Pregnancy and the postpartum period will generate some of the most exciting moments in a woman’s life, but this time can also cause stress and strain on the body. The Institute of Medicine recommends that an average-sized woman gain 25 to 35 pounds in her pregnancy, which changes a woman’s posture, and then the labor and the birth process adds muscle fatigue. Then, after the big day arrives, adjusting to new postures while breastfeeding can add pain and discomfort, too.
Breastfeeding, as well as bottle feeding, requires a new mother to log lots of hours in one or more positions, which is why finding a neutral position for your spine and limbs is so important to success. Chiropractors say the best way to stay neutral is to use a C-shaped pillow. Having baby positioned higher and closer with a pillow, supported by means other than your arms, takes stress off your neck, shoulders, back, and wrists. In short, support matters.
Our breastfeeding pillows were designed to help alleviate 5 main pain points while feeding.
1. Wrist Fatigue
Mothers who have large breasts or mothers who have a c/s section benefit from a baby in the football position. Picture a football tucked under your arm. Now picture your baby tucked under your arm while latched. Holding the back of baby’s neck with your one hand and your breast with the other can really do a number on your wrists.
Solution: Having baby on a nursing pillow brings them closer to you in a modified football hold and tucking a rolled-up baby blanket under your hand can also help your wrists relax.
Plenti+™ Nursing Pillow + Toy Bar - Fairytale Story™ features a Relax-Fit design that aligns with most body shapes to offer support for both mom and baby. Fun feature: a removable toy bar that can be positioned overhead to entertain baby while lounging or can be used in front of baby during tummy time.
2. Neck Pressure
When you bend your neck forward to gaze at your beautiful baby, it also increases the pressure on your neck.
Solution: Bringing baby chest-to-chest on a pillow can help your neck muscles.
Shop the Plenti+™ Nursing Pillow - Let's Flip Again™ seen here. The cover is removable and goes right in the wash, and the pillow material is also water-resistant to keep all the little accidents from leaking into places they don’t belong., so spills and messes clean up easy. One less thing for momma to worry about.
3. Shoulder Tension
The new sensation of breastfeeding and holding a baby can cause tension in the shoulders.
Solution: Cradling a baby well supported by a pillow underneath allows you to take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, and just breathe.
Shop the Elyse™ Breastfeeding Pillow seen here. The unique L-shape design fits all shapes and stages of recovery, including c-section. Cooling fabric keeps mom and infant more comfortable.
4. Back Pain
Slouch equals OUCH! It is very important that you check your feeding position and make sure you are not leaning forward or slouching.
Solution: Using a nursing pillow props up your baby and brings the baby closer to your nipple and breast. Put your nip on the tip of the baby’s lip and get that baby as close to your breast as possible.
The Plenti+™ Nursing Pillow + Toy Bar - Hop Art™ was created to make nursing and bottle feeding comfortable and features our Breastside Reminder™ System that helps remind you which breast you fed from last.
5. Nipple Pain
Solution: For a baby to be able to effectively suck and swallow, the baby’s jaw should also be in a neutral, aligned position. Their mouth should be wide open with both lips flanged out like a fish.
Having baby cradled on your arm or directly on the pillow will align them with your nipples and having baby in a level or laid-back position can help with nipple soreness. The key is to bring baby up to you, not you to baby.
The Plenti™ Nursing Pillow - Pebble Beach™ has visual tabs—our Breastside Reminder™ System—helping you remember which breast you fed from last. Nursing from the fullest breast helps promote the healthiest feeding opportunities for your infant. Plus, it has a washable cover (just remove it and toss in the machine!).
Meet the Expert:
Donna Sinnott, IBCLC
Donna Sinnott, IBCLC loves helping breastfeeding families. She is currently a full-time, hospital-based IBCLC, who works in a busy suburban hospital with a high breastfeeding rate. In addition, she has worked in private practice, has been a labor doula, a postpartum doula, and also helps fellow lactation consultants navigate the insurance game. She lectures nationally and is currently on faculty at the International Doula Institute, where she teaches a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor course.
Donna Sinnott, IBCLC was paid for her expertise to consult in the design and development of the Plenti and Elyse breastfeeding pillows.
Kids2 provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.