Laid-back Breastfeeding Position: Everything You Need To Know
The beginning of the breastfeeding journey can be bumpy, especially finding the right position. There is a long list of breastfeeding postures that you can experiment with before you and your baby come across your favorite.
However, this post is all about the laid-back breastfeeding position, the favorite of most mums and lactation consultants. Keep reading to find out all about it.
What Is Laid-back Breastfeeding Position?
The laid-back breastfeeding position, as the name suggests is a breastfeeding posture that imparts women the liberty to relax or recline. For many new mums, it is the first-ever hold for nursing their newborns. This position requires women to recline in the most relaxed manner, just like one does while watching television.
The baby is put tummy-down on the mom and is left to wriggle towards their breasts. This breastfeeding position, in addition to being extremely comfortable and allowing efficient latching, helps enhance physical contact between the mother and child, thus fostering a beautiful bond between them.
Biological Nurturing and Baby-led Latch
These are no new techniques. Biological nurturing and Baby-led nurturing are just other names for the laid-back or reclined position for breastfeeding. The significance of this breastfeeding position lies in its ability to stimulate a baby’s instinctive feeding reflexes.
All young animals are capable of tracing their food source. Human newborns are no different. When placed close to their source of food, which is their breasts, in this case, they can find their way to it and latch.
What assists the process is the secretion of fluid from special glands in the breasts that guides babies to them. Since it stimulates a baby’s instinctive feeding reflexes it is known as biological nurturing.
Besides, as the baby takes the lead while nursing in this breastfeeding position, it is referred to as a baby-led latch. In the reclined position, you don’t have to restrict yourself in a posture and worry about your baby cooperating during the nursing session.
As your hungry baby crawls up to your breasts and feeds peacefully, you can spend some quiet time cuddling and fondling them.
The Right Way Of Practicing Laid-back Breastfeeding
Regardless of the breastfeeding position you choose, you should always prioritize your and your baby’s comfort. There is no perfect way; just the most suitable fit. If you are going for laid-back breastfeeding, then get yourself into a semi-reclined position in such a way that you can make eye contact with your baby when they lie on you.
Ensure that your back, head, and neck are well supported to prevent fatigue during the breastfeeding session. Since laid-back breastfeeding allows a wonderful window for mothers and babies to have skin-to-skin contact, you can choose to be bare-chested while nursing. However, there is no compulsion. You can just adjust your clothes in a way that your baby gets unrestricted access to your breasts.
The next step is to put your baby on you, tummy-down. You can make your baby lie down vertically or choose any angle that suits you best. Just make sure that their face is close to your breast, preferably, in a nose-to-nipple situation. Technically, this marks the end of guidelines for getting into the reclined position.
Once you are set, spend time bonding with your baby. Cuddle, kiss, stroke, and comfort them. Don’t force them to feed. If they are drowsy, let them sleep in that position.
When they are hungry, they will show some signs. Catch the cues and help them, nurse. Some most common signs in babies that you should look out for while laid-back breastfeeding are:-
Clenching their fists
Making eye contact
Licking their lips
Pushing their way upwards
Laid-back Breastfeeding After Cesarean Delivery
Many mums who are recovering from a cesarean delivery find the reclined position very comfortable. However, there is a catch. In laid-back breastfeeding, your baby will push your body to make way toward your breasts when hungry.
For a mother recovering from surgery, this might be an inconvenience, since even their little kicks can be painful for her incision area. Therefore, putting the baby in the stomach region has negligible chances.
Hence, for laid-back breastfeeding after cesarean delivery, there are other ways to position a baby. One way is to hold the baby horizontally across your chest. Their head can lie close to one of your breasts, while their body points towards the other breast. Another way is to place your baby lying by you, sideways.
Their head should be close to one of your breasts and their bodies can lie under your armpit, supported by the bed, sofa, or chair. These positions ensure that new mommies get enough physical space to recover. If initially, you find it difficult to lift and position your baby, then don’t shy away from seeking help. Allow a family member to help you both get comfortable.
Benefits Of Laid-back Breastfeeding Position
Here are a few advantages of the laid-back breastfeeding position:-
1. It is a comfortable position for mothers who have had a cesarean delivery, an episiotomy incision, or a painful and difficult childbirth, owing to which they are unable to sit for long periods.
2. It enhances skin-to-skin contact between the mother and child, helping them bond better.
3. It gives more power to the baby to act as per their feeding instincts and lead the nursing session.
4. Since gravity has a major role to play in this posture, latching becomes more efficient. Babies who present latching difficulties might get the hang of breastfeeding after trying this approach.
5. Since your baby latches properly, it will decrease the number of episodes with sore nipples for you.
6. In this position, your hands are completely free to stroke and pat your baby. This continued expression of affection and physical comfort calms the babies and helps build early confidence.
We hope you have a clear insight into the laid-back breastfeeding position. It stands true to its name, a relaxed and laid-back approach. Allow your little one more freedom to exercise its feeding instincts, let them take the lead as you recline, and watch your little worm squirm up to suck its food.