Breastfeeding is natural, but it doesn’t mean that it is easy for every mom. Sometimes it can take quite a lot of effort to get used to it. However, eventually, you will find your own perfect position to breastfeed your little one. What’s important is that you both feel comfortable while breastfeeding. Besides, knowing a few different breastfeeding positions could be really helpful. After all, life often requires us to be versatile, especially as your baby grows bigger and you will be busier when you are back to work. So, here are some helpful breastfeeding positions for babies.
Laid-back breastfeeding is considered to be one of the best breastfeeding positions by many mothers because it’s so natural and relaxing for both baby and mom. Like its name, this position is just like when you lean back on a couch and watch TV but with your baby lying on your stomach or chest. Skin-to-skin contact in this position has many benefits like helping your baby’s feeding instincts and the process of latching. The baby can rest on top of yours and you will notice the little one starts to look for the nipple by using senses immediately. But, you should also guide and help your baby to latch more easily.
However, this natural breastfeeding isn’t just for newborns. It can also work very well with babies of any age. In addition, it might be really useful when your baby struggles to latch or if they have a forceful let-down. While laid-back breastfeeding, you should recline gently rather than lie flat on your back. Plus, having a pillow so you are supported and able to see your baby easier.
This position is what most of us picture when we think about breastfeeding. You need to sit upright with your baby’s head and neck laying along your forearm while the baby is against your stomach (tummy-to-tummy position). Despite being a very popular position, it is not always easy because it doesn’t give your baby as much support as other holds. Lots of moms use a breastfeeding pillow while nursing in this position since it can make it easier and more comfortable. But, remember to make sure the pillow doesn’t lift your baby too high to avoid a strained latch.
This one is very similar to the cradle hold but your arms switch roles so the baby can lie along the opposite forearm. The goal is to give your baby extra head support. Plus, it is also good for babies with latching difficulties. You can have more control over the baby's position because your baby is fully supported on your opposite arm. And, you can also use your free-hand to shape your breast. In the early days, make sure you don’t hold your baby too much around the head as it might create a shallow latch (your nipple hits the base of the baby’s tongue).
Learning a side-lying position gives you an opportunity to rest and it can be very comfortable too. However, it is quite tricky to do; you might want to latch in a semi-reclining position and then gently slide down to side-lying. Have your baby snuggled in close when the baby’s noses level with your nipple just before the latch. Remember to check if the baby has to turn their head in order to latch because they won’t be comfortable or able to swallow in that position. Plus, you can put your arm around the little one to keep the baby still while breastfeeding.
Also known as Koala hold, in this position, your baby needs to straddle on your thigh or hip and stay upright while breastfeeding. Plus, it’s also a convenient way to feed older babies who can sit unaided. The koala hold is the most comfortable breastfeeding position for babies who suffer from reflux problems or tongue-tie.
Choose What Works for You
Whichever breastfeeding position you choose. Just remember to make sure you and your baby are comfy. You should buy some breastfeeding equipment if you need more supports, it would come in handy even after that.
Remember to gather everything you need, such as drinks, your mobile or TV remote before you start feeding your baby. And don’t forget to have a wee first because you may not be able to get up again for some time!
If your baby has difficulty latching or breastfeeding makes you sore, seek support from a lactation consultant or breastfeeding specialist. They will also be able to show you how to support your baby and help you breastfeed more comfortably.