- By Patricia Le Caroff -
Will you nurse your baby? This is surely one of the questions future mothers get asked about their child the most. Unfortunately, this question often leads to debates that only serve to increase the future mother’s anxiety, something they clearly do not need. I’m of the opinion that no mother should have to answer it before they meet and touch their child. I’m also of the opinion that, regardless of other peoples’ opinions on the matter, the mother’s decision is final. Asking the question is accepting the answer, no matter what it is.
What I’m going to be talking about today is an essential tool no matter what your answer to that question is: the nursing pillow. Don’t let the name fool you, this pillow isn’t strictly reserved for mothers who decide to nurse their children. Far from it! Whether you’ll be giving your child the breast or the bottle, this nursing pillow will be a marvelous help.
Nursing pillows allow a mother and child to find a comfortable position while nursing. Some nursing sessions might last a couple of minutes, while others can last more than an hour. Everyone eats – or, should I say, drinks – at their own rhythm! As small as your child might be at first, holding them in the right position for a couple of minutes straight can be quite the laborious process. Not to mention the fact that your child will grow extremely quickly. 7 pounds becomes 10 pounds becomes 15 pounds and so on and so forth.
In this way, the nursing pillow lets you make sure you’re prepared and comfortable for these delicate moments. Not only can you prevent back, neck, and arm pain, you can also prevent putting your child in an uncomfortable position that might make them want to stop nursing earlier than planned. How would you like eating in an uncomfortable position?
What about after you’re done nursing? As mentioned in The Torture of Insomnia, the nursing pillow can continue to support you during your sleep, reducing back and leg pain, and helping you avoid insomnia.
Before using it, I also didn’t realize how important this versatile pillow would also be in my baby’s development. It just so happens that this pillow is incredibly practical when it comes to supporting my baby’s posture while sitting and preventing it from falling over (while under supervision, of course).
Personally, it took me a while to let go of my nursing pillow. I used it through my two pregnancies and kept it a long time after I delivered my second child. Out of everything I bought for my children, the nursing pillow remains by far one of my best decisions.
But which one to choose with all these different shapes and sizes?
Some wrap securely around your waist to prevent movement. This is very practical for keeping your child immobile, even when you move slightly. Others offer pockets where you can keep a bib or other accessories you might need while nursing. Mine didn’t offer this option and I admit that it would’ve been pretty useful. It’s also good to think about getting a model that can be easily transported. Nursing your child outside already isn’t easy, and without your pillow, things can be even more complicated. Nursing blankets that come with transportation covers are also very interesting, given the hygienic concerns that come with bringing a nursing pillow with you everywhere you go. Even if you’re a bit more sedentary, it can still be essential, in my opinion, to carry a cover that you can remove for easy cleaning (hello regurgitation and the smell of sour milk!).
Regardless of what pillow you choose, I guarantee that you will not be able to live without it. It will become an extra arm, your best friend, and will be inseparable from many fond memories.