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Newbie questions..feet up or down, bf'ing on couch, etc

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Alright, this may sound kind of dumb, like I am overthinking this....but I have some basic questions regarding furniture choice and bf'ing, and I thought this was the best place to ask. I haven't had a baby yet...ever...though I've had two miscarriages, and we'd like to try again moderately soon. Honestly, I know nothing about breastfeeding, and have rarely watched a woman do it in a home setting, as none of my friends here in CA have babies! I am clueless!


Anyways, hubby and I are shopping for a new living room couch. I have had "baby on the brain" and so have been even thinking while looking at couches, which ones would be baby friendly. Right now, the ones we have are way too broken in, and that slouchy-ness hurts my back, (I have health issues and so do spend a bit of time daily on the couch), so we are looking for very firm cushions that won't break in much.


Just today I have done a little reasearch....I do know what a glider is, and I've read today that some babies like them, some don't, but that some women end up doing at least SOME breastfeeding on the couch......so I'd like to be prepared for that???? There is even a small chance that we won't buy a glider, if we don't leave our 1 bedroom apartment.


So I was left wondering...when you bf on the couch, do your feet touch the ground, or do you keep them elevated?


I generally sit on the couch by leaning on the side arm, with my legs kind of tucked under me, opposite of whichever side I'm leaning....I am assuming you can't breastfeed like that? Or does anyone?


So I have two questions, really, about the couch.....first, if I have to sit "facing forward" while bf'ing, with feet touching the ground, I'm assuming you don't want a couch that is really deep, because you'd have to stack a ton of pillows for your back???? (because we wanted a deep couch so we could lay and "spoon", but maybe it's a bad idea if I want back support and feet touching ground!)


And second question about the couch.....we were looking at a really modern one with very low arms, so if you are supposed to have your feet up.....I guess I couldn't sit sideways with feet up and back to armrest, because the arms wouldn't be high enough! (unless we add on one of those chaise attachments that allows you to put feet up and face forwards)


So I am thinking both of those qualities could be a downside when bf'ing. I just don't want to buy a couch that is a bf'ing nightmare. Can anyone make this more clear for me, and tell me how one would generally sit while bf'ing on the couch??? I am very short, so my feet don't touch the ground on couches unless they are the modern kind that sit low. Also, if one keeps their feet up, would one of the chaises that faces forwards help???



post #2 of 11

You just sort of breastfeed however, and sit however you can wedge yourself. Also, comfortable positions change as the baby grows! I'd find a good way to sit, and then it wouldn't be comfortable two weeks later. Be prepared to prop with pillows and roll with the punches.


I would, however, recommend a deep couch so you can breastfeed side-lying. Because that's awesome. My couch is too shallow for that, but I love doing the side-lie on other people's couches.


Ultimately, you're going to do the exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months or something (after 6 months, all positioning goes out the window and they just feed how they feed, standing, sitting, in the middle of dinner, in bed, blah).  In contrast, your couch is going to last for 20 years. Buy whatever couch you like and breastfeeding will go just fine for that short time you do it.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you! I really just wasn't sure if it was one of those things that there are only a few ways to do it, like putting on a diaper, haha. The couch we are thinking about buying now (after shopping around today) is VERY deep, so that is good to know that that could be an advantage.


So there isn't a right or wrong way to bf, in terms of feet being on the ground vs. not?


We are hoping to have 3 children, as of now, so that is one reason I was hoping it would be a baby-friendly couch....but I understand your point, that the breastfeeding phases of bf'ing a tiny baby don't really last long anyways. I'm hoping we'll get a glider anyways!


Right now, both of our couches are soooo broken in, that I can't imagine myself getting comfortable while holding a baby, since my feet don't touch the ground, but if I put my feet up, I sink too much, so holding a baby would hurt my back (I have a really bad back, hence how picky I am about couches).


On that note, is super-firm good for babies/kids? I was thinking that would be a big plus actually. We are doing super-firm for my back, so our choices are limited.

post #4 of 11

My man is still BF at 18 months and like Michelle pointed out the positions change as they age! His current favorite is straddling my legs and being tummy to tummy, silly guy!


Anyways I also think deep would be great. Side lying is an awesome way to nurse. My favorite when sitting on the couch was cross legged, so therefore deep would be really comfy. In the glider I sometimes put my feet up but not always.


And no you do not have to put your feet up. You will find positions that are comfortable for you and babe. When we first came home the only way I could nurse for a few weeks was a football hold, with baby alongside my body. Also we loved our nursing pillow!


Good for you for collecting all this info, breastfeeding is such an amazing experience!

post #5 of 11

I sit the same way you do on a couch and I have done most of my breastfeeding in that position or cross-legged. The first few weeks, you may need to sit in a certain position for latching but after that, you pretty much do what's comfy. I used my "nursing" rocker with ottoman for maybe 3-4 weeks with DS1 then was always on the couch. I agree with PP, buy something that you like and is durable and easily cleaned if you are planning on 3 kids. If you feel like you will want a rocker or glider, buy something that will match your new furniture and doesn't look too baby-ish so you can use it past the baby/BF-ing stage. 

post #6 of 11

Just get a couch that you find very comfortable and you'll find a way to be comfortable BFing on it!  In the beginning you use a lot of pillows generally anyway, and then you stop needing pillows fairly quickly and just rest your arm on something.  So any couch that is comfortable and supportive will work well with the right throw pillows.  I have this couch:  




but in a kid friendly microsuede that I don't think they make anymore... and I like that I can lay on it flat to side nurse, curl up in a corner with some big pillows to nurse... or as my baby became a toddler it became the only place we nursed.  

post #7 of 11

If you have a bad back, you may want to put a pillow at your lower back when you sit down to feed. That helped me for a few weeks.


And yes, it sounds like you have the right idea! Positioning is tricky and you use a good many pillows for a few weeks... then after that, it's a free-for-all!

post #8 of 11

In the beginning I used a pillow for my back and a footrest. You will adapt to what you have. I did find I didn't like the rocker bc it reclined too much.

post #9 of 11
Our couch has built in recliners. I use my Brest friend pillow and put my feet up while I nurse her. I find the pillow takes a lot of the strain off my back since I don't have to hold her up to my boob. We also have a glider and I use that when I nurse her to sleep.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you! That helps.


I am still confused about what percentage of women, approximately, BF with at least one foot touching the ground, vs. keeping feet off the ground...while sitting of course. Does that make sense? So is it a very small percentage that find feet on ground comfortable and most women do it with your feet up? Or is it about 50/50? It seems that when they are older babies you can do it however, so I suppose my quesiton applies to very small infants....like the first 6 months?


Because my main concern is that very few couches would allow me to put a foot on the ground....so I'm wondering if that is something you will most likely need to do while BF'ing, or if it isn't important? (maybe the answer is up there, i'll reread). Thanks!

post #11 of 11

I think you are overthinking this. :) Buy a stool for your feet, if that'll mean you can rest feet on ground when sitting on the couch. Once the baby is born, try it both ways. You will figure it out. I promise. :) I will say , I think the common denominator is that it's not comfortable to be trying to support 7-10-20lbs of baby on your lap with your feet dangling, so you probably will want to have them either on the ground/a stool or up on the surface you're sitting on.

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