Nineteen years ago, when I first developed the Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow, there were very few options on the market. In my work as registered nurse teaching prenatal and breastfeeding classes, and as a nursing mother of four children of my own, I was able to gather a great deal of valuable information about what features a pillow ought to have to make it an ideal support to a mother throughout the many months of breastfeeding. With these features in mind, the Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow was created.
Today, the market has been flooded with dozens of different pillows, as manufacturers have scrambled to jump on the nursing pillow bandwagon. But are all nursing pillows created equal? Are all the “special features” they boast really helpful to nursing women? If you ask nursing mothers, what features do they say are really essential when you’re choosing a nursing pillow?
Here’s what I learned about that from the nursing mothers I’ve worked with over the past 29 years:
SIZE: A nursing pillow must be large enough to accommodate a growing baby. The Canadian Pediatric Society advises mothers to breastfeed exclusively for six months, and to continue breastfeeding throughout the first year and well into the toddler stage as breastmilk continues to provide vital health benefits. Many designs, including a much-advertised foam “shelf”-shaped design, have a very small surface area that an infant soon outgrows. The Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow is large enough to nurse to toddlerhood, or even to nurse twins.
FIT: The opening in a nursing pillow must fit comfortably around the waist. Few postpartum mothers have the waistline of a Barbie doll, and most designs seem to ignore this fact. The Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow has an opening shaped to fit Mom comfortably from Day 1 onwards.
SUPPORT: To reduce back and neck strain in breastfeeding, a nursing pillow should raise the baby to breast level with a surface that is firm without being hard and unyielding. Foam wedge or “shelf” pillows are uncomfortably hard, and other “boomerang”-shaped pillows have so little fiberfill that they soon go flat. The Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow has the ideal amount of 100% polyester fiberfill and retains its shape despite months of daily use.
WASHABILITY: Leaky breasts, leaky diapers, baby spit-up – your nursing pillow will have to be fully washable (not just the cover!) or you’ll end up with a big problem. Beware of foam pillows that cannot be washed or pillows that say “spot clean only”. You will not be able to get the smell out, and you’ll end up tossing the pillow. And that pillow that boasts a built-in vibrator? It may vibrate, but it soon won’t be clean, and you’ll have no way to clean it! The Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow is fully washable, both pillow and cover, in your full-sized washer and dryer.
EASY-CARE COVER: Many brands (including the “shelf” pillow) advise in the fine print, that the cotton cover cannot be machine dried – this is because it will shrink. Also avoid so-called “deluxe” or “plush” covers – these are 100% polyester and do not breathe well, which makes for a sweaty baby and Mom. All Cozy Cuddles covers contain cotton and are comfortable next to baby’s face. Cotton covers are pre-washed to eliminate any shrinkage on further washings.
MULTI-USE: The ideal nursing pillow should double as a support for babies learning to sit up. Pillows that are wedge-shaped or shelf-shaped cannot serve this purpose, and many “croissant”- shaped pillows are too small to work well as a sitter. The Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow is ideal for use in propping, positioning for “tummy-time”, or use as a sitter.
AESTHETIC APPEAL: Your nursing pillow is going to be a constant companion for many months – you should enjoy looking at it! If you’re not a fan of loud geometric prints, you’ll find that many pillows offer you no other choice. The Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow has covers in dozens of print choices. Some prefer adorable baby prints, and some like more neutral prints to complement their family room décor, so we offer both choices. Covers are available in poly/cotton, 100% cotton and cozy 100% cotton flannelette.
All this, and Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillows are proudly CANADIAN-MADE, too!
The choice of a nursing pillow is an important one – how many baby items are used multiple times a day, every day, for at least a year? The hours you spend nursing should be a comfortable and delightful time for you and your baby. For the reasons described above, the Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow is the pillow of choice of lactation consultants in hospitals and clinics throughout the GTA and across the province, and of tens of thousands of nursing mothers worldwide.