You probably already have a pregnancy pillow, which hopefully made carrying your baby a little bit more comfortable. But if you don't have one already, or if it's not quite the right shape for feeding, then consider buying a nursing pillow - which will be useful whether you're breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
A nursing pillow is a bit different to a pregnancy pillow. They're usually smaller and firmer; you can also buy special ones if you have twins. The right nursing pillow can help if you're having trouble feeding your baby; making sure you're both comfortable will make it easier for you both, giving you both the support you need.
Nursing pillows come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so it's important to consider a few things before buying one.
- Shape - they mainly come in either C-shape or U-shape choices. Depending on your preference, it's a good idea to test out different shapes.
- Fit - some offer adjustable belts and straps to ensure you can tailor it to your body and natural curves and nursing position.
- Storage - it can be handy to go for a baby feeding pillow that features little pockets and storage spaces for the things that you and your baby loves to have close by while feeding.
- Material - look out for a pillow with a removable cover and fabric that can wash easily.
- Grow with baby - While it may be great for nursing, choose a pillow that can be used for other things. For example, one that probs baby up when they're learning to sit.
The best breastfeeding and nursing pillows
The best breastfeeding and nursing pillows
Dreamgenii Pregnancy Support and Feeding Pillow helps you to lie on your left side - the best position for you and your baby, according to the NHS - while supporting your bump, back and knees for a restful sleep. It also promises to encourage maximum blood flow between mother and baby while you sleep. Read our full review about this pillow here.
- Dimensions: 35 x 15 x 42 cm
- Weight: 1.21 kg
- Material: 100 per cent Jersey Cotton
One reviewer said: 'From the first night I noticed a difference in my comfort levels. Previously I'd been using a standard 'V' shaped pillow, which was ok for a while, but by 21 weeks I was starting to need more support. I found that this does help you to stay asleep on your left side, because it sort of hugs you.
'The back support is great and feels lovely in the small of your back; this is probably what keeps you on your left most of all. The 'sausage' like bit that goes between your legs is firm enough that it doesn't really squash down too much when you've got your legs around it, but it's thin enough so that you can move your legs if you need to so you don't get cramp. The part where your bump is meant to rest isn't really relevant to me at the moment as bump isn't huge, but I think it will come in handy, and until then I can just hug that part of the pillow!'
Supporting you and your baby is what a breastfeeding pillow is for. Forget the dreaded backache during the night feed, this handy device will save you a lot of strain. Plus, when your baby gets that little bit older, it can be used as a nest to help them sit up.
- Dimensions: 52 x 15 x 48 cm
- Weight: 1.09 kg
- Material: 80 per cent Cotton, 20 per cent Polyester
One reviewer said: 'Loved loved loved this. It was so firm and full that my baby was fully supported, saving my back, neck and arms a lot of strain. With my first baby I had a Mothercare own brand feeding pillow, which wasn't supportive enough and so I still had to hold baby up myself leading to arm and back-ache. This one was so much more sturdy.'
The new Full Moon pillow from Bellamoon is impressively efficient - it is seven pillows in one, fulfilling every requirement you could have from a pillow, from pregnancy to feeding and beyond. The different functions are:
- New Moon Pregnancy Pillow
- Half Moon Nursing Nest
- Full Moon Cocoon Day Bed
- Eclipse Nursing Privacy Cover (which forms the base of the Full Moon)
- Tummy Time Pillow
- Baby Lounger
- Upright Feeding Pillow
It's a bit daunting when it arrives in the box, as there are so many parts to it; but, the instructions are clear, concise, and easy to understand (even when you're pregnant and full of dotty hormones).
Designed with mums in mind, the Full Moon allows you to rest more - whether you're pregnant and knackered, or a new mum breastfeeding and knackered, or a mum just knackered.
For breastfeeding positions, the 'Nursing Nest' features a firm but comfy mattress base which raises your baby up closer to your breast as you feed. Lying on the side can encourage a deeper latch, and this lateral feeding method is "often recommended as its calming and relaxing affect can increase the secretion of oxytocin and prolactin, the hormones responsible for milk production," Bellamoon advise.
By no means the cheapest pillow, but this does so much, and looks gorgeous to boot, it's worth the investment.
You always hear that being a mum is a journey. Take this pillow through yours and use it from pregnancy to feeds as well as a support for crawling. Is there anything that this pillow can’t do? It can’t wash itself, but the removable case does make it easier to get rid of any unwanted stains. However, this isn’t the best thing about it: our favourite function is it allows you to keep your hands free when breastfeeding.
- Dimensions: 43.7 x 26.2 x 22.1 cm
- Weight: 1.28 kg
- Material: Filling: polyester; internal pillowcase: polyester; external pillowcase: cotton.
One reviewer said: 'These support pillows are great and the addition of the button attachment at the ends makes it much more stable than other cushions of this type.
It’s longer than a regular breastfeeding cushion and much better filled than a log of other cushions of this style that I’ve used. The covers are a good quality and have nice designs with zip openings. We actually bought another one after seeing how good they are.'
bbhugme® Pregnancy pillow™ is an award-winning pregnancy, breastfeeding and full body support maternity pillow. This product promises to keep your body comfortable throughout your pregnancy and into the nursing phase. It offers a unique 5-point support, giving you comfort where you need it the most: belly, pelvis, lower back, knees and ankles. It was developed by Scandinavian health professionals.
- Dimensions: 46.8 x 40 x 26.4 cm
- Weight: 1.82 kg
- Material: Cotton
One reviewer said: 'I bought this as a support pillow when sitting and as a comfortable body pillow for hugging. I loved the fact that the tiny beads are biodegradable (though you need to avoid getting them wet). Although the pillow is extremely expensive, I've bought different ones in the past and they have all become lumpy or deformed over time. This one is supportive, squishable, really comfortable and I ended up buying a second one as the first was annexed by my son for his bedroom.'
The UK's best-selling, multi-use feeding, nursing, pregnancy and baby pillow, the Widgey provides maximum support to mum and baby for both bottle and breastfeeding. It can be used during pregnancy and also for baby support. This product is firm, durable and recommended by midwives. A 100% cotton, removable, machine washable cover is included.
- Dimensions: 17 x 62 x 53 cm
- Weight: 160 g
- Material: Cotton
One reviewer said: 'This is a great feeding pillow. Bought for my second baby but wish I'd had it for my first. I found it easier to use in a "c" shape so my back was supported and then baby's head was raised up for feeding. It also comes in a thick plastic case which can be used for travel. I'd recommend having a spare cover too.'
This is a stylish, plush nursing pillow cleverly disguised to look like a normal cushion in your home. It’s made from easy-clean velvet, with a concealed zipped, is curved for ergonomic satisfaction.
- Dimensions: 58cm x 33 cm x 17cm
- Material: Made from easy clean velvet
Our reviewer said: 'This really is a multi-purpose nursing pillow, we use it for comfort during breastfeeding, to prop up as a back support for myself, for my little one to lay on, as a head rest when watching the tele. Did I mention how uber chic it looks on my sofa?' Read our full review of the DockAtTot La Maman Wedge nursing pillow here.
The Kinder Valley nursing pillow for twins is the perfect product to make breastfeeding twins easier. It's suitable from birth and gives you the support you need to breastfeed or bottle feed your twins at the same time. The cover is removable and washable and can also be used as a sitting aid for when your baby grows.
- Dimensions: 83cm x 44cm x 14.5cm
- Weight: 1kg
- Material: Polycotton
One reviewer said: 'We loved this product we used it from the day we brought the babies home. Somewhere to support them instead of putting them in the crib & it’s been a great help when doing tandem feeds especially when I’m on my own. We loved it that much we bought one for upstairs & downstairs. Great value for money.'
Theraline The Perfect Pillow For Pregnancy and Nursing gives you the support you need during your pregnancy to relieve pain in your legs, tummy and back, and once baby arrives, it's a great feeding pillow too. It safely moulds to baby's body. This product was a Mother & Baby Award Winner in 2014, 2015 and 2017. You can read here what made this product a winner over the years.
- Dimensions: 190cm x 38cm
- Weight: 1.2 kg
- Materials: Cotton
One reviewer said: 'I bought this at 2 months pregnant and didn't get on with it as it seemed too hard and restrictive. Tried it again at month 4 and now can't sleep without it at month 7. Everywhere warns against sleeping on your back after month three as it restricts blood flow to baby and I tried softer hollowfibre body pillows in the meantime but sometimes found myself on my back again during the night because traditional pillow fillings move too easily. The theraline doesn't feel soft, but it compensates by moulding to your body shape. Definitely worth persevering with this pillow until you are big enough to need it, you may not think it feels how a pillow should, but baby's safety is so important and this helps so much with preventing back pain. Totally worth the money.'