Before you had your baby, most of you would have been surprised at how much time you now spend sitting down, feeding your new baby. You will spend hours each day sat in one position. Maybe as many as 8-10 hours! Breast fed babies feed 6-8 times a day and often for an hour at each feed and then you might have to wind them after the feed.
Babies are quite heavy little bundles often weighing in at 3.5 – 4.0kg mark. Imagine the pressure that cute little bundle is going to place on your back, your hands and wrists and your neck.
You will find yourself aching and hurting in a whole lot of new places. Pregnancy releases a hormone called Relaxin and this hormone literally makes your joints relax, become supple and more prone to damage as we overuse them. I’ve heard many mums having to attend the chiropractor, physiotherapist for back pain or the hand clinic for wrist splints.
Correct positioning of your own body is so crucial for breastfeeding success.
Here's a previous blog on Breastfeeding and the Basics: https://www.nurtureparenting.com.au/breast-feeding-and-the-basics/
A really comfortable breastfeeding chair is crucial for successful breastfeeding. Up to 50% of breastfeeding problems are caused by incorrect positioning, which in turn leads to incorrect attachment and nipple damage. Ouch!
When my sister had her first baby just over two years ago I looked at her couch in disdain! It just wasn’t supportive enough for breastfeeding. She’d waited to the age of 39 to have her first baby and had expectations of wanting to breastfeed as I know most mums do. As a midwife I knew that this wasn’t going to happen with a poorly supported seating arrangement. I asked my parents to buy her a breast feeding chair and it was the best money they ever spent.
She breastfed her firstborn, Freya, until 10 months old when her baby decided to self wean. She also used it to feed her second baby, Tilly, and it still sits in the front room. It’s a very practical chair and offers great back support, which is crucial. It has arm rests too which are necessary for support particularly as babies get older and heavier. A good platform rocking chair can take the pressure off a mother's back, while allowing her to rest her arms while breastfeeding her baby.
It also came with a footstool. Again footstools are really important to help with positioning and reduce lower back strain. By elevating the legs off the ground this really takes the pressure off that lower back.
If the mother feels comfortable and her back is pain-free, her milk will flow more freely.
To maximise your chances of breastfeeding success, as a Midwife and Child & Family Health Nurse I recommend a good quality breast feeding rocking chair with a footstool. I’m very happy to endorse the Hobbe range of rocking chairs.
They tick every requirement in my list – comfort, good lower back and arm positioning to maximise attachment of baby on the breast and they are also stylish and funky to be an asset to any modern nursery. They also come with a footstool, tick tick tick.
You'll find more info on the early weeks with your baby including helping them to sleep and more in my ebook - Help I'm a new mum and I don't know what to do.