Breastfeeding Pillows , Yes or No ?

Im frequently asked about breastfeeding cushions in my class . Are they a necessary purchase to ensure breastfeeding works ?
When I started in private practice 6 years ago , I loved them , back then   teaching breastfeeding and latching  was full of instructions and mothers needed to have 20 hands to get it all right. So-  cushions were quite handy to support the baby . Then, I started to notice that lots of mothers were breastfeeding just lying the baby on the cushion and not holding them close enough  .
Unfortunately thats a recipe for sore nipples . Most newborns will attach quite well but as they get a bit sleepy they slip back , they pull on the nipple and don't feed effectively .  Can you see in the above picture how the baby is pulling backwards on the breast ?

Another issue I see frequently is that if the mother has large breasts and uses a breastfeeding cushion sometimes the cushion is in the way . There is no room for the baby ! The cushion is so high up on her torso that the baby is above nipple height ........
Most cushions cost at least €50 , are only used for 2-3 weeks and then put away in a cupboard . Id be pretty fed up if Id spent that amount and only used the product for a couple of weeks.
 Although some people will get more use  from  cushions later on when their babies need support to sit upright .

Since I and most of my colleagues  have started to teach less about latching and more about self attachment or babyled attachment , cushions have really become redundant . When mothers lie back or recline slightly there is no need for cushions . If they have had a caesarian section  and are concerned about their wound a pillow or cushion from the couch will protect the tender area.

The only time I think a cushion is a great idea is for breastfeeding twins . There is an excellent cushion called the ez2nurse twincushion . Its very useful for latching one twin and having the other close by . Its also wider than standard cushions and most mums of twins find it great. They say that the first few weeks are spent on the couch breastfeeding - the cushion balances plates of food very well ! ( Im glad to see im not the only mother who would have to pick crumbs off the baby )

So some mothers love their cushion/pillow and swear by them ...Im not a huge fan and find most of the time we can improve a poor latch by removing the cushion and using a laidback approach . My verdict would be no - not at all necessary for breastfeeding and save your money, treat yourself to a nice breastfeeding bra  !

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