap folds up and tucks away when not in use.

The soft polyester fills contours well and supports the baby, as well as provides flexibility for the mother. The cover, although not removable, is a cotton blend, and is soft and hypoallergenic. The pillow is also completely washable. Perfect for multiple uses as your baby grows, you can use the cuddle you for feeding support, baby positioning, or even as an aid in helping your baby balance as they learn to sit up on their own.

Pros Cons
  • Thicker than original C-shaped design for helpful support
  • Works well when laying or sitting
  • Good firmness
  • No removable cover
  • Velcro can be loud
  • The filling could clump when washed

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Read our full review

5. Lansinoh Nursie Breastfeeding Pillow

SPECS

  • Shape: Alternative arm support
  • Cover Material: 100% cotton/minky
  • Filling Material: poly fiber fill
  • Washable: yes
  • Warranty: 1 year

The Lansinoh Nursie Pillow is an alternative design created to help take pressure off the body when supporting a feeding child- a problem an injured mother, or one recovering from a c-section, may have. The shape of this pillow is similar to an elongated donut and is made to fit your arm through for multiple baby positioning. It is made to work after a good, consistent latch has been made to help with a more comfortable all around experience.

Soft and gentle on the skin, both the inside and outside is designed for comfortable skin contact to bring the baby up to the breast. An outer cotton cover, with a soft Minky casing, has both mom and baby in mind. It is compact as well and travels easily. Plus, it is machine washable. This is a wonderful choice for sensitive skin issue on both mom and baby. It is easy to wash and a great choice for travel.

Pros Cons
  • Washable
  • Soft, comforting material
  • Great for feedings while traveling
  • May not work well for larger, older babies
  • Maybe too high

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6. Best for Twins – The Twin Z Nursing Pillow

SPECS

  • Shape: Nursing pillow for twins (E-shape)
  • Cover Material: Minky polyester cover
  • Filling Material: Polyester fiberfill
  • Washable: Yes (cover only)
  • Warranty: N/A

Two babies are twice the fun and the love but also double the work. That’s why the Twin Z pillow is so great- it cuts down on time and effort needed to feed two babies and gives you the support and comfort you sorely need. The medium part of the pillow props up to give you support for the back and the two remaining pillow legs are to position you twins properly for breastfeeding or bottle feeding- both at the same time. Furthermore, this pillow can be used to give your twins safe and cozy tummy time or help them remain seated once they get older: it’s truly a design that keeps on giving.

Made from polyester blend fabric called minky, the cover of this nursing pillow is not just luxuriously soft and plush but very durable as well. It can be removed for machine washing whereas the pillow can only be spot cleaned. Low maintenance, practical to use, and multifunctional- everything a mom of multiples would want from a nursing pillow.

Most baby stuff for twins has to be bought in twos, but this single pillow will cradle both of your babies while they nurse, lounge, or try to sit up on their own. Convenient to use throughout the first year of your twins’ life, this pillow will make breastfeeding or bottle feeding a breeze and give you kiddos support and comfort they need during their infancy.

Pros Cons
  • Supports your back for optimal comfort during breastfeeding
  • Allows you to feed both babies at the same time comfortably
  • Suited for newborns and older babies alike
  • Multifunctional use
  • Removable and machine washable cover
  • Not suited for plus size mothers

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What is a Nursing Pillow?

A nursing pillow, otherwise known as a breastfeeding pillow, is a specially designed pillow to aide in a mother’s comfort while nursing her child. Unlike a regular bed pillow, they come in a few different specific shapes made to help with holding the baby, allowing a relaxation of the mother, and aiding in the baby’s breast latch. They can be especially helpful when nursing twins in tandem, or providing security and support to both mothers and fathers who are bottle feeding.

Although the use of a nursing pillow is a completely personal choice, as your choice to use a pregnancy pillow may have been, there are many studies on using them as a feeding aide. The decision to use one should be based on what the mother prefers, and her comfort level with them. It is entirely possible as well to use a pillow for only part of the process as both mother and baby’s bodies will be changing through the time the mother decides to breastfeed.

Luckily, these types of pillows are usually multi-purposeful as well. So even if they do not work out well for feedings, both from the breast or bottle, or have been put aside for this particular purpose, they may help in baby tummy time, and other various support positions as the child grow.

Popular Nursing Pillow Shapes

As with any type of product, there are many styles and specific shapes to choose from to better meet the needs of various body types, nursing needs, and preferences. Poly fiber and foam fillings are the most commonly found to help give shape to the pillows and provide contouring, cradling support. Hand in hand with fill variances are the overall construction and shape that provides the choices we are reviewing today.

• Crescent Roll

Crescent roll style is exactly like it sounds: these pillows are made in various forms of a crescent roll which falls short of being a full C-shape. These may look slightly more like an “L”, have variances in the thickness of the arms- as some may taper, or even look like a bit like a crescent moon with a thickened middle.

• O-Shaped

The O-shaped style is called such because it literally wraps around the entire body. Almost all of these have an adjustable strap to help secure the pillow around the mother’s body. These have a few different design features as some may have a full pillow to wrap around, while others may be more of an elongated c-shape or crescent shape with an included strap.

• C-Shaped

C-shaped pillows look like the letter ‘C’ and are amongst the most popular, and affordable nursing pillow styles. These are easy to travel with as well and are useful for helping to support baby as they learn to sit.

• Other

There are other various shapes that occasionally make their way into the market with the rise of technology and changes in materials. Pillows made specifically for arm support, for example, is one such pillow, as it allows a place to prop your arm while feeding to reduce fatigue. This can be especially helpful for mothers recovering after c-section.

How to Use a Breastfeeding Pillow

There are actually multiple ways to position your baby during feedings. New mothers will have to experiment a little to discover what hold works best for them and their child. Breastfeeding pillows can help secure the baby or create a more comfortable support for mom to help encourage the best position.

All pillows have their own ways to be used, and manufacturers supply directions both with the purchase of their product, as well as online. There are also many breastfeeding support groups that can provide suggestions for pillow use. The basic concept behind each, however, is to place the widest part to the side and front of the mother upon which the child is placed and supported to feed.

Functions of a Breastfeeding Pillow

As mentioned, there are multiple functions to use your product for. Supportive posture and a peaceful, comfortable environment are often what most people buy their pillow for. But it also has many more benefits to consider if you have decided to use a nursing pillow of any type. For starters, it securely holds the babies body, allowing the mother to relieve the tension of the back, arms, neck, and shoulders. It also frees up the arms to a certain degree in order to reach for an item when needed without worry of dropping the child or shifting the baby off of the breast.

Shifting the baby during long feedings, nursing twins, or trying out new holds, such as a football hold, can be managed without feeling as if a third arm is needed to balance all you have going on. They are convenient for traveling, can be used for baby support as they begin to become more independent in their movements, and can even be used well into toddler years as an aide along the edge of a bed.

What to Consider When Choosing a Nursing Pillow

All mothers want the best for their baby, and choosing products for mother and baby use is like any other choice- one wrote with indecisiveness in the face of the many choices you are faced with. To help keep you focused on your purchase, and guide you in finding the best pillow for you and your child, you may want to consider a few of the following questions.

— What is the pillow made out of?

Like most products made for babies, the materials used in their constructions are typically soft and gentle on bare skin. Organic cotton, hypoallergenic blends, and contouring fills are often listed in the fabric construction. Also, you may want to consider those that have removable covers for washing, or material construction that allows for machine washing if the entire pillow.

— Are you considered a petite mom, plus size, or have small breasts?

If you have fallen in love with a particular pillow style, you may want to first consider your own body type in relation to how it should be ‘worn’. Post-baby weight and breast size should be considered, especially if your body changed drastically through pregnancy and you are facing many body changes still. Pillows that allow for some adjustability may come in handy during these times.

— What shape pillow are you most comfortable with?

There is nothing wrong with disliking a certain shape or style. As with most things, sometimes you may be surprised at the comfort lent by a particular product- but if you spend time reading up on breastfeeding pillow reviews, and apply them to your own needs you can generally narrow down your choices.

— How do you prefer to hold your baby?

If you have nursed in the past, or have already discovered your preferred baby hold, then look for those pillows that allow you to continue with what is most comfortable for you and baby. Some babies will latch better in a specific hold over another as well which may not be your preferred method. Pillows can help make this more comfortable for you so you aren’t sacrificing your strength at each feeding.

Conclusion

Your choice of nursing pillow should be for your personal comfort style, as well as your specific needs concerning the babies latch, as well as support for you both. Not all people prefer a pillow to aid in feeding, nor do they always stick with one even if they start with one. Growing babies and changing mother’s bodies can create new comfort situations which can influence the need for new positioning, or even the want for a pillow if one has not been used before.

Each of the pillows presented above is different from one another in overall design and material use. All provide support, and each is unique in the ways they can be used. Your choice of pillow for breastfeeding use is personal, and hopefully, this list allows you to see the multiple styles available that could be helpful for this purpose. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are nursing pillows safe?

They are safe if you are using the pillow correctly. It is important that you don’t use the pillow to help the baby sleep or place a sleeping baby near one. Nursing pillows were designed to be used actively, meaning the baby is supervised at all times. The way to properly use the nursing pillow is by wrapping the pillow around your waist so that your baby can snuggle at your body while the pillow supports your baby’s head and neck while you breastfeed or bottle feed. Make sure the baby is positioned on its side with its tummy facing you. Improper positioning could lead to gastric reflux. Once your baby is 2-3 months old you can also use the pillow for tummy time. A breastfeeding pillow can help ease your baby into tummy time. Tummy time is a daily routine when a baby is placed on their tummy for a little bit each day. The purpose of tummy time is to strengthen a baby's neck muscles and teach them how to push, roll over, crawl, and stand. Baby is propped up on the pillow during tummy time.

When do you stop using nursing pillow?

Unlike car seats, there is not a hard and fast rule as to when to stop using the nursing pillow. It is really a matter of personal preference and comfort. You might find that as your baby grows and gains the ability to hold their head up independently you may find the pillow unnecessary. However, even if your baby doesn’t need the pillow anymore, both of you may prefer to keep using it as you both may have grown accustomed to it. As you nurse, your body will continue to change post-pregnancy. You will want to check in with yourself periodically to re-evaluate the level of comfort that the pillow is providing you. Make sure you look at your baby’s positioning and tweak the clasp and positioning of the pillow to ensure your baby is in the proper supported position. Even if you have stopped using the pillow for nursing you will find additional uses for it that will enhance you and your baby’s life. The pillow may help in baby tummy time, and other various support positions like when they begin to learn to sit up. If your newborn has siblings, the pillow can assist them in properly holding their new brother or sister and keep them fully supported.

How long do you use a nursing pillow?

The reality is that newborn nursing can last up to 40 minutes a session. A newborn baby feeds between 8-12 times a day. Sometimes it can feel like a new nursing session starts just when you have finished the last one. Breastfeeding is extremely physical for mom, and having proper support can be crucial to one’s success. Without the right support, mom can experience fatigue and pain in the arms, neck, shoulders, wrists, and back. As the baby grows, they will have more strength in their muscles to help support themselves and bare a bit of the burden. How long you nurse your baby will depend on a lot of factors but remember the nursing pillow is not just for breastfeeding. The pillow can settle the baby into the right position for bottle feeding as well.

What is a nursing pillow?

A breastfeeding pillow is a pillow specially designed for comfort of the mother and baby during breastfeeding. There are a variety of styles of nursing pillows just as there are a variety of post-pregnancy bodies. In all cases, the pillows are made to help you support your baby in the proper position for breastfeeding. They should help support your baby in the proper position and ease the strain on the mother’s neck, spine and arms. Nursing time is a powerful bonding time between mommy and baby. The nursing pillow helps to make this time as pleasant as possible for both mother and child. Without the aid, the feeding can feel frustrating and uncomfortable instead of being a positive bonding experience.

Is it OK to let a baby sleep on a nursing pillow?

No. It is dangerous for babies to sleep on, near or with a nursing pillow. Even if you feel you have placed your sleeping baby in a safe position with the nursing pillow if they fidget or slide down, the pillow can pin the child’s chin or face pressed down into the pillow resulting in suffocation. The safest way for a baby to sleep is on their back in a crib with a firm mattress and nothing else. This means no stuffed animals, blankets or pillows of any kind. If your baby has trouble sleeping try a white noise machine or a pacifier. Talk to your doctor before trying any outside products advertised to help your baby sleep.