As a mom, the breastfeeding experience, although hard, lends a beautiful start to an inexplicable bond that develops between you and your baby. Breastfeeding takes time, patience, and effort for most moms to perfect the technique. Thankfully, there are many tried and tested breastfeeding positions that can be used depending on the baby’s age, the size and shape of your breast, the type of birth you have had and so on.
We have rounded up some of the best breastfeeding positions that you can choose from.
The Cradle Hold
The position is a classic and is used commonly to feed newborn babies. To feed your baby in this position, cradle your baby’s head with the crook of your arm. Support his neck and spine with the forearm and rest his body on your lap or a cushion. When feeding your baby using the cradle hold, rest your body against a comfortable chair or a bed propped up with pillows. Rest your feet on a stool or table to avoid leaning over and straining your back.
The cradle hold works best for full-term babies born through vaginal delivery.
The Cross-cradle Hold
This position is similar to the cradle hold with the baby lying sideways but differs with respect to the arm that supports the little one during breastfeeding. In a cradle hold, when nursing from the right breast, you would support the baby with your right arm, whereas in the cross-cradle hold, you would use the left hand and arm to support the baby.
The cross-cradle position works well for smaller babies and for those who have trouble latching on.
The Side-lying Position
The position is for moms who prefer to feed their babies in bed. Lie down on your side with the baby facing you. Feed him from the breast that rests on the bed. Use a pillow or a rolled-up towel to support the baby’s back when feeding.
The side-lying position is advisable for moms who have undergone cesarean and find it difficult to nurse in a seated position. It is also great if have a sleepy baby so she stays alert and breastfeeds for longer.
The Football Hold
Also called the clutch hold, this position is where you tuck your baby under the arm like a football or a handbag. To form the football hold, keep your baby’s feet facing backward and his nose in level with your nipple. Rest your arm on a pillow or your lap while supporting your baby’s head and body with your hand and forearm. Slowly guide your baby to the nipple, but not so much that he resists and arches the body away.
The football hold is best for moms who’ve had C-sections as well as for moms with large breasts or twins.
The Laid-back Position
This is one of the most comfortable positions for the mom and baby. Recline about 45 degrees on the surface you’d like to rest on – a bed, a sofa or a couch.
Use adequate pillows or cushions to support your body. Lay your baby flat on the tummy with his face on top of the breasts and the arms hugging your breasts from both sides.
The laid-back position works well for women who’ve had a vaginal delivery as those with C-section may want to avoid the weight of the baby on their tummy.
You should remember to switch sides while breastfeeding your baby and always ensure that the latch is proper. There isn’t one breastfeeding position that works for all. So, it’s only natural for you to go through trials and errors before you and your bundle of joy settle down on the one that works for both of you.