Tuesday, July 8th, 2008
What qualities make a good breastfeeding chair?
In the UK, mothers do not have a clear legal right to breastfeed in public. It’s not an unheard of act, but it’s not universally protected either.
The right will likely be recognized this year, but it was within this oppressive environment that Nicola Hart, a student at De Montfort University, designed a breastfeeding chair for a design exhibition.
Its core features:
- Deep, padded side panels or “wings” that hide the occupant when viewed from side angles.
- High back for neck and spine support and ergonomic posture.
- Low armrests.
- Wide seat.
- Standalone foot rest to create a “flat lap.”
- Small built-in side surface for a cup or plate.
It reminds me of the study tables at my old school library, paneled to shield you from your neighbors. I suppose your friends might need to sit across from you to have a conversation.
While I wonder how many establishments would want to dedicate floor space to nursing chairs, I bet they would attract dedicated clientÃ¨le.
This invention made me wonder… what makes the perfect breastfeeding chair?
My wife says… “Arm wrests at the proper height for your breasts (the same reason moms use nursing pillows when sitting on a bed or sofa). Also, a foot rest for short people so that your knees are raised to create a flat surface.”
Googling for breastfeeding chairs I readily found only one retail product, the Monarch Nursery Chair. It features a tall back and a low seat (instead of a foot rest) to level the lap.
Other conventional ideas are glider chairs or traditional rocking chairs. My wife says a reclining chair would be nice so that when your baby falls asleep, you can sleep too.
She much prefers nursing while lying in bed to avoid hoisting the baby the entire time.
As for a dad’s perspective, I use any old chair that allows me to cross one leg and place my son’s head at my knee. One hand is holding a bottle (of expressed milk) while my other hand is free.
So… What do you think of the student’s chair, and what functional arrangement do you, or did you, use at home?