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Don't Think of Breastfeeding Without Breastfeeding Pillows!

Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to feed your baby that benefits you both. However, when you’re learning to breastfeed, it’s important to learn correct positioning so that your baby can latch on properly. Only with a proper latch will your baby be able to nurse effectively, emptying your breast, building your milk supply and preventing sore nipples. Proper positioning and emptying of the breast can also decrease your chances of getting a plugged duct or mastitis.

But positioning a baby properly takes practice and sometimes some help. This is where breastfeeding pillows come in. Breastfeeding pillows help support your baby in the proper position for breastfeeding without placing undue stress on your back and arms. Overall, this will make you more comfortable, which will, in turn, make your baby more comfortable, leading to a better breastfeeding experience.

Breastfeeding pillows are usually shaped like a “U” or a “V” and are designed to wrap around the mother's waist. They allow you to raise your baby up to the level of your nipple without having to use your arms to hold the baby up – the pillow will support your baby's weight for you. It’s important to note that pillows made specifically for breastfeeding are superior to other types of pillows because they fit around you more snugly and are firm enough to support your baby easily. Some pillows even fasten around your waist or wrap around your shoulders to provide additional support for you and your baby. Look for a pillow that’s made from a non-allergenic material – it will cause the least irritation on your baby’s sensitive skin.

Some pillows are also available with pockets to hold needed supplies – like breastfeeding pads – close at hand. Most covers are removable and machine washable, making them easy to care for. It’s also a good idea to buy at least two covers – one to use and one for the wash – and three if you can.

The shape of these breastfeeding pillows also makes them uniquely useful for supporting baby during “tummy time,” and even for helping your baby learn to sit up. Some pillows feature attachments for toys, which means these pillows will continue be useful after they’re no longer needed to support your baby for breastfeeding. This is important, as breastfeeding pillows are generally more expensive than traditional options.

If you have a longer torso, look for a pillow that will raise the baby comfortably to your breast. Or, if you’re a larger mom, you may want to try several pillows to find one that fits comfortably around you. If you have large breasts, you may want to consider one of the wedge-shaped pillows designed to be placed under your breast to support the breast and lift the nipple outward for more easy positioning and nursing.

Breastfeeding pillows can make all the difference between awkward, uncomfortable breastfeeding and successful nursing. Because breastfeeding is so beneficial for you and your baby, you owe it to yourself – and your baby – to consider these very useful tools.

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