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How to Buy and Use a Breastfeeding Pillow

One of the biggest challenges for new breastfeeding mothers is getting the baby properly positioned and latched on. Unlike bottle feeding, where you settle the baby then put the bottle into the baby's mouth, you have to actually bring the baby onto the breast when breastfeeding. Holding the baby in the right position can be tiring for the new mom and can cause her back and shoulders to become sore. If the baby isn't positioned properly, it will be more difficult for him to eat.

Enter the breastfeeding pillow. These are pillows designed to support the baby in the proper position for breastfeeding. Some breastfeeding pillows are designed to provide support for mom's back, although special pillows are even available to support mom's breast during nursing.

To choose a pillow, you must first consider your size. Most breastfeeding pillows are U-shaped and designed to wrap around mom's body. The Boppy is one such pillow that many new moms find useful.

If youíre a large mom, you may need a larger pillow to wrap around your body. Or, you may find that you prefer a pillow designed to sit in your lap, like the Natural Nursing Pillow.

On the other hand, if youíre a tall mom, you may want a tall pillow to help lift the baby higher. In this case, consider the Natural Nursing Pillow or the Honeysuckle Nursing Pillow.

If you frequently have problems with your back or shoulders, you may want to buy a pillow that can support your back. Some breastfeeding pillows, for example, contain straps that fasten behind you to support your back. Others are long enough that they wrap completely around you to support your back. Consider the Two-by-you, My Breast Friend or the Ease Back nursing pillows.

If youíre nursing more than one child, a larger pillow will allow you to nurse two children at once (called tandem nursing). Consider one of the special nursing pillows made for twins. You may also wish to consider the Nursing Nest Pillow which helps position multiple babies for nursing.

If you have large breasts or if your nipples are positioned low on your breasts, you may want to purchase a special pillow designed to lift your nipple up and out and support your breast during nursing. The Utterly Yours Breast Pillow is one such pillow that can help in this situation.

In addition, one of the most popular breastfeeding pillows is the Boston Billow pillow. While most pillows are filled with foam, the Billow is filled with small beads. Many mothers find this pillow easier to conform to the exact position they need.

To use a breastfeeding pillow, arrange the pillow in position, then have someone hand the baby to you. With a little practice, youíll soon learn the best way to position yourself and your baby for maximum comfort and breastfeeding success.

Some breastfeeding pillows even have removable covers, and itís a good idea to buy an extra cover or two. This way you can have one on the pillow while the other is in the wash. Some covers also have pockets that can keep necessities like the phone or wipes handy while you breastfeed. Others have straps that help to convert the pillow into a support for baby as he grows; the Cuddle-U is one such pillow.

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