Do nursing pillows make for poorer latching? - Mothering Forums
Breastfeeding > Do nursing pillows make for poorer latching?
MrsSlocombe's Avatar MrsSlocombe 07:21 PM 02-01-2012

I found this article when looking for nursing pillows:

In summary, when a baby is resting on a nursing pillow, s/he won't latch well.  Additionally, they can lead to backaches for the Mom.

Do you think this is true?

Anna Phor's Avatar Anna Phor 10:49 AM 02-03-2012

Not in my experience, no. 


I've never had latch problems, and I find the boppy takes the pressure off my arms for really long nursing/fall asleep sessions.


(p.s. love your handle. :) )

JudiAU's Avatar JudiAU 11:11 AM 02-03-2012

Not in my experience but it can change behaviors which I suppose can effect the latch. For FTM and a newborn, I think the My Brest Friend and an open chair leads to the best latch. When I switched to a boppy and big fluffy pillow we didn't have latch problems (actually great latch and easy sleeping) but I did start to get a lot of strain in my arms because it forced me into a weird position. With #2, I didn't have the chair and didn't have time for a pillow so we just nursed anywhere. No problems with latch but I did find myself getting aches and pains from the way I was sitting.


In short, I think that individual moms and babies have to be cautious about getting into bad patterns.

rachelsmama's Avatar rachelsmama 11:23 AM 02-03-2012

I don't think the nursing pillow was the root of the problem, it sounds like the mom had limited experience with what breastfeeding looks like, and hadn't yet learned to ask the question "is this heavily marketted baby gadget helpful for me?" 

Youngfrankenstein's Avatar Youngfrankenstein 11:50 AM 02-03-2012

Originally Posted by rachelsmama View Post

I don't think the nursing pillow was the root of the problem, it sounds like the mom had limited experience with what breastfeeding looks like, and hadn't yet learned to ask the question "is this heavily marketted baby gadget helpful for me?" 

Exactly.  I liked my boppy because it took 2 or 3 regular pillows to get the same position "right".  I think you either know what position or you don't.  Frankly, with my giant boobs, I wish I had a nursing table!orngtongue.gif


cat13's Avatar cat13 04:09 PM 02-06-2012

The article makes it sound like the baby was resting on the pillow itself. I've always used them as a support under my arm, so my arm was still holding baby. However I did find myself getting so annoyed at both the Boppy and My Brest Friend because I could never get it right and be comfy. I don't use anything anymore, but now I have tendinitis in my left wrist from holding a giant baby. I'm so happy he's strong enough now to nurse with a little less support!

sunwise's Avatar sunwise 09:23 AM 02-08-2012

I used a boppy pillow for many nursings until my son was about 10 months old. (At that point we switched to entirely different nursing positions because he was too big.) Even though he generally did rest directly on the pillow (I also used a newborn booster when he was very young), we didn't experience any latch problems. Sometimes I would put my arms under him, but I found that pretty uncomfortable and much preferred to have him rest on pillows. The boppy also allowed me to read behind his back while he nursed, which greatly helped my sanity. One of the hardest things for me to deal with when he was very young was how often/low long he wanted to nurse! Not having my arms engaged meant that I had a tiny bit more independence.

MrsSlocombe's Avatar MrsSlocombe 05:47 PM 02-09-2012

Thanks for all your input, guys!  I think I am going to go ahead and register for one, though I am having a little trouble finding a sweatshop-free variety.

Sunwise, you make an excellent point about having to spend so much time, especially at first, without even being able to use your hands to hold a book.  It's not like the baby can chat with you while nursing, and just sitting there must get old fast.

cat13's Avatar cat13 10:33 PM 02-09-2012

I saw a review for this pillow and it looks awesome! 

MrsSlocombe's Avatar MrsSlocombe 06:41 AM 02-10-2012

Thanks, Cat13!  It's so funny - after responding to this thread last night, I decided to look more in earnest for the pillow, and I found the same one.  It's on my Amazon registry now.

thtr4me's Avatar thtr4me 02:33 PM 02-14-2012

The Nest Pillow looks really interesting!  Had not seen that one before.  Love some of the fabric options.  I have been using the Bosom Baby nursing pillow for almost 6 years now, and find it works really well.  And we use it for lots of other things as well.

MichelleZB's Avatar MichelleZB 01:22 PM 02-27-2012

Here's the deal with latches: a latch isn't something you do. It's something your baby does. You basically need to keep his face in the right place to allow him to do his thing. However you do that is your business.


I didn't use a pillow for the first few weeks because it didn't help. Later, my baby got bigger and it was helpful for about a month. Still another month later and we couldn't get comfortable on the pillow so now we're not using it anymore. Use it if it helps; don't if if doesn't!


That article is pretty melodramatic! It's like those women were forced to use a pillow and they just couldn't prevent all their nursing issues caused by the evil piece of cotton batting. If their backs were uncomfortable while feeding their kids, why didn't they stop and re-adjust?

cameragirl's Avatar cameragirl 01:28 PM 02-27-2012
I had a boppy with my daughter, and it was just too small for my torso. I have back problems, so I'd usually shove another pillow under the side her head would rest on, and I'd cradle her in my arm. This time I got a firm pillow that is taller and won't smush like the boppy. I don't think they are necessary, and not every mom needs one.
erigeron 07:12 PM 03-01-2012

Meh, for me that article boils down to "Pay attention to what you're doing and don't just rely on a gadget". Early on a nursing pillow was absolutely invaluable for us, but we haven't used it at all in months, and now that I know how to nurse I may or may not use it with the next baby. Others' mileage may vary.