Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to connect with your baby. Although breastfeeding is natural, most mothers and babies struggle to feel comfortable during breastfeeding. And believe me, this is also natural! No ability can be acquired suddenly. Since parental care must be learned through experience, so must breastfeeding! Some may have difficulty holding the baby properly, some may feel uncomfortable while breastfeeding, and some babies will not stick at all. Testing the best breastfeeding positions that work for both mother and newborn can help make breastfeeding easy and comfortable.
In today’s article, I discuss the best breastfeeding positions that a new mom can try to make the whole process comfortable and fruitful.
8 best breastfeeding positions for new mothers and newborns
The way you hold your baby affects how easily the baby can breastfeed. If the grip during breastfeeding is correct, the latch will be right and the baby will be able to transfer milk effortlessly. Difficult breastfeeding positions that put undue pressure on the sutures immediately after birth or put pressure on mom or baby can negatively affect the whole experience. Knowledge of safe breastfeeding positions is important for the comfort and safety of both mother and baby.
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There are different breastfeeding positions. Each duet for mother and baby has its own comfortable position for breastfeeding. There is no right or wrong position for breastfeeding, what works best for you both is the right position for you. Well, here are the 7 best breastfeeding positions worth trying to find out which one is best for you.
# 1. Booking a cradle
This position is the classic breastfeeding position when you think of breastfeeding. In this position, sit upright with the baby’s head and neck along your forearm and the baby’s body on your stomach.
Breastfeeding at the base site will be difficult for a mom who has just had a caesarean section. This works best for toddlers (over 3 months) and also when you want to breastfeed your baby in public.
While breastfeeding in this position, make sure to keep the baby’s ears, shoulders and hips in a straight line. You can use a pillow to support your hand to hold the baby at breast level. Also, a pillow behind you will help you sit comfortably and reduce the pressure on your shoulder and neck.
# 2. Cross base
This position sounds similar to the base position, but is much more effective and easier for newborns.
In this position, you should hold your baby on the opposite forearm. that is, if you want to feed your baby on the left side, you have to hold your baby on the right forearm. Hold your baby’s ear with one thumb and another ear with the index finger. Be sure to support your baby with the rest of your palm. Help your baby lock by tapping the baby’s upper lip with your nipple. Use the support palm to gently push towards the breast as the baby opens his mouth. This position also allows you to hold a free hand to care for your baby.
# 3. Relaxed position
The relaxed or back position or biological upbringing comes as an instinctive position for the mother and baby immediately after the baby is born. The baby is fully supported by the mom lying on a bed with the help of a pillow or cushion. In this position, mom and baby face each other with the baby lying on mom’s breast, making skin-to-skin contact. The relaxation position stimulates the baby’s reflexes to find the nipple, latch and nurse (breast scan).
The relaxed position is better for mothers who want to rest and need to breastfeed often and also for babies who have trouble getting stuck.
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The football or rugby position is best for mothers who have had a caesarean section. For this position, the baby’s legs are resting on your back or resting on a pillow.
To breastfeed, hold your hand behind the baby’s shoulders hidden under your arm. This position, also known as the armpit or clutch position, also works best for twin breastfed or breastfed babies as babies take their own space to feed.
# 5. Australian handle
Also known as a saddle, this breastfeeding position is for older babies who can hold their head upright and are large enough to sit on your lap facing you.
In this position, the baby sits comfortably on your thigh facing you while feeding. This is the preferred position in older babies and also for babies at risk of ear infection.
# 6. Reversing a side lie
This variant of lateral breastfeeding relieves your sore throat.
While your position is the same as the side position, your baby’s feet are towards your head. This will also give you relief from completely emptying your breasts as the baby secures from a different angle. You can place a folded baby towel or blanket under your baby’s head to bring his mouth to nipple level. A tightly wrapped towel behind your baby can provide the right support and also prevent the baby from rolling on his / her back to the other side.
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# 7. Side support position
In this position, the baby is held in the same way as in the cradle position, but the mother is on her back and leans on her side holding the baby with one hand and using the opposite hand to guide the baby to nipple.
This position is good when the body aches after an incision or normal delivery.
# 8. Lie position
In this position, lie comfortably on your side with the support of a pillow behind you. Your baby is lying on a thin pillow or a folded towel facing you, belly to belly. Make sure your baby’s ears, shoulders and hips are in a straight line and that your baby’s nose is not blocked by your chest. Not all mothers are comfortable with this position, but once you are with her, she is one of the most helpful. The best part is that you can lie down and rest while your baby is feeding.
If you have had a caesarean section and need a lot of rest, the position next to you gets more rest and sleep. This is also best for breastfeeding at night.
Different breastfeeding positions work for different mother babies. Whatever position you choose or may work for you, there are a few things to keep in mind,
- Let your baby insure himself by bringing him close to your breast. Also, make sure the baby locks properly as a good latch is important to avoid pain.
- Make sure your baby’s ears, shoulders and hips are in a straight line.
- Get everything you need – water, remote, mobile, snacks before you start feeding.
- Make sure you and your baby are in a comfortable position. You can relax using pillows or cushions.
If your baby is having a hard time finding a good latch or is not feeding well, do not give up! All new mothers struggle at first, but as you connect and breastfeed regularly, the condition will definitely improve. You can also get help from a doctor, breastfeeding counselor or experienced mother. So, find out the best breastfeeding positions for you and make breastfeeding the most unique experience.