Belly Fish Nursing Pillow and Cover by Dominic Carter, Inc.
There are three types of nursing mothers: those who are over shirt, those who are under shirt, and those who let it all hang out. My research into nursing products makes absolutely no mention of these three distinctions as if all mothers nurse their babies in exactly the same way and need all the same products. Rarely does a nursing product cover all three nursing styles to be deemed useful to all types of nursing mothers – so imagine my elation when I found Belly Fish, an innovative new product from the genius minds of fellow mothers that combines a nursing pillow with privacy panels and a convenient carrying strap.
I love my Boppy, and I use it regularly to avoid “nursing shoulders”, which every seasoned mom out there knows all too well – the horrible hunched over stance we adopt to feed our babies while they rest in our laps. But, I don’t know if you’ve taken the Boppy out of the house recently, but it’s not exactly portable. I took it on vacation exactly once and then realized it completely wasn’t worth the effort. Not only did it take up precious packing space in our already crammed Jetta (ah, the joys of a compact sedan!) but once on vacation it wasn’t all that useful unless I was sitting in the condo knitting – okay, so I wouldn’t have had to actually learn to knit just to use it, but the point is that condos are to sleep in – not to hang out in all day. And there was no way that I was packing a Boppy in my purse for out-of-house use. And that’s where the Belly Fish is so welcome in my complete line of breastfeeding items. It combines a slightly smaller, oh so much more compact version of the Boppy with two privacy panels to create a portable solution for “nursing shoulders” for every nursing mother on the go.
For those mothers who are under shirt feeders (those who pull the shirt up to feed), the Belly Fish can be used with one privacy panel attached to the neck strap. For over shirt feeders (those who pull the neckline of the shirt down to feed), I found that the Belly Fish was not quite modest enough for me at the top, so I improvised a little bit. I attached the privacy panel as the instructions indicated on the highest neck snap and then I brought the opposite privacy panel over and attached it to a lower neck snap just underneath the first panel. That set-up also had the added benefit of shielding baby more than the single-panel method, thus limiting distractions from interrupting the feeding. And, lastly, those mothers who don’t use a nursing cover can simply use the Belly Fish as a portable nursing pillow without using the privacy panels at all.
I just love the fabrics that Dominic Carter uses in their designs. Not only are the coordinating prints beautiful, the fabrics are also extremely durable, making the entire pillow machine washable. The only drawback I found was that the Belly Fish is a bit bulky for quick errands and some activities that require large amounts of gear, but for days when I will have the stroller or car nearby it’s perfect to toss inside for use throughout the day. The fact that it has a carrying strap is also really nice for use at home when you are going from room to room but don’t have an extra hand to carry your nursing pillow in.
Insider Tip: When the Belly Fish is folded and snapped together, you can easily stuff a small changing pack in between the folds of the pillow to hold a small changing pad, a few diapers and some wipes –all without changing the outside size of the Belly Fish. In a pinch you could even just grab the Belly Fish and stuff it with the pack or even some toys or a change of clothing instead of using a diaper bag altogether.
Price: $48, which is a little bit more than most nursing pillows and a little bit more than the average nursing cover, but the fact that it is two-in-one makes it a very reasonable price overall.
Functionality: Great for longer trips and days out of the house, preferably with a stroller or a car nearby. It won’t replace your single nursing cover for short trips, but it just might replace your stationary nursing pillow entirely.
Rating: 4 out of 5 marks, losing one combined mark for the slightly higher price and the bulkiness since it would be hard to replace both your nursing pillow and portable cover.