"There are three reasons for breast-feeding: the milk is always at the right temperature; it comes in attractive containers; and the cat can't get it." ~Irena Chalmers
One of the best parts of breastfeeding is the ability to feed your baby anytime, anywhere. With diaper bags that are usually filled to the brim with other baby accessories, walking out of the house with no bottles, water, or formula to mix is super convenient! And of course, littlebeam is designed to be extremely portable, so it can come with you on-the-go.
But why are breastfeeding pillows so helpful? A recent study from the Journal of Human Lactation by Doulas & Keogh (JHL, 2017 33(3) 509-518) looked at the extremely important impact of stable positioning for "effective, pain-free milk transfer."
The researchers looked at techniques that focused on how to achieve optimal positioning using "micro movements" that allow the baby and breastfeeding parent to experiment and shift as needed, resulting in a pain-free latch.
Positioning is so important because, "when an infant's position is unstable, she or he has difficulty latching on, fusses and pulls off the breast.....which may result in poor milk transfer and nipple pain." The authors also remind us that "nipple pain affects 34% to 96% of breastfeeding women and is a common reason for breastfeeding cessation." Our goal is to keep you comfortable and breastfeeding as long as you want!
Even the researchers note the importance of a pillow, stating, "Once a workable position has been found, the mother's elbow typically requires the support of a firm cushion, so that her shoulder and arm can relax and musculoskeletal pain does not occur." While the article warns against breastfeeding pillows that place the baby too high relative to the breast, fortunately littlebeam is able to be placed in any position and doesn't require any straps or buckles to stay in place.
As always, you should consult your local IBCLC if you are having breastfeeding problems or need specific answers!