Mumís Breastfeeding Aid: Boppy Pillow

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You can't blame World Health Organization and the Scientific Paediatric Societies for recommend breastfeeding for the first six months at least. Breastfeeding has countless advantages for both mothers and babies. It encourages the development of infant immune systems which are not complete when babies are born. A number of epidemiologic studies have in fact demonstrated how infants who are breast fed are less sensitive to a variety of different health disorders such as gastroenteritis, diarrhoea, vomit, otitis, respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections and gluten intolerance. Infants who are bottle fed are more likely to suffer from allergies, bronchial asthma and eczema (including nappy rash). Recent studies have in fact shown that breastfeeding also provides protection against SIDS, diabetes, lymphomas and a number of chronic intestinal disorders. There are also proven advantages for mothers who breast-feed, which include a decrease in breast cancer, uterus tumours and the onset of osteoporosis. There are also psychological and economic advantages which are not to be underestimated.

Thanks to a brilliant idea; Susan Brown, a young mother, was asked by her baby daughter's day care centre to bring in something that could support her baby whilst she was relaxing. Susan soon realized that this was something that so many other mums and babies needed too.

The Boppy company was hence founded in 1990 in Golden, Colorado. The brand instantly became vastly popular and opened up a new product segment: infant feeding pillows.

The Boppy pillow has been tested by the CHICCO OBSERVATORY Ė Baby Research center which recommends it as the most simple and ideal aid for mothers and babies during breastfeeding.

Correct position

In order for breastfeeding to be enjoyable, the baby must latch onto the breast properly, at the right height and with his mouth wide open. Mums can choose the most comfortable position for both her and her baby. The most common positions include: the sitting position (the typical position with the baby in the mother's arms), the lying down position (where the mother lies on her side with the baby also on his side) and the rugby player position (the baby's body is positioned under the mother's armpit with one arm, whilst the other supports his head, just like a rugby ball).

Feeding pillow

Research studies have shown that using a feeding pillow can help infants find the right sucking position and help mums feed their newborns in a relaxed and stress-free manner. The feeding pillow does in fact provide mothers and infants all the support they need: it reduces the strain on the arm, shoulders and neck muscles; it helps mum to keep the baby in a comfortable position, preventing him from sliding out of position when sucking which can cause painful tugging of the nipples. Dr. Guido Moro, Director at the Neonatology Operating unit and Neonatal Intensive Care unit at the Macedonio Melloni Hospital in Milan, emphasises how a good feeding pillow can have a marked impact on the successful breastfeeding of a baby. For further information on this topic, feel free to read The Advantages of using the right feeding pillow.

Efficacy of the Boppy feeding pillow

Clinical Studies at the Macedonio Melloni Hospital - Milan

The scope of the studies carried out at the Macedonio Melloni Hospital in Milan was to assess the efficacy of the Boppy feeding pillow during the initial breastfeeding phase. A sample group of 105 new mothers (89 with natural birth and 16 with a c-section birth): _ half of the sample group were asked to use the pillow during the first 24 hours of breastfeeding (after which they were given a questionnaire to fill in) and without the pillow for the next 24 hours (compiling the second part of the questionnaire) - the other half of the sample group did the exact opposite, starting feeding without the pillow for the first 24 hours, and then with the pillow for the next day. The group's appraisal of the feeding pillow was extremely positive (90% of all cases). The aspects of the Boppy pillow which were most appreciated were "the safe and secure support for the baby", "less pressure on the tummy", ďless strain and stress" and the fact that "it made feeding time much more enjoyable and relaxing". Mothers who underwent a c-section were the ones who showed most satisfaction.

Check out this video of the boppy pillow usage created by midwives and early child educators.

The Boppy Breastfeeding Pillow is available in Australia through Chicco stockists.

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