Nursing is unquestionably a great benefit to your baby, but anything worth doing doesn’t seem to be always easy. So anything to make breastfeeding less difficult is worth investing in–like the My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow.
So how can a pillow help you breastfeed? And what makes it better than a cheap pillow you could pick up at the store for $3? It might surprise you, but there are a lot of features tucked away in this little pillow. Read on to find out what makes this pillow so special!
Just because breastfeeding is natural, doesn’t mean that it will come to you naturally. In fact, according to Medical News Today, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) conducted a study stating that “although 85% of mothers planned to breastfeed for at least three months, less than a third managed to meet their own goal.”
So what makes breastfeeding so hard? And why do a majority of women stop breastfeeding before their goal is up? This article stated that there were a few key reasons:
- Having a difficult start
- Baby isn’t getting sufficiently fed
- Feeling awkward to nurse in public
- Having to return to work
Though My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow cannot help with all of these factors, it can help the mother be more comfortable with each feeding experience. If the mother is more comfortable and less stressed, she is more likely to keep up nursing.
Does stress really have a big impact on the success of nursing? According to the article by Kathryn G. Dewey from The Journal of Nutrition, it does.
Dewey says, “Experimental studies in breastfeeding women have shown that acute physical and mental stress can impair the milk ejection reflex by reducing the release of oxytocin during a feed. If this occurs repeatedly, it could reduce milk production by preventing full emptying of the breast at each feed.”
The article goes on to explain what kinds of stressors a woman might feel right after giving birth. Any mother, whether she is a mother of an hour or a decade, can attest that the amount of stress is nearly limitless. Dewey notes that common emotional factors can be “motivation to breastfeed, social support, nursing frequency, the use of supplements such as glucose water or formula, pacifier use, and breastfeeding experience.”
With all those possible stressors, it makes sense to have a product that will at least make the mother physically comfortable. When the mother can be physically comfortable, the emotional factors will feel less daunting.
My Favorite Features
As in any baby gear, I have my list of favorite features that sets the product apart from any other similar one on the market. Below is a video of a lot of great features. And then I will explain what my absolute favorite features of the My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow are.
There is a whole group of women who say that their posture was greatly improved by using a nursing pillow and I can claim to be in this group of women. Every woman’s body is different and will find different positions comfortable.
I personally had a really hard time finding a comfortable position to get into when I was breastfeeding. Full disclosure: I may not have the biggest breasts in the world, which could contribute to the difficulty of positioning the baby and myself comfortably. I did not have a nursing pillow for the first couple of weeks after giving birth to my first, and it was difficult to hold my baby for that long that high up on my chest for a good latch.
Ultimately, in the period of time before buying a nursing pillow, I ended up sitting on the floor or the bed and using my leg to prop up the baby to nurse. This is less than ideal in so many ways, but the main ones are these:
- I was unable to use a rocker or glider
- When I was anywhere other than my home where I couldn’t sit with my legs in front of me, I couldn’t nurse easily.
In my opinion, a woman should be able to find a way to be comfortable nursing without putting strain on her back or arms. For me, the only way to find a comfortable position in most situations was to have the aid of a pillow like My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow. This brand also has a travel size pillow that has the same measurements but is inflatable.
Even if your baby is only a few pounds, it can really wear you down quickly. For a little experiment, if you are a partner of someone who just had a baby or if you haven’t given birth yet, this might help you understand the difficulty. Take a 5 to 8 pound weight and hold it in the crook of your arm suspended at your chest without the support of anything around you.
It won’t take you long to get pretty tired. Now imagine spending the first month of your baby’s life spending up to an hour feeding your baby that way every 3 hours. Now try to imagine that you have a screaming baby that can’t latch and who is getting hungrier and hungrier every minute he or she cannot latch correctly.
With a Pillow
Now, you can see how beneficial a pillow-like My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow can be. Instead of leaning over to let my breasts hang down far enough for my baby to latch while resting in my lap, I could sit up straight and tall. The pillow added the support that I needed to hold my baby up while maintaining good posture.
Alternatively, I could have lifted my baby up in my arm the whole time, which would put a strain on not only my arms but also my shoulders. There would be a lot of tension in my neck and back that would lead to headaches and overall soreness.
The pillow fixed all these issues and was well worth the investment.
The My Brest Friend Pillow is a bit more firm than other pillows like the Boppy or the Nursing Pillow. Some people say that they find it less comfortable because of this, but I actually love this feature for a few reasons. One of the reasons is that it seems more durable. It keeps its shape unlike some of the other leading nursing pillows and you don’t have to fluff it or worry about it losing its volume.
Firm Sleeping Surface
It is also recommended for babies to sleep on firm mattresses, according to Healthychildren.org (a website powered by the American Academy of Pediatrics). Having a firm surface for your baby to sleep on reduces the risk of suffocation or SIDS.
Now if you are actively nursing your baby, you will probably be well aware if there are any issues of lack of oxygen. However, it can still be easy for a plushy surface to get between you and your baby on the far side of their face. This could obstruct breathing at least slightly on one side. Even if your baby is still breathing, it’s nice to know that he or she won’t be losing any oxygen at any point. The best way to know that this isn’t happening is by having a firm surface as a support.
On the My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow website, it explains that the flat surface “keeps baby from rolling when nursing.” This will help you have a good position for nursing the entire time that you are feeding your baby. Positioning and latching are the key to successful nursing, so this is an important feature.
What Is Firm Enough?
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that a firm surface is a surface that doesn’t leave any indentation when laid on. This might seem uncomfortable to some, but your baby actually doesn’t mind a firm surface. Their body weight is so small that there is very little pressure against the mattress and it offers the correct amount of support.
My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow definitely meets the requirements of a good, firm surface for babies. So even when you are nursing, you know that your baby is as safe as possible.
Another reason why I love the firm surface rather than a plushy pillow is that it offers the support that I need. The whole reason I want a nursing pillow, to begin with, is because I need a little more height between my lap and my chest to hold my baby up. This pillow offers that support and it doesn’t cause my baby to sink in at all, reducing the height that I need.
Everybody is different, and your needs may change as your baby grows, but for the first while, a firm pillow is a lifesaver.
All women enjoy a pocket on a dress and all mothers appreciate a pocket in any baby gear. Pockets are my favorite features–especially as a mom! And the thing is, they are so, so easy to add to any baby gear that it just makes so much sense. The amount of time put into putting a pocket on something is minimal to the amount of joy I get out of them.
Why am I so obsessed with pockets? Because when you’re a mom, you feel like someone chopped one (or both!) of your arms off. You are constantly holding a baby and that baby comes with a lot of gear and a lot of things that it needs. If you have any piece of baby gear that will actually hold onto something for you, it’s almost like you have someone there helping you out.
What’s The Big Deal?
I don’t know if you understand just how excited a pocket makes me, so I want to paint a little picture for you:
Imagine you are on a couch with very deep cushions feeding your baby. These deep cushions make everything disappear in a matter of seconds. You have a burp cloth, a diaper, wipes, and a changing pad. You also have a binky, a bottle (if you’re not breastfeeding), and your cell phone–because let’s be honest, you need some entertainment. All of these things are scattered about you because your two year old came in and decided to take the opportunity to add some chaos to your life while you’re stuck.
You sit there for twenty minutes or so, calculating how long it has been since your baby pooped or how much he or she ate at the last feeding, or how long the last nap was.
Then your baby is suddenly starting to drift off and you know that if you don’t get the binky in his or her mouth and transfer to the crib soon, you could be stuck holding your baby for the entirety of the nap. Your baby only has a small window of time where he or she is okay with you putting them down.
But oh no! You now have no idea where the binky is! It could literally be anywhere and moving around to find it will only wake your baby up. But without it, your baby will also wake up. And then you and your baby will be cranky for the next 4 hours, if not for the entire day.
If only you had a pocket on your nursing pillow that could have held the precious binky!
Do you understand now how amazing pockets are to a mom?
Things To Put In The Pocket
The value of this pocket is incredible. It is not super huge but it is big enough to fit a typical sized bottle. But the things you could choose to put in there are nearly endless! Here are the things I would use it for:
- A nursing snack: Goodness knows breastfeeding moms get super hungry. If you’re going to sleep when baby sleeps, why not eat when baby eats?
- Cell Phone and ear buds: I love, love, love my feedings, but I didn’t always. On my first and second baby, especially at night, I resented the frequency of feedings. I was so exhausted! But I found a way to not be so annoyed at them and it’s by reserving my favorite interesting podcasts for feeding time. I’m not allowed to listen to a select few at any other time of day, so I really look forward to these times, especially if it’s a mystery or true crime!
- Binky: So many people are against binkies, and to them I say good for you. But every mom has their vice and this is (one of) mine. I love binkies and I will forever sing their praises.
- Diaper supplies: You never know when your baby is going to lose her $#!@, but it is inevitably right as she is drifting off to sleep. It’s great to have these on hand so you don’t have to run to a different area of the house.
- Burp Cloths: If your baby is anything like mine have been, they love to waste their food. It could make you cry all the spit up your babies expel after you work so hard to feed them.
- Bottles: Nursing pillows aren’t just for nursing moms! Bottle feeders everywhere appreciate the support as well–especially when it has a bottle sized pocket.
I keep trying to pick an absolute favorite feature, but to be honest, I love all of these! And the best thing about it is that it is unique to this pillow. There are so many nursing pillows on the market, but the My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow is literally the only one I have found with all of these features that I love so much.
The buckle is another great feature for a few reasons. Most pillows do not have the wrap around section that is supposed to help with posture, but the My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow does, and it is attached with a buckle.
I’ll go into why I love the wrap around feature in a moment, but I need to take a second to talk about how genius the actual buckle is. It is a “silent” buckle. I cannot tell you how many times I have had a baby in a car seat and they have woken up just from the sound of the buckle unsnapping. I hadn’t even attempted to lift them out yet, but they were wide awake at just the sound of the buckle.
So when I first saw a picture of the My Brest Friend Pillow, I thought, “that’s a neat idea, but not one that would work for me.” Not true! They use a buckle that makes absolutely no sound so that you won’t wake up your baby after feeding. Hallelujah!
The wrap around feature is truly amazing as well. So here’s the deal, every person has a different body that needs a different height support while they are breastfeeding. The height can even change as your baby grows. But the My Brest Friend Pillow allows you to change that height as you go. You don’t have to just place the pillow around your hips because that’s where it fits–as you do with other nursing pillows.
With My Brest Friend Pillow, you can place it where you need the support for your arms and buckle it in place. You can walk around and it won’t slip from where you want it to go. This is amazing in comparison to having a different pillow that you have to adjust while you are holding your baby.
The secure buckle allows you to make any adjustments that you need before you even pick up your baby.
There is no completely perfect product on the market. With as much as I love the My Brest Friend’s Nursing Pillow, there is some room for improvement. Here are the things that I don’t love about the pillow.
I mentioned earlier that I love that the pillow is more dense and firmer than other pillows, and I do. However, this does come at a price. The My Brest Friend Pillow is more durable than other pillows but it is also more bulky, which can be difficult to navigate at times.
One thing that is difficult with the bulkiness of the pillow is that it doesn’t always fit very well in a typical rocker or glider. There are some rocking chairs or recliners that work well with the pillow, but some of the more standard ones are a pretty tight fit.
This is something that many moms might not think about before they make these kinds of purchases. It can be disappointing when the pillow that you would hope would help you during night feedings especially cannot fit in the chair in your nursery.
There are some people who use the My Brest Friend Pillow during the day when they feed on their bed or on the couch, and then use a different one at night. Some other people say that the arm rests on their rocker or glider offers enough support that it isn’t a huge deal at night anyway.
If this is something that you worry about, then try to find someone you know who has one already and try it out with your rocker at home. Or try to buy a rocker or glider that is wider than most.
Not as Comfortable
I also mentioned before that the pillow is much more firm than other pillows on the market and that is a good thing for your baby. However, some people don’t like that it isn’t as plushy and pliable as other pillows.
Many people especially don’t love the wrap around portion’s density. It is firm and dense like the rest of the pillow, and it is made that way so that it is durable and can support the rest of the pillow. However, it is pretty thick and doesn’t feel super comfortable on the back if you are leaning against something. It is supposed to make you have better posture, and maybe it does because you aren’t leaning against a mash of pillows or the back of a chair, but your back can get tired easily if you are trying to have stick straight posture for the entire time of a feeding.
This is all based on personal preference. Some people love it. Some people have to find ways around it to get comfortable. There isn’t a much better way to get the support that you need to hold up the front of the pillow and have a pliable pillow in the back though.
No Double Usage
One benefit of pillows like the Boppy or Nursing Pillow is that they serve more purposes than just a nursing aid. They are also great positioners for babies to lounge, have tummy time, or to help them sit up. These pillows are used constantly and not just for feedings.
If you know me, you know that I love a baby product that serves more than just one purpose, so in this aspect, the My Brest Friend Pillow does lose out a little bit. It really isn’t a great positioner and is not plushy enough to enjoy tummy time. It fulfills its purpose, but it would be awesome if it had dual usage.
My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow is one of the easiest pillows to clean because you only really have to worry about the pillow cover.
The pillow cover’s washing instructions are similar to any other nursing pillow. Clean it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. Do not use hot water to prevent shrinking. You can wash it in warm water with mild detergent.
The inside of the pillow is where things differ. When you uncover your My Brest Friend pillow you come to find out that it isn’t a typical pillow at all because it doesn’t have any filling. The pillow is made from foam so it is more like an upholstered cushion than a pillow. The foam does not absorb bacteria as easily as a batting pillow.
According to the My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow website, the pillow can be spot cleaned with mild soap and water. You can scrub each spot well with water, but make sure you leave it out to dry completely before recovering and using.
The cushion should not be put in the washer or submerged in water at any time. If you think of it more like a couch cushion, this will make more sense.
Ultimately, the My Brest Friend Pillow is one of the more innovative pillows on the market. This pillow is more than just a pillow, but it is a support that has thought of the most common problems that new mothers face while nursing and solved them. Nursing pillows do have a lot to do with personal preference, however, so if there is any doubt if this pillow is the right one for you, try one out in the store or discuss your options with a lactation consultant. They usually have several models to try out before you buy.