HARD CHAIR? HAVE YOU SEEN MY STITCHES!?!@##%
If you are nursing a tender bruised perineum after your childbirth heroics that doesn’t seem the kindest option does it? But actually soft cushions or the sofa may press up against the sore area more than you would think, as they mould in around you. This can restrict the blood and lymphatic flow to the tissues. It will all feel a bit numb after a while as you sit there but can feel very sore and achey when you stand up again. Definitely NOT a ring cushion – an old fashioned solution – as they pull all your weight and pressure down into the centre just where you hurt the most.
My midwife was insistent that I sat on a kitchen chair to breastfeed to improve my posture. I was still spectacularly unsuccessful at breastfeeding but the positive outcome was that I noticed I didn’t ache so much in my undercarriage when my marathon feeding stint finished.
A harder surface and more upright chair works because you take more weight through your feet and ‘sitting bones’ keeping pressure off the perineum and coccyx. This stops the soft tissues and their blood supply from being squashed and lets air flow under.
For something in-between squishy sofa and hard kitchen chair you can hire or buy a Valley Cushion. These are cleverly designed with an adjustable inflatable cushion on each side with a ‘valley’ down the middle.
When I worked in the hospital the valley cushions were always in hot demand. If we ran out we had a rather ingenious hack: for an immediate DIY, or a subtle ‘out and about’ solution fold two matching hand towels into square blocks. Put one under each bottom cheek leaving the perineum a few centimetres blissfully airborne in the middle. Try it and smile as you find pressure relief!
If you have a long slow feeder or suffered with a good deal of stitches to the vagina or anal area, or are coping with piles, you will be grateful for improved comfort for several weeks ahead. Mother hens, be kind to your body & treat yourself to the real deal. You can buy or hire a VALLEY® cushion direct from the manufacturer but also through contact your local NCT branch to hire a VALLEY cushion, ensuring fundraising for that excellent charity in the process.
How did you cope with a sore bottom and feeding? If you have any tips to help other mums, please comment below.