Position is Key
If you are a first time mother and have never done it before, face it; breastfeeding might get a little awkward and complicated for you. Yes, it is one of the most natural things of motherhood, but just like everything else that is beneficial – this too takes time and every ounce of patience you have in your body.If you are a first time mother and have never done it before, face it; breastfeeding might get a little awkward and complicated for you. Yes, it is one of the most natural things of motherhood, but just like everything else that is beneficial – this too takes time and every ounce of patience you have in your body.
If you have been observing your surroundings during pregnancy, you would have noticed that most nursing mothers prefer sitting in a glider or in a cozy chair with armrests. Footstools and pillows can also help make you feel more comfortable as they provide more support even when nursing in bed.
Apart from the normal breastfeeding routines, positioning is also one of the most essential elements for a successful breastfeeding experience.
While there are uncountable amount of positions you could try, babies tend to be very fussy. The position you least enjoy, might be the one your little one is most comfortable with. Of course, when your mummy instincts kick in – you would do basically anything for her.
We do however; encourage you to find a position that you and baby are both comfortable with. Below are a few common ones that you could consider when you start breastfeeding.
Always Remember to…
#1 Support your body – Extra pillows are great!
#2 Support your breasts – Use your free hand for this!
#3 Support your baby – Especially their head, neck & upper back!
#4 Vary your routine – Change positions, switch breasts!
#5 Relax, then nurse – Breathe as much as possible!
The Cradle Hold
The cradle hold position is the ultimate classic position and goes way back in time. It requires you to cradle your baby, with her head resting in the crook of your arm.
Sit in a chair with armrests so your hands don’t get tired, and rest your feet on a footstool or coffee table to avoid leaning down toward your baby.
Hold her in your lap so that she is lying on her side with her face, stomach and knees facing straight at you. It is important to support her neck, spine while cradling her.
Works best for: This position usually works best for full-term babies who were delivered vaginally. Some mothers find it difficult to guide their baby’s mouth to their nipple, so you might want to try this position once your baby has stronger neck muscle, approximately at about a month old. Women who have had a cesarean section may find it puts too much pressure on their abdomen.
The Cross-Over Hold
This position differs from the cradle hold because instead of the crook of your arm protecting your baby’s head, your arms switch roles and you use to palm to hold your baby’s head.
If you are nursing from your right breast, use your left hand and arm to hold your baby. Rotate her body until her chest and tummy are facing you. With your thumb and fingers behind her head, guide her to your breast.
Works best for: This position is great for smaller babies and infants who have issues latching on well.
The Clutch or American Football Hold
This position requires you to tuck your baby under your arm like holding a football, and that would be would have to be on the same side you are nursing from. Start by positioning your baby by your side, under your arm. Her nose should be where your nipple is, with her feet pointing toward your back.
Place a pillow on your lap for you to rest your other arm on, and with that hand support your baby’s neck, shoulders and back. Using a C-hold, guide her to your nipple, chin first.
Try not to force her to your nipple so much. If she is strong enough and tries to resist by arching back, she might hurt her neck, which is why it is very important for you to support her upper back.
Works best for: This position is great for anyone who has had a Cesarean section because it helps avoid your baby resting on your stomach. Also works for small babies who have trouble latching on as this position allows you to guide your baby to your nipple. Apart from that, it is suitable for women with large breasts, flat nipples and women who are nursing twins.
To nurse while lying on your side in bed, you can start by placing pillows behind your back and below your head for support. The main goal here is to keep your back and hips in a straight line.
With your baby facing you, cradle his head with either one of your arms you feel most comfortable with. If she can’t reach your breast, place a small pillow under her head. She should not have to strain to reach your breast, and you should not have to lower your body to reach her either.
Works best for: The reclining position is good for anyone who has had a Cesarean section or a rough delivery. Sitting up can be uncomfortable sometimes, and this happens to be a great alternative.