Twin Breastfeeding Pillows
Tandem feeding is not a requirement for twins, triplets & more however, many parents find it saves them time. If you are feeding separately then you can use a standard feeding pillow and won’t need a twin pillow.
Which twin pillow is best for you will depend on your body, your babies as well as how you are feeding. This overview of the basic types and their advantages and disadvantages is designed to help you work out what is best for you.
MBSA members have access a variety of pillows for free hire (deposit required) and this can be a good way to try different pillows. All hire pillows have a waterproof cover for hygiene. In addition, MBSA members have access to a Facebook sales page to buy from other multiple birth families, so you may be able to buy a second-hand pillow cheaply.
- Pillow Styles
- Comparison summary
- Feeding setup
- A real-life experience from a mum of premature twins
- Further resources
There are two basic styles of pillows:
- U shaped – including My Brest Friend, large U shaped and small U shaped, and
- Twin Z – a large “m” shaped pillow with multiple uses (note the Things for Twins’ Twin Feeding Pillow is the same style).
The U shaped pillows are quite firm and therefore can be more supportive of babies.
The difference between these types is the size – both height and width. What works best depends on your body – torso length and breast size being the main factors – and your set up.
The U shaped pillows MBSA have are custom made and therefore are slightly different sizes. The large U pillows are approximately 80cm x 60cms x 17cms (WxDxH). While the small blue pillow pictured here is 67cm x 48cms x 13cms (WxDxH).
The My Brest Friend pillow has a few extra features on the standard U shaped pillow:
- the top is shaped to help guide the babies towards the breast,
- some back support (but you may need more), and
- a pocket for holding your phone / tv remote (not pictured).
These pillows are much softer than the U shaped and are designed for multiple purposes – breastfeeding, bottle feeding and as support for sitting babies up. Note that it is not recommended to sleep babies in these pillows.
As many multiple birth parents are topping up feeds – either with expressed milk or formula – this multiple use aspect can be very appealing.
For bottle feeding in this pillow you need to lean over to hold the bottles (until they can hold their own – a glorious day!) and this can be uncomfortable for your back. You can put the pillow on a raised surface (e.g. a coffee table) but once the babies start moving this is no longer safe and the pillow should be on the floor.
Note if you are solely bottle feeding then it is worth considering a set up with two (or more) rockers/bouncers facing you, with you sitting on the floor between them with your back against the wall. This requires some space to allow this configuration, but it is cheap, comfortable and safe as you can strap the babies in.
There are a variety of pillows available and what is best for you will depend on your body, your babies as well as how you are feeding. You are always welcome to reach out to MBSA for a chat and to try out different styles of pillow to find what works for you.
The table below provides a quick comparison of twin feeding pillows:
|Pillow Type||Size (WxDxH)||Breast feeding||Bottle Feeding||Other Uses||Firm / Soft||Cost (including shipping)*|
|My Brest Friend||63cms x 56cms x 13cm||✔||–||–||firm||$142**|
|large U shaped||80cms x 60cms x 17cms||✔||–||–||firm||Approx $220***|
|small U shaped||67cms x 48cms x 13cms||✔||–||–||firm||Approx $200***|
|Twin Z||91cms x 61cm x 12cm||✔||✔||Support for sitting, tummy time||soft||$215**|
*Note that the cost indicated is the cost to buy each pillow new. MBSA provides members with free hire of various feeding pillows and access to a Facebook sales page to buy from other multi families, so you may well be able to obtain a pillow much cheaper than this.
**Things for Twins website October 2022
***custom made by Clark Rubber, exact price depends on foam selected
Whatever pillow you choose you want to ensure that you are not hunching over or having to lift the babies to your breast as this will cause pain over time (remember you will be in this position A LOT). Instead, the pillow should lift them to the correct height so you may need to prop up whatever pillow you use to get to achieve this.
For example, some mothers are able to sit cross legged and place the pillow on top of their knees so that the pillow is at the right height for them.
However, others require a more complex setup. The following figure is an example of what some multiple birth mothers need to do with extra pillows (in blue) as well as the breastfeeding pillow (in green):
Whenever you are feeding, it’s always a good idea to have some water, your phone and several burp cloths within reach before you start.
One of our members generously shares her experience and opinions regarding different pillows during her breastfeeding journey. Her twins were born at 34.5 weeks gestation and she is 154cms tall.
U shaped pillow: This didn’t help me much when the twins were born premature. The pillow was too firm and the babies were tiny. I had to raise them up way too much to help them reach my breasts. I started experiencing wrist pain after a few days, so I stopped using this type of pillow.
Twin Z: I would recommend this pillow for breastfeeding older infants. It was not useful to begin with (especially for mothers who are of my stature). The gap between my breasts and the pillow was too much. Stuffing pillows under the Twin Z didn’t help either as the pillows would slip out. Although I found this to be very useful for bottle feeding them and for tummy time.
My Brest Friend: I found this to be my life saver. The firmness the pillow offers is apt (not too firm or not too soft). Having said that this pillow used alone was useless for me. I used My Brest Friend on top of the Twin Z and this worked very well for me. I used the back support that the Twin Z provided and I removed the back support from the My Brest Friend pillow. I used this setup to breastfeed my twins for 6 months almost. After they grew a bit, I was able to use My Brest Friend alone without any additional pillow. My Brest friend pillow wouldn’t require a back support. It requires you to sit up straight without any back support. It’s comfortable enough.
For more information on breastfeeding multiples check out our resources page.