6 Best Breastfeeding Positions For Nursing Mothers
Breastfeeding is wonderful, but not until you and your baby find a harmonious position to be in. We know how cumbersome it can get to continuously change sides and postures until your little one finds the most comfortable crook to fit in and nurse peacefully.
While it is completely a hit-and-try method, here is a list of 6 very popular breastfeeding positions that you can try with your baby. Who knows you might discover your perfect hold!
1. Laid-Back Or Recline Position
The laid-back breastfeeding position is usually one of the first holds that new mums try. It is because it is one of the most comfortable breastfeeding positions. Nursing mothers just have to recline or sit comfortably propped up against a pillow or a recliner just like watching television or reading a book and put their baby on their tummy or chest.
Very often babies crawl to the breasts themselves and latch on their own. Since this posture stimulates a baby’s feeding instincts, this is also referred to as biological nurturing. Laid-back breastfeeding can also help mothers who have large breasts or forceful let-downs and cannot figure out a proper position to hold their tiny newborns.
2. Side-Lying Breastfeeding
Side-lying breastfeeding is one of the most comfortable breastfeeding positions. It is not just suitable for mothers exhausted from night feedings but also for new mothers recovering from surgery. After a cesarean delivery, most women find the side-lying position preferable to other breastfeeding postures.
To try this hold, all you have to do is just lie on one side and hold your baby close to you such that their nose is close to your breast. Once your baby finds a way to latch properly, there shall be no further hassles during the nursing session. If you wish, you can prop up on one of your elbows and see your little one peacefully nursing.
However, on strenuous days, you can keep lying down as your baby feeds. Make sure not to fall asleep in this position as that might suffocate the baby. To provide additional support to your little one’s head and neck, you can use a breastfeeding pillow or a rolled towel.
If you are hearing this name for the first time, then let us help you visualize it. What picture comes to your mind when you hear the word breastfeeding? Yes, it is exactly what you are thinking. Mom sitting straight with the baby’s body resting along her forearm on one side.
The baby’s tummy touches her stomach and they are nursing from one breast. This classic position is the cradle-hold. To enhance comfort while feeding in this posture, use an armrest or a pillow for support.
Do not forget to ensure that your baby’s head aligns with the rest of their body. Otherwise, it can cause discomfort to the baby, resulting in difficulty to latch properly, ultimately giving you sore nipples.
4. Upright Breastfeeding
Upright breastfeeding as the name suggests requires your baby to sit straight, straddling you. If you have been looking for appropriate breastfeeding positions for babies with reflux and ear infection, then your search stops here. Upright breastfeeding or Koala hold as it is more popularly known, is your way to go.
While it is much easier to practice this hold with older babies, for newborns you have to provide a lot of support. Hold your baby using the arm of the side same as that of the breast they are nursing from. Use the other hand to support your breast as they feed from it.
5. Cross-cradle Hold
One of the most suitable breastfeeding positions for newborns is the cross-cradle hold. Besides, if you are a new mommy and your little one presents latching difficulties, then we hope trying this hold might work for you.
In this position, there is a switch in the role of arms from what we saw in the cradle hold. It means, in the cradle-hold, your right hand shall support your baby when they are nursing from your right breast. However, in the cross-cradle hold, if your baby is feeding from the right breast, it is your left hand that should provide support.
Since the arm opposite the nursing breast side is completely free, it allows you to have more control over the baby. You can use the free hand to hold your breast or gently support your baby’s back of the head.
6. Dancer Hand Breastfeeding
This qualifies as one of the most suitable breastfeeding positions for newborns with illness or disability. For babies with premature birth, low muscle tone, or down syndrome, latching without support become difficult. In such situations, the dancer hold can come to the rescue.
Support your breast by placing all fingers on one side and your thumb on the other. As your baby comes to latch, release your thumb and index finger supporting your breast to form a ‘U’ shape just in front of it.
Support the jaw of your baby between those two fingers; thumb on one side and index finger on the other side. This position provides incredible support to your baby and makes latching easier.
7. Nursing In a Sling
In the list of interesting breastfeeding positions, you will surely find nursing in a sling. If your baby is a seasoned breastfeeder and knows how to hold their head upright, then you must give this a try and experience the flexibility it offers.
You can put your little one in a sling and go about doing your chores as they nurse till they are full. The only caveat is to make sure that your baby’s chin is not pressed against their chest.
Making your baby acquainted with this posture can be of great help during travel. You will neither have to worry about finding a suitable spot to nurse nor will you have to halt for nursing. No one can stop a baby and momma if they agree to team up!
There is no perfect breastfeeding position to be in. Depending on your comfort, your baby’s health, and their stage of development, the breastfeeding positions that will suit you the most will vary. Therefore, be open to experimenting with different holds. It will take several tries before you and your baby become comfortable with one feeding posture.
So give time. However, if you see prolonged fussiness in your baby during feeding, difficulties with latching, and insufficient feeding, then consult a lactation consultant without delay. They will spot the issue and suggest ways to find a way around it.
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