It comes as a surprise to many women when they have a baby that breastfeeding may not be easy. It can take practice to get the baby to latch, create enough milk to feed them regularly, and get the optimum breastfeeding position.
Different babies and different moms find different positions easier, and if this isn’t your first baby or time breastfeeding, don’t be surprised if this baby doesn’t respond to the same position that their older sibling did.
Learning about your baby’s preferences is one of the key parts of the feeding process and will help you bond with them better. So, with this in mind, what are some of the most popular breastfeeding positions?
This is the most well-known and, therefore, the most popular breastfeeding position that new mothers tend to try. But, if you have had a c-section, this can be uncomfortable, and you may need some additional help for it to be done comfortably.
If you end up struggling with this position or any position for that matter, a professional breastfeeding expert, such as the IBCLC lactation consultant, can help facilitate the process and offer advice.
To feed your baby in the cradle hold, lay them across your lap facing you, and place their head on your forearm with their nose aimed at your nipple. Your hand should be supporting their weight and gently guiding them towards your nipple. This position is best achieved in a chair while sitting upright.
Laying On Your Side
This is an optimum position to try if you have had a difficult delivery or a cesarean. It’s also great if you are breastfeeding at 2 am and don’t want to get out of bed.
Lay on your side with your baby facing you, so you are both positioned tummy to tummy. Put some pillows behind you for support, and support your baby’s head with a rolled-up blanket or a pillow. Use the arm you are laying on to support your head, or place it behind you, and guide your baby’s mouth towards your nipple.
This is quite literally what it sounds like and involves you laying back in a semi-reclined position to feed your baby on either a sofa or a bed. If you have had a cesarean section, this position can allow skin-to-skin contact with your baby without them needing to touch the incision.
You lean back on the sofa (not all the way) and prop yourself up with cushions or pillows so that your neck and back are supported. Place your baby on your tummy (their tummy should be touching yours) or lay them on one side. Make sure you can comfortably look down and see their eyes and then guide them to your nipple.
This is the optimum position to use if you are breastfeeding twins, as well as babies that were born via c-section.
First, simply sit in a chair with a cushion or pillow on your side. Then, position your baby at your side, under your arm, with your hips touching their hips. In this position, their nose should be level with your nipple, and you should be supporting the back of their head with your hand.
Remember, these are just rough guides to feeding your baby. If you want more help with breastfeeding techniques, talk to a breastfeeding consultant or a doctor.