Who in the world wants their sweet baby laying on a toxic nursing pillow? The sad thing is that many are full of toxic chemicals, so we scoured the earth to find the safest nursing pillows around. All of the recommended products in our shopping guide are confirmed free of flame retardants, polyurethane and polystyrene foam.
By the way, every company we spoke with does not use flame retardants in their nursing pillows because they're exempt from TB117, the law that governs the requirements for flame retardants, which means that manufacturers are not required to add toxic flame retardants to the foam of certain infant products as of December of 2010. This includes infant carriers, strollers, nursing pillows, and bassinets.
Flame Retardant & Foam-free Nursing Pillows
Just hover over the pictures to see the details on each of the safe nursing pillows we were able to locate.
Why Not Polyurethane & Polystyrene Foam?
Polyurethane is petroleum-based and contains toxic VOCs like toluene diisocyanate, formaldehyde and benzene that can enter the body through inhalation. The Minnesota Department of Health describes the side effects of exposure to these volatile organic compounds as including headaches, nausea and worsening of asthma symptoms, as well as damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system. VOCs are also carcinogenic in nature.
According to Harvard's Fact Sheet, polystyrene contains the bio-accumulative chemicals styrene and benzene which are both suspected carcinogens and neurotoxins. When exposed to styrene, people can experience symptoms including irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, fatigue and irritation. Studies have also found chromosomal damage, abnormal lung function and even cancer in people exposed to high levels of styrene.
So even without the flame retardant chemicals, polystyrene and polyurethane foam typically aren't safe enough options.
NOTE: We recently found a polyurethane foam breastfeeding pillow we actually feel comfortable recommending! The Back Buddy pillow was designed by a Chiropractor and is made from high-quality structural foam which is certified by CertiPUR-US to be made WITHOUT harmful PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (”Tris”) flame retardants, phthalates, CFC’s, formaldehyde, mercury, lead, and other heavy metals.
Polyurethane and Polystyrene Nursing Pillows to Avoid
- My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow – As of March 2012, made of flame retardant-free polyurethane foam
- Luna Lullaby Bosom Baby Nursing Pillow – Flame retardant-free polyurethane foam
- Born Free Bliss Nursing Pillow – Cotton pillow with polyurethane foam newborn mat
- BayB Brand Nursing Pillow – Polystyrene flame retardant-free foam interior
- Theraline Nursing Pillow – Filled with EPS (expanded polystyrene) micro beads
- Mombo Nursing Pillow – 2-sided pillow made of flame retardant-free polyurethane foam and polyester
AND The Boobie Award Goes To…
These companies. Because we couldn't even get a single response from them:
- Nursing Pillow
- Jolly Jumper
- My Feeding Friend
- ClevaMama – made of ClevaFoam® which they claim is toxin-free