Monday, October 17, 2011

breastfeeding pillows {My Brest Friend}

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Although the title might suggest that I've gone off the deep end enough to be attempting to breastfeed pillows, I tell you, it is not true.  I do not breastfeed pillows.

As you might imagine, though, the fact that I will soon be producing copious amounts of a nutritional liquid for baby Cakes has been on my mind a lot.  I'm pretty confident this time around, considering this will be the third child I'll have breastfed. Every confident mama needs some good tools, though. I have the lanolin, I'm set up with the Mama Juice, I have a pile of reusable breast pads (Why can't I stop buying new ones to try?!), I even have some super cute (and sexy, if I may say so) nursing bras. I have Netflix and a remote, and I may steal borrow Jude's Ipad.  I also am armed (lapped?) with a breastfeeding pillow.

This is the only picture I can find of me using the pillow. At least it has a cute baby!

When Elizabeth was breastfeeding, I didn't have a special nursing pillow.  I just stacked up the pillows I had, and that worked okay for us.   I remembered pillows slipping out, and not giving support on the sides for my arms. After Nathanael was born we had some minor breastfeeding problems we were trying to sort out, and I decided I wanted to try something different.  My sister-in-law gave me a U-shaped pillow (boppy style) to use, and although it worked okay, the baby still rolled in to me, or sometimes away from me, and oftentimes he was himself bent into a U-shape because the pillow didn't give enough support in the middle. It also took up a lot of space side to side in the chair.  I asked around online for some recommendations for breastfeeding pillows and was pointed to the My Brest Friend breastfeeding pillow.  All the features available seemed great, and the fact that lactation consultants recommend this pillow gave me confidence in its usefulness. I was also really humored by the name.  My Brest Friend.  Kinda like "my breast's best friend", but all smushed into one word. 

The proper use of a U-shaped pillow?  Works as a baby recliner... You can see a portion of the back strap of the My Brest Friend pillow in the upper right corner.
Although it seemed kind of pricey at the time, I decided to give it a try.  I picked out a Deluxe Pillow in pink plush cover ('cause hey, I'm a girl, and I was feeling in a pink phase then... and maybe still am) and ordered my pillow online.  It arrived shortly, and I immediately put it to use.  Totally worth the money!

From the manufacturer's website

Some of my favorite features of this pillow are the strap that goes around the back, and the quiet release. The strap around the back (along with the back support) made the pillow comfortable, and made it stay in place.  The quiet release was great when baby fell asleep and I didn't want to wake him with a R-I-P-P-P!!! of velcro. There is a convenient pocket on the cover of the pillow, but I never did use it much in the ways I saw in pictures.  I mean, if my baby is nursing, then I'm not probably going to keep a toy in there.  I did keep my TV remote and some chapstick in there, though!

I found the cover easy to wash, and the foam of the pillow to be firm and comfortable.  The part that I never did quite figure out at the time was the two little bumps of foam in on the top front of the pillow.  I couldn't figure out if I was supposed to put the baby on them, between them, between me and them...  They never really got in the way, but they just didn't make much sense for me. It especially seemed like the one near the baby's bottom was in a funky spot, but it was never such a problem that I couldn't use it, or didn't want to use it. I got smart this time, remembering my earlier confusion, and decided to look it up. The My Brest Friend FAQ tells us: 

 "These 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."
Makes sense to me! If only I'd know that earlier.... It still doesn't change the unused head riser from getting in the way of baby's bottom.  But I'll survive, and so will Cakes.

The options available have expanded significantly since I bought my first pillow almost 3 years ago. The Deluxe Pillow (which I have) is now available in 6 lovely colors, and there's an organic pillow cover for the crunchy mamas like myself.  The Original Pillow (which does not have the quiet release clasp) is a cotton cover that comes in 19 different colors and patterns. Talk about options!  The Original pillow starts at $44, and Deluxe pillows are just $51.  My Brest Friend also offers twin pillows, professional grade pillows, replacement slipcovers, and a variety of other support pillows for pregnancy and feeding.  They even have an inflatable travel nursing pillow, which would be an excellent option for taking a nursing pillow on the road.

In getting ready for baby #3, I've gotten the My Brest Friend pillow out so it will be ready to use.  I only wish I had two of them - one for the bedroom, and one for the living room!

Disclosure: I totally bought this pillow for myself.  I haven't been compensated by anyone for this post.  I just think the pillow is cool, and worthwhile.


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