My wife's back has recently started hurting and she's thinking it may be partially caused by bad posture while breastfeeding our newborn. Any tips on the type of chairs she should be using or things to try that might work better?


asked 07 Jun '10, 02:58

Andy%20H's gravatar image

Andy H
accept rate: 0%

+1 Nice question

(07 Jun '10, 07:44) Emi

+1 Good question. It can be tricky to find a comfy position for mom when she is focusing on getting a newborn baby to latch on well.

(08 Jun '10, 00:11) cat_g

I want to add that your wife should learn to nurse lying down. I never did with my son and I regretted it -- it's so easy and nice to nurse him to sleep, and this way mom can sleep too! But since we never really did that, he finds it strange and uncomfortable now.

(08 Jun '10, 15:06) Anne

+1 - @Anne YES! Like Anne said, definately learn to nurse lying down, there will be weeks when it'll feel like that's the only sleep you get.

(09 Jun '10, 04:37) Neen

In my experience, the type of chair that works best for breastfeeding is the kind your wife is comfortable in and it's different for everybody. I'm most comfortable sitting on my couch, one of my sisters was the most comfortable sitting in her rocking chair, the other in a big arm chair. All of us like to have a footstool so we could put up our feet. (It's nice to have a table in reach for a big bottle of water, nursing is thirsty work! And remind her to grab the TV remote or her book before she sits down and latches baby on. This is all about being relaxed and comfyyy!)

It's not really where you're sitting, it's how you're breastfeeding, you have to make sure that you're bringing the baby to the breast, not the breast to the baby. What that means, is that you have to hold the baby up high enough that they can latch on without Mommy having to hunch over and put strain on her back. That's where a good breastfeeding pillow, or just lots of pillows under baby and/or under the supporting arms elbow helps. When your wife finds her magic "comfy pillow configuration" they'll support baby's weight and it makes a hugh difference. I always have 2 of the cushions from the back of my couch under my elbow, my sister in the rocking chair had 2 bed pillows under her baby and elbow and one in the small of her back, and my sister in the easy chair had a pillow under her elbow stuffed between her and the arm of the chair. Whatever works for your wife! I also have friends who have said that someone could have their store bought breastfeeding pillow when they pried it out of their cold dead hands. (Said about different makes and models of pillows, of course.)

The most important thing is that Mommy gets comfortable, and then gets baby latched on without becoming uncomfortable. 'Cause if you're uncomfortable for the amount of time a day that a newborn nurses? Yeah, you are going to start to hurt all over.

I've had to nurse plenty of times when away from home without support under my arm or baby and my back and shoulders always hurt afterwards, and then I get a headache, ugh.

Please let your wife know that this is a really, really common problem when new Mommies are learning to breastfeed, and that's it's just part of the learning curve. (Everybody, actually, has to figure out how they're most comfortable nursing with their first baby!)

Hope this helps, and congratulations on your new baby!


answered 07 Jun '10, 07:02

Neen's gravatar image

accept rate: 30%

+1 for really good practical advice!

(07 Jun '10, 07:45) Emi

+1 Great answer. I'd also add that as the baby grows your most comfortable breastfeeding position will change. For us, when my sob was a newborn we used lots of pillows under my arms to support his weight. After a few weeks, we found the side-lying position most comfortable (and great for napping!). Now that my little guy is 13 months old, we are most comfortable if I sit cross-legged and cradle him in my lap. The best nursing position for us has changed many times.

(08 Jun '10, 00:08) cat_g

Oops! My son, not sob!

(08 Jun '10, 00:09) cat_g

+1 for breastfeeding pillow. The boppy, and later "My Breast Friend" (yes, horrible name) saved my life.

(08 Jun '10, 15:04) Anne

BTW, re: breastfeeding pillow: if you go to a lactation consultant or maternity center, they will have lots of pillows for you to try.

(08 Jun '10, 16:06) Anne

I totally agree with everything Neen said! Everyone is different!

I was hunching over the first few weeks - and that was horrible for my back! Then I got a glider with an ottoman and that SAVED my life! It made such a difference!
And because my torso is so long I had to use a boppy pillow with an extra pillow underneath it to bring my baby up to me.

Let her know it'll be okay and she's doing a great job! Words of encouragement from my husband is what kept me going - otherwise I probably would have given breastfeeding by week2.

(09 Jun '10, 18:05) ekim
showing 5 of 6 show 1 more comments

I like the comment above that it is different for everyone. I found that in the first few weeks of feeding you need to have everything all set right but in time I could feed in almost any chair and position. My midwife used to say that both you and the baby learning breastfeed.

A couple of things that worked for me:

  • I had two places in the house where I would feed either a rocking chair or on the couch. I always had a pillow behind me and baby would lie on a pillow to bring it up higher to feed.
  • rather than a footstool I use to have the foot on the side that baby was feeding sitting on a couple of books or a box. This raised the pillow up a little further.
  • I got a really sore neck when my daughter was a week old. This was due to me consistently watching what she was doing and being tense about was she doing it right. I would get my husband to remind to relax once she was feeding happily.

This article might help


answered 07 Jun '10, 08:22

K%20D's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%


+1 When my son was a newborn, I would gety husband to remind me to relax too!

(08 Jun '10, 00:13) cat_g

+1 for having everything all set right. I had 2 "nursing stations" with nipple cream, breast pads, books, footrests, pillows, blankets, etc. etc. etc.

(08 Jun '10, 15:05) Anne

Believe it or not, my wife's favorite position is on the stairs. She's not hunched over or any of those things they tell you not to do. For some reason, she just finds it easier to sit there than anywhere else.

Her second favorite position is on the bed, with her back against a couple of pillows propped up against the wall (no headboard) and her legs stretched out straight.

Once you learn how to breastfeed while still keeping good posture, try out a lot of different positions to see what works best for you. You might be quite surprised at what you end up preferring.


answered 08 Jun '10, 02:03

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accept rate: 5%

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Asked: 07 Jun '10, 02:58

Seen: 10,164 times

Last updated: 08 Jun '10, 02:03