Nursing Pillows for Multiples

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Posted by vera | Posted in Gear, Parenting | Posted on 20-11-2017

Nursing Pillow for MultiplesNote from BabiesInBelly: We are excited to share with you this guest post from our friend and registered nurse, Angela Grant Buechner. This post has not been compensated for in any way nor do we have any affiliation with products mentioned in the article. With that out of the way, onto the good stuff!
 

Do you REALLY need a nursing pillow if you’re having twins?

…. Yes! As you are getting ready to welcome your new babies into the world, you may have started to look at ALL your options for supplies, gadgets and gear that promise to make your first few months with multiples easier. When planning to breastfeed multiples, you may have taken courses or read about tandem feeding in football and cradle positions, but what about nursing pillows? Are they really necessary?  Which one is best? I am a mother of three exclusively breastfed children, but I will be completely honest… they came out one at a time! I have not personally breastfed twins, but I have helped countless families with multiples to breastfeed and to develop manageable breastfeeding plans over 15 years in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as a Nurse and Lactation Consultant (LC). I have also cared for families with multiples as a Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula, private practice Lactation Consultant and educator, so I promise, I will tell you what I’ve seen that works! Lots of LC’s will tell mothers that they shouldn’t use nursing pillows because they can interfere with achieving a ‘perfect latch’. Mothers need to be able to bring baby on to the breast deeply, so they assume that resting on a pillow will cause baby to slip down and be too far away from mom.

I disagree.

I am currently still breastfeeding my third child, and I don’t want to have to hold my kid’s head without support! You can still ensure a deep latch on to the breast, but can learn to use nursing pillows and rolled blankets as needed to keep your there! Especially with twins, it is very helpful to have the right nursing pillow to help support your arms and wrists in the optimal position. This works for moms of triplets too, but we’ll talk about twins because you can still only nurse two babies at a time!

What pillow is my favorite?

(I promise this is an unpaid recommendation – there is no affiliate link nor has anyone been compensated for this blog post!) …it’s the BrestFriend Twin Nursing Pillow, and here’s why! First, I think that firm & flat is best. Soft, squishy, curved pillows tend to ‘sink’ and babies can slip down into the contour of the pillow and make positioning uncomfortable. If a pillow is too soft then moms also tend to lean over to reach baby with their breast, and they get sore back and neck muscles. More importantly, poor positioning can lead to sore nipples if the latch isn’t deep enough! Baby could also slip off the pillow since it’s curved, so you need to be careful. Second, you need a strap! A strap that can clip around your waist to prevent the pillow from slipping away from you is a must. Constant repositioning of curved pillows that slide off your lap is NOT helpful when you’re trying to get baby in a good position for feeding! Adjustable straps are great for all sizes and you can adjust it if you eventually get smaller again after birth! You can even clip it on before you sit down, so you don’t need to hold on to it at the same time you’re trying to pick up babies. Third, it needs to be big. You have more than one baby, and you may need to use several positions for nursing. You need extra room, so a twin pillow is amazing. Some twin pillows are wide enough that they won’t fit into every chair, so make sure you have considered that, or you’ll always have to sit on the couch! It can be helpful if you try it out in different places before the babies arrive, just so you can get a feel for it.

Bonus features:

The wrap around back support is a bonus, since it keeps you from slouching, and kind of forces you to have good posture. Back strain is really common as you’re learning good positioning and getting comfortable with breastfeeding, so leaning back and putting your feet up can also really help. There’s a little pocket attached that is great! It may seem trivial at first, but having somewhere to hold your phone, bottle of vitamin D drops, water bottle or chocolate bar (hee hee) so you can reach it once you’re finally settled under your babies, is so convenient! Now the different patterns that are available are fun, so I’m sure everyone has an opinion on that. I live in the West end of Toronto and my favourite local baby shop carries the BrestFriend Twin Pillow (among other lovely things), so if you get the chance you can stop by DiaperEez if you’re in the Bloor West Village area, or you can even buy it online! https://diaper-eez.com/ Also, please feel free to reach out if you need help before or after your babies are born, because I believe that breastfeeding is so worth it in the end, but it takes determination, practice, education, help and time to get there! Breastfeeding twins can be a challenge, especially at the beginning (just like with all babies!) but remember that even if things don’t start out ‘perfectly’, breastfeeding can still be part of the plan! In case you wondered, I have known moms who have been able to exclusively breastfeed twins and triplets… so go for it!
Angela Grant Buechner, BA, BScN, RN, IBCLC is a Registered Nurse, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), a Pregnancy/Birth and Postpartum Doula and an Educator who has spent over 20 years working with babies and their families. Angela is the owner of Nutmeg Consulting – Expert Care for Birth Babies & Breastfeeding , a Private practice which provides in-home and hospital support. Angela has also worked at Mount Sinai Hospital for 15 years as a Nurse/Lactation Consultant in the NICU. Angela has taught ‘Breastfeeding for Health Care Professionals’, Public Health Prenatal classes and has published a textbook chapter about the challenges of breastfeeding in the NICU. Angela is the mother of three cute children, and is passionate about helping mothers reach their breastfeeding goals, and helping them to cope with and enjoy the process of pregnancy, labour/birth and the newborn period!