First-time moms may not feel used to carrying their babies on their arms for an extended period while nursing. As such, they turn to nursing pillows to help cushion their little ones and reduce the strain of holding their baby closer to their breast to suckle. A newborn does not know how to move and seek their mother’s nipple on their own, so they will require assistance. That said, some mothers ask if they need a nursing pillow. The answer to that question depends on your situation. No nursing pillow has a size that fits all, so if you are among those considering to use a nursing pillow, you have to ask yourself the following questions:
1) What is my size?
Your height would affect the kind of nursing pillow appropriate for you and your baby. If you are a short mom, a smaller pillow would be adequate for your baby and body as you nurse. Mothers with a shorter height would enable their baby’s mouth to level with and reach their mom’s nipples more easily. A thick or long nursing pillow would only be a hassle for these mothers.
But if you are a tall woman, you might need a thicker pillow to make your baby closer to your chest when you feed them. The babies of tall women would have to exert more effort to suck the milk, causing them to tug on the nipples more forcefully. Tall women can avoid a bad latch and the sore nipples that come with it when they use a nursing pillow.
2) How long is the distance between my chest and lap?
Your size will influence the distance between your chest and lap. Shorter women tend to have a smaller space between these body parts, which means it would be easier for their baby to reach out to the nipples. Conversely, taller women have more space, so they may have to use a nursing pillow to compensate for that gap and make it more convenient for their baby to breastfeed.
3) Where do I expect to breastfeed often?
If you’re a working mother who’s constantly on the go, consider if it would be practical for you to bring a nursing pillow with you often. Ideally, any mother should know how to breastfeed their baby by just cradling their little one in their arms. Your baby can go hungry anytime, anywhere, so if you’re not used to breastfeeding without a nursing pillow, it can be a hassle for both of you. Bringing your nursing pillow can also be inconvenient, although there are portable nursing pillows you can use. These travel version nursing pillows have a strap that lets you carry them like a bag.
4) Do I know how to use a nursing pillow? Do I know what kind of nursing pillow to use?
Using a nursing pillow isn’t as simple as putting it on your arms. First, you need to know how to carry your baby with one arm and place them on the pillow on your other arm. Then, your sitting or standing posture should be correct to prevent having back pain.
You also have to choose a nursing pillow that won’t let you lean too much to bring your baby’s mouth closer to your breast. When you use a nursing pillow that is appropriate for your height and chest-to-lap distance, your baby should already be able to suckle from you while you’re sitting comfortably.
Do I need a nursing pillow?
Depending on your answers to these four questions, you may or may not need to use a nursing pillow. If you are unsure, you can always consult the experts on breastfeeding. They can give you advice concerning you and your baby’s needs.
If you're looking to get a nursing pillow for your child, shop at For Your Little One today!