All About Upright Breastfee...

When you look up breastfeeding positions, there is a long list of them made available to you. However, not all positions are suitable for every mom-baby duo. The key to finding the perfect position that suits your baby is through experimentation. If you are a new mum and are trying to figure out a suitable hold for nursing your baby, then this post on upright breastfeeding positions, newborn is for you. Go through the details and see if it works for you.


How To Do Upright Breastfeeding?

Upright breastfeeding is one of the most commonly practiced methods of nursing by breastfeeding mothers. It is also known as the koala hold because your tiny baby sitting on you and feeding resembles a cute koala.


While the name itself implies the position in which you need to adjust your baby, we will lay out some important guidelines for you to get comfortable with your baby. To get into the koala hold, sit straight on a chair or lean against your bed or a pile of pillows. You can recline a little if you wish to.


Bring your baby to sit on your thigh in such a way that they straddle you. Support their back and pull them closer to you. The most ideal way of upright breastfeeding is to have a tummy-to-tummy connection with your baby.


Ensure that their nose touches your nipple. This will facilitate easier latching. If your little one doesn’t reach up to your breasts when sitting on your thighs, then roll up a blanket or towel and place it below them to raise them up to the desired height. You can use a pillow for the same too.


If they are all set to suck and have not yet opened their mouth, then touch your nipple to their nose. This will make them open their mouth wide open and help them latch on. However, if you feel the latch wasn’t proper, break the flow by inserting a clean finger between your nipple and their mouth and try again. Remember, improper latching can give you really sore nipples.


This position is usually very comfortable for older babies. However, if you are breastfeeding newborns in the upright position, then ensure that you provide enough support to their back and neck as they are yet to gain full control over their bodies. However, do not hold their neck so rigidly that they can’t bend it to nurse from your breasts.


Other Upright Breastfeeding Positions, Newborn

When we talk about upright breastfeeding positions, the koala hold is the one to flash across our minds. However, there are a few other positions, where the baby remains in a relatively upright position. Let’s discuss in brief about them.


  • Laid-back position: often called biological nurturing, this breastfeeding position stimulates the natural feeding reflexes of the baby. All you have to do is recline on a chair, couch, or bed and make your baby lay on your body, upright, tummy-to-tummy. They will crawl up to your breasts when they are hungry.
  • Football hold: Here, the baby’s head remains in front of the mother’s breast. Their body and legs are tucked under the arms of the mother, supported by the bed or pillows.


Benefits Of Upright Breastfeeding Positions, Newborn

Here are some advantages of breastfeeding newborns in the upright position.

Helps During Forceful Let-down

Most breastfeeding mums must have encountered this at least once. If you are new to the term, then forceful let-down, as it sounds is milk spurting from the breasts. It is a sign of overproduction of milk.


While most of the time it is not problematic and you will even find some babies enjoying the force of let-down, at times it can prove to be a bane, especially for newborns. Since they are so tiny and are just taking on the new habit, swallowing all of the milk flowing into their mouth with such force becomes tough. They either choke or splutter the milk.


When you are breastfeeding in the upright position, you can lean back a little. This slows down the pace of the flow of milk from your breasts, thus enhancing the comfort for your baby to feed.

Leaning back while your baby is still upright and tummy-to-tummy with you will shift you to a new position known as the laid-back position. This will keep your baby’s throat higher relative to your nipple. So the milk has to go up before traveling down the throat, thus undergoing a reduction in the speed of flow.


Helps Babies With reflux

Reflux is common in babies. Food from the mouth passes through a tube called the esophagus, pushes through a sphincter, and enters the stomach. In babies, the sphincter is poorly developed. So when their tummies are full, it opens and the contents of the stomach travel up. In addition, their esophagus is short. So it's easier for the food coming back up to reach the mouth. This leads to reflux, where babies are seen spitting up milk after a feed.


Breastfeeding in the upright position helps alleviate this condition. Since the influence of gravity remains strong in such a  posture, it holds down milk in their stomach and decreases the chance of reflux.


position of Breastfeeding
Helps Babies With Ear Infections

Babies with ear infections usually indicate their discomfort by crying. When you lay them down, the pressure on their blocked ear increases, enhancing the pain multi-folds. Therefore, those babies prefer to be held upright and the upright breastfeeding position is a blessing for them.


Less Strain On Your Hands

Cradling your baby throughout the feeding session can sometimes be too hard on your hands. You don’t have to sit through the discomfort. Make your baby straddle you and let them nurse in the upright position for as long as they want. All you have to do is place your hand gently on their back for support. This takes a lot of strain off your body. Besides, it is a very helpful position for breastfeeding heavy babies for the reasons just discussed.


This was all about upright breastfeeding positions, newborn. If you have tried it, then we hope you are enjoying it. If you haven’t then do try and see how your baby responds. After all, there is no harm in exploring different breastfeeding positions, isn't it?