When it comes to nursing pillows, a lot of what makes one better than another is up to personal preference. How a nursing pillow fits with your own body and what exactly you want to use it for all go into why you prefer one over another.
There are some nursing pillows that are so similar that it is hard to tell them apart, but the My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow and the Boppy nursing pillow are two pillows that will never be confused for one another. They are very different and below I will explain all the pros and cons of each of the pillows.
There is not necessarily one that is better than the other, but they do have different key features. Here are the things that make these pillows so popular today:
The Boppy comes in a u-shaped pillow that is supposed to fit around the mother’s waist. This shape is convenient because it fits comfortably and is easy to manipulate to fit where it is most useful.
This shape is also great for a few other uses that your baby can take advantage of that we will discuss later in this post. This u-shaped pillow is one of the most popular options for breastfeeding pillows and it does add a lot of comfort for mothers and babies alike.
My Brest Friend
My Brest Friend prides itself on its innovative design. As you can see in the video below, there weren’t a lot of options for nursing aids even just a few decades ago. The pillow-like the Boppy was created, which worked great–and continues to work great– for many mothers. However, eventually, the creator of My Brest Friend created a pillow with comfort and the best latch in mind.
The shape of the pillow may not look as comfortable as the Boppy. It is a rather stiff product. However, it is firm by design and is meant to fit the mother as not just a comfortable pillow to rest on, but an actual working prop that allows your baby to get the best latch possible and ultimately drain the breast for the best feeding possible.
If you have ever had a cheap pillow before, you probably know that the stuffing makes all the difference. A pillow’s value is all based on the stuffing, and for good reason.
Below I explain the stuffing that is in each pillow and what makes it so different for each other.
The Boppy is made from 100% virgin polyester fiberfill. What is the difference between virgin polyester and regenerated? Regenerated polyester is made entirely from recycled water bottles. The quality of the product is exactly the same but the regenerated polyester is much more environmentally friendly and cost-effective. Some people prefer virgin polyester because they know that the fill is completely clean and never used before. However, regenerated polyester is also very clean and sterilized.
My Brest Friend
My Brest Friend is filled with a 100% recyclable foam. The great thing about this foam is that it is molded into the shape that the pillow is supposed to be in and it will never lose its shape like a standard filled pillow.
The foam allows My Brest Friend Pillow to be stiff and flat so that your baby will have a flat surface to lay on as he or she is feeding. It is important to have a flat surface so that your baby will not detach from the breast. It also helps your baby keep his or her position and not fall in between the pillow and the mothers belly, like the Boppy sometimes does.
Another great benefit of the foam is that the My Brest Friend pillow has subtle raised edges on either side. According to My Brest Friend they are “called feeding risers and they raise the baby’s head just a bit, aiding ingestion and digestion. We incorporated this feature into our design based upon the recommendations of lactation consultants.”
Some people who have never nursed before may not understand why a backrest on a pillow is necessary. If they are already sitting in a chair, what makes the back rest so important, other than providing a wrap around feature?
Breastfeeding and Back Pain
A backrest is a very important feature for a woman who is breastfeeding. Many women complain of having a very sore back in the months after giving birth, and there isn’t any wonder why. There are several factors that can contribute to a woman having back pain after giving birth. Here are some:
Relaxin is produced at an increased rate during pregnancy. In fact, according to Stephanie Pappen for Life Science, “relaxin, present at 10 times normal levels during pregnancy, hits all joints in the body.”
This is produced so that the pubic bone will soften and be flexible enough for a baby to pass through, but as stated above, it hits all the joints in your body, including the vertebrae.
With the added weight of nearly 10 months of carrying a baby, plus carrying a baby nearly constantly after birth, a loose vertebrae is the last thing that you need. And back problems can only get worse if you continue to have bad posture post partum.
Bad Sleeping Habits
When you are pregnant, it can be difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep in. Your changing body also doesn’t help at all. Many women cannot sleep unless they have the support of a body pillow, which can be a great thing if used correctly. However, if a woman sleeps on it in a bad position and continues to sleep in a bad position throughout her pregnancy, it could take a long time to undo the damage.
Long Nursing Hours
Finally, it is difficult to nurse a baby and maintain good posture. You have to make sure that the latch is working and that you are all situated before each feeding. Sometimes it can feel like you have to lean over to get your nipples and the baby’s mouth to be in the right position. Which, if you do this too much, you will find can put a lot of strain on your back.
How Does A Backrest Help?
So now you are wondering, how does a backrest really help all those issues? The backrest helps you have good posture while you are feeding your baby and it also gives you good lumbar support. It rests on the lower back and keeps you from sinking into a cushy back of a couch.
The Boppy does not have a backrest feature. This is inconvenient, because it is very helpful for nursing moms and the last thing they will want to do is grab another pillow to adjust for themselves for each feeding.
However, it is not the end of the world to not have a backrest as a part of your pillow. You can just make sure you have a pillow propped behind your back to help with positioning. Depending on your chair, you may not even need anything extra.
My Brest Friend
My Brest Friend is one of the few pillows on the market that has a wrap around feature with a substantial backrest. In fact, this is one of the main features that made it stand apart from the rest of the nursing pillows on the market. For this feature, and a few others, lactation consultants often recommend this brand.
My Brest Friend
If you have read my post about the My Brest Friend pillow (find it here!) then you know how obsessed I am with the buckle that they have on their pillow.
Why be obsessed with a buckle, you might wonder? I will tell you; it is genius. I don’t know how they did it but somehow they made a silent buckle on the My Brest Friend Pillow.
It might be magic.
It might be witchcraft.
Doesn’t matter, because it is such an amazing and truly thoughtful feature for a pillow.
There are so many baby products that have buckles on them. Car Seats, swings, bouncers, high chairs–the list goes on and on. However, I have only seen this one company who cares enough to make a buckle that is silent so it won’t startle your baby who is quite possibly milk drunk and falling asleep.
Even if my babies didn’t get startled awake by such a small noise (which they definitely do) I would award My Brest Friend pillow points on this one for thoughtfulness.
Obviously, the standard Boppy doesn’t wrap all the way around, so it doesn’t really need a buckle. However, Boppy does have a line called the Best Latch nursing pillow and that does have a wrap around feature (but no backrest).
The buckle on this Boppy is pretty standard, however they did think of another thing that I hadn’t considered, but is equally as useful as a silent buckle. They have a buckle on either side of the wrap around feature, which is awesome because who knows what hand will be occupied holding onto your baby while you’re nursing? You could be stuck sitting in that position for a long time if baby just got to sleep and you didn’t want to risk waking him or her.
Having a buckle on either side is also an innovative approach to the buckle, so Boppy wins points for thoughtfulness as well.
A pocket on your nursing pillow? How awesome would that be? Pretty awesome. And this is why.
My Brest Friend
Again, another feature I obsess endlessly (but for good reason!) on my post about the My Brest Friend review that you can read here.
A pocket is one of the absolute best decisions that My Brest Friend decided to add onto their pillow covers. They have them in every different kind of fabric and for each different kind of pillow. The pocket is such a small piece of fabric to add, and probably doesn’t take a lot of time to make, but I will endlessly sing its praises.
A pocket is so useful and can save your life in a bind. There are a million tiny little things–many of which i mention in my post– that you could use to store in your pocket.
Moms everywhere constantly feel stranded when they are breastfeeding because they have to sit there for what ends up being hours (all added up) during a day. It can make you feel very helpless and very bored. But with the aid of a pocket, you could snack on something, store your earbuds so you could listen to an audiobook, or just simply store some of your most important baby items like a binky.
A pocket might be something you don’t necessarily look for in a nursing pillow, but when you have it, you definitely appreciate it. Another thoughtful move by My Brest Friend.
Though there are quite a few different options that Boppy provides, there is not one pillow that comes with a pocket. So all the points go to My Brest Friend for this one!
However, it is easy enough to set up a nursing station in your own home that will make the need for a pocket a little less dire. Have a little basket that you can get at the dollar store set up with all the essentials. Here are some things you might want to include:
Because we all know that when babies eat, they want to poop! Who am I kidding, whenever anyone eats, they want to poop.
Not just for the dirty diapers. These are helpful for minor spit up, boogers, or wiping your toddler’s face and hands when they visit you with handfuls of jam.
There can never be too many binkies on hand.
Obviously, you can use these for burping, but they are also great to roll up and prop under your baby’s head if the latch is a little difficult to get while straight on the pillow.
I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it a million times: Sleep when baby sleeps, and eat when baby eats.
Bottles and Formula
You don’t want a ready made bottle just hanging out in the basket for hours, but if you’re a mom who needs to supplement, it’s nice to have one already made before you start feeding.
If you set up a box like this near the spot that you regularly nurse, or maybe one in each room that you nurse in, it will save you a lot of frustration. In fact, this is a great idea even for people using My Brest Friend pillow, because that pocket is amazing and I love it, but it has its limits on what it can hold.
Whenever you are marketing anything, especially baby products, it has to be appealing to look at. Baby products need to look either cute or chic, but no mom wants to have an entirely boring nursing pillow cover. So are there enough options of pillow covers to satisfy customers?
The Boppy has always been known to be the nursing pillow with the million options of fabric that are constantly changing with the trends. It is truly fun to look through all the fabric options and prints on the Boppy page. They have Minky fabric and cotton with several different designs to match your style–whatever it is.
They also have a waterproof cover, which I consider absolutely essential.
One thing that I think is just so awesome, is their customizable option. You can actually pick the exact fabric combination that you want and then have your name or your baby’s name or whatever you want embroidering on the pillow. That way you will have a completely customized pillow that is yours and yours alone.
When it comes to variety, you can never have too much, and Boppy really understands this.
My Brest Friend
My Brest Friend has a few different options of fabric types and designs, but not nearly as many as Boppy. However, they do have an easy to figure out system. They have their pillow slipcovers sorted by type of fabric, which makes it easy to figure out, rather than having a bunch of product names that are hard to figure out which is which.
The My Brest Friend pillow comes in a minky, a cotton, and an organic cotton. It also has a professional vinyl fabric that is easy to clean and is used by lactation consultants and hospitals.
Of course, there is the waterproof cover as well, which everyone should buy.
Can you use your pillow for anything other than a pillow? Maybe you’ve never considered what else a pillow could do for you. Here are some other uses for the Boppy.
While it seemed that a lot of the other categories were in My Brest Friend’s favor, Boppy definitely wins in the versatility category. While the My Brest Friend Pillow can be used for a nursing pillow, it really doesn’t have any other uses.
The Boppy on the other hand, can be used as a lounger for your newborn, a tummy time prop for when they are a month or more old, and a sitting prop when they are ready to attempt sitting up.
You can see all of these uses in the video below:
Lots of Uses
It can be so frustrating to have a million different baby products to use in a million different ways all over your home. When you find a baby product that will grow with you or that will serve other purposes, it’s hard not to get excited about it.
Soft and Supportive
The Boppy is made of polyester fiberfill, that we talked about earlier, which makes it soft and pliable for a baby to comfortably lay on in several different positions. It offers the support that your baby will need, while also giving it a soft place to land in case he or she rolls or falls while sitting.
Babies should always be supervised while using this product, but it is safe for them to use and it is a great little prop that you will almost always have around while you are nursing anyway.
My Brest Friend
The My Brest Friend Pillow is meant to be a nursing pillow and nothing other than a nursing pillow. It is not soft enough or pliable enough to be a comfortable lounger for a baby. A baby could possibly get some support in it while learning to sit, but the hole is probably too large to support them completely. And there is also the backrest feature that would get in the way of the baby’s feet.
Although My Brest Friend is not a versatile pillow, it serves its purpose as a nursing pillow, and it serves it well. There are many features in this pillow that aren’t in other pillows and it is a great product.
If you are not a nursing mom or if you are not the nursing parent, you can still really enjoy having a nursing pillow to help you have the support that you need during a feed or while just holding your baby.
So which one do non-nursing parents like the most?
Although I can’t speak for the entire general public, I would venture to guess that most non nursing parents and spouses prefer to have the Boppy over the My Brest Friend and there are some very specific reasons why I say this.
The Boppy is just more comfortable as a pillow. It just is. This is nothing against the My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow, but it’s just not a pillow. My Brest Friend is a foam cushion and it is amazing for getting the right latch and keeping a great latch. You can ask hundreds of lactation consultants that attest that it is the best nursing pillow out there.
However, My Brest Friend is just not soft. And because it isn’t soft, it is hard for a parent who isn’t nursing and trying desperately to get a latch onto their own personal nipple, to see the value in a cushion that is pretty stiff.
The wrap around feature is an amazing feature for someone who is nursing because, as mentioned before, it is hard to get the correct position with the right latch and to keep it. However, if you aren’t worried about getting a latch onto a certain body part of yours that cannot move super easily, then there really isn’t a great reason to strap yourself into something.
Even if it isn’t too hard to get in and out of it, someone who isn’t nursing will not see the value of being strapped in. It may help to keep the position and offer a bit more support than the Boppy, but the hassy might not be worth it.
As mentioned before, the Boppy is more versatile. It just has a lot more uses than the My Brest Friend Pillow. Being able to position your baby in different ways throughout the first year of their lives can be a huge bonus in a pillow. It just makes more sense to have a pillow that has other uses if you don’t care about getting the perfect latch.
Especially For Pumping Moms
Another great thing about the positioner, if you are a pumping and bottle feeding mom, is that you can have your baby nearby lounging on the pillow. It is easier for a mother to let down her milk when her baby is nearby because she naturally will produce oxytocin if she is looking at her baby, smelling, touching, or thinking about her baby. It’s a pretty neat little party trick.
Again, I am mentioning the variety of designs. But it is worth mentioning, that if you don’t care about the perfect latch because you are bottle feeding, people might tend to lean toward the Boppy just for the sheer amount of choices that they have. I’m not even pregnant right now and going on their website makes me want to buy a pillow. They have some really awesome choices.
Overall, both of these pillows have really amazing features. They are so different, although they serve mostly the same purposes. The best way to know for sure if you like one over the other is to try them out. You may not be able to try them at a store, but if you have a friend who has one or the other, consider trying it out there. You can also take one on a test run in the hospital when your lactation consultant comes around. Most hospitals use My Brest Friend, but they may have a variety that you can try out as well.