Thrupenny Bits nursing pillow

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In a nutshell

A versatile nursing pillow that is supportive enough to help with difficult feeding and can be used as a toddler bag due to its storage pockets.

  • Pros

    Aids breastfeeding and bottle feeding, range of designs to choose from, multiple uses, portable.

  • Cons

    Quite expensive.

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Our review

Thrupenny Bits (cockney rhyming slang for you-know-what) was launched in 2009 by mum-of-two Melissa Wyatt-Fosbury after she struggled with positioning her first-born son, and he struggled with latching-on while breastfeeding.

Frustrated with nursing pillows and cushions then on the market, which didn’t fit securely, she set out to design a stylish, portable solution in two different sizes, which can be tied on and better meet the needs of breastfeeding mums.

With a clutch of awards including a Best Baby and Toddler Gear Award 2014 and endorsed by celebrity mums including Fearne Cotton and Edith Bowman, Thrupenny Bits’ offering is refreshingly different when it comes to design.

I’m a Cath Kidston kind of a girl and was delighted with the shabby chic-style blue and red roses design of the fabric of my pillow. But if that isn’t your thing there are also plain, spotted and striped styles to choose from.

What’s in the box?

  • Thrupenny Bits pillow.
  • Any extras needed?

  • Nope.
  • First impressions?

    I used to think nursing pillows were one of those things they try and sell you but you don’t really need. That was until I had a baby with tongue-tie (ankyloglossia).

    My son Max was born with a lip of skin anchoring his tongue to the bottom of his mouth, meaning - until it was snipped - it was very difficult for us to achieve a good latch when breastfeeding. So positioning him correctly before and during a feed was vital, and this is when I realised the help of a nursing pillow was priceless.

    So how do you use it?

    The pillow comes in two sizes, small and large, which you lay in your lap. There are two straps which you tie around your waist to secure the pillow, meaning, unlike other cushions on the market, there’s no gap between you and the pillow which the baby can slip into.

    In the same way it can be tied around your baby as a support pillow to stop them rolling over as they’re learning to sit, and over your shoulder if you’d like to use it as a bag.

    With the pillow on your lap you then place the baby on top, tummy to tummy, and I found my large sized pillow gave me the perfect level for breastfeeding Max. Because he was tongue-tied his face needed to be right in front of my boob, rather than reaching up from the crook of my arm, and for me the pillow is the perfect back-saving solution and really aided a comfortable feed.

    Does it offer the support you need?

    Yes, the pillow itself is really firm, giving good support for both mother and baby, and I would thoroughly recommend it to any breastfeeding mum.

    I always had one arm free while feeding, and after Max’s tongue-tie was sorted out I even found I could breastfeed hands-free, which is definitely a bonus when you’re a working mum with other children on your hands.

    Does the pillow have a limited life span?

    No, it will last you during breastfeeding and beyond. As well as being a breastfeeding cushion, it can be placed around your baby for support as he’s learning to sit up, and later on the inner cushion can be removed and the outer cover converts into a roomy bag.

    Although it’s marketed as a breastfeeding pillow, don’t be put off: it would also help bottle-feeding and anyone recovering from a caesarean.

    Is it value for money?

    Yes, I think it is. With prices ranging from £33 for a small pillow to £60 for a large, this isn’t the cheapest nursing pillow available, but I can see why it comes with such a price tag.

    The fabric of the removable cover is really good quality – patterned on one side and luxurious feeling corduroy on the other - as is the cushion inside.

    Is it portable?

    Yes, the straps mean the pillow can be taken with you on the go! Looped over your shoulder, over the handlebars of the pram or in the shopping basket underneath.

    How easy is it to clean?

    Very easy, the outer cover is machine washable, and mine came up well after several 40 degree washes.

    MadeForMums verdict:

    You can tell this nursing pillow has been designed by a breastfeeding mum and it’s definitely the best I’ve come across.

    It fits snugly and firmly to the body, offers great support and can also be used as a support pillow for the baby and a bag for mum. The fact it is portable and can be used on-the-go is also a bonus.