Nursing Pillow Warning: Baby Deaths Tied To Favorite Pillow Used By Parents When Feeding

By Rachel Cruise, Parent Herald August 24, 05:30 am

You might have seen parents using a crescent-shaped nursing pillow to help make baby feeding more manageable. Though this item is quite popular and readily available anywhere, a coroner from Pennsylvania is sending out a warning about the dangers of this nursing pillow. Three babies have apparently died as a result of its misuse.

Coroner Graham Hetrick said that some parents let their baby sleep on the nursing pillow when it should only be used exclusively for feeding. There's an apparent danger when babies are left to sleep on this type of pillow because the baby could slide down or her head could be pushed at the back of the curve. This results in the baby's airway getting cut off, resulting in the baby's suffocation, per Penn Live.

The coroner underscored that there are several manufacturers of nursing pillows, but one of the more popular brands for parents is Boppy. The company that makes Boppy actually explicitly indicate on their website that their nursing pillow must only be used for feeding. The words "Never allow baby to sleep on a Boppy® Pillow or Boppy® Newborn Lounger," is emphasized on its dedicated page for safe sleep practices. Additionally, Boppy also has a safety tag on the pillow itself, in both English and Spanish.

The National Institute of Child Health and Development has some practical suggestions for parents when it comes to safe sleep for babies. Among these include ensuring that the baby doesn't sleep in a crib filled with pillows and stuff toys.

Child care expert Wendy O'Shea from the Pinnacle Health's Cribs for Kids Program said, "The best way is to lay your child down on their back on a firm mattress on a tightly fitted sheet - no bumper pads, no pillows, no stuffed animals - nothing in the crib, just the crib and the baby," via ABC 27. Experts believe that education of parents when it comes to baby's sleep safety is crucial because it can save the life of a child.

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