Best Breastfeeding Positions – You and Your Baby Will Love
Breast milk is the healthiest and safest nutrition for your baby. It is easily digestible and has all the essential nutrients your baby requires to grow. It is also good for baby’s better emotional security and mental development. Breastfed babies have better immune systems and better tooth and jaw development.
Breastfeeding is no doubt, one of the most natural obligations in the world, hence, calls for a little practice, patience, and coordination. Every day, you and your baby are going to spend hours on breastfeeding. We have compiled a list of best breastfeeding positions that you and your baby will love!
1. The Cradle Hold
The ‘cradle hold’ is one of the most natural breastfeeding positions. In this position, you will cradle the head of your baby in your arm’s crook.
- Lie in the bed with a nursing pillow or sit in the chair having supportive armrests.
- Rest your feet on any raised surface such as a coffee table or stool.
- Now, hold your baby on a pillow in your lap such that he is lying on his side with his knees, stomach, and face facing you directly.
- Tuck his lower arm underneath your own.
- If he is breastfeeding on the left breast, rest his head on the crook of your left arm.
- Extend your hand or forearm down his back as to support his bottom, neck, and spine.
- Secure his knees below your right breast, against your body.
- He should lie at the slight angle, or horizontally.
The cradle hold position works better for the babies who were delivered naturally delivery. Some mothers complain that this position is difficult to guide the infant’s mouth to the nipples. Hence, opt for this breastfeeding position once your baby’s neck muscles get enough strength which may take the first month. Mothers who had cesarean should avoid this position as it is likely to put a lot of pressure on their abdomen.
2. The Football or Clutch Hold
This position is regarded as one of the best breastfeeding positions by many mums. As its name suggests, the football hold requires tucking your baby underneath your arm like a handbag or football (on the very side which you are nursing from).
- Firstly, place your baby underneath your arm at your side. His feet should be pointing towards your back, and his face should be at the level of your breast.
- Place your arm on the pillow resting in your lap while supporting your baby’s head, neck, and shoulders with your hand. Use this C-hold to guide your baby to the nipple.
The football or clutch hold is the best position for breastfeeding especially for the women who have gone through C-section (as it avoids the baby’s pressure on your abdomen), have twins, and have XL size baby.
3. The Cross-Cradle Hold
This position is also known as cross-over hold. It differs from the typical cradle hold in having your baby rested at arm opposite to your breast. If you are nursing from your left arm, then use your right arm and hand to hold your baby.
- Rest your fingers and thumb below your baby’s ears and behind his head. Rotate his body in a way that his tummy and chest should be directly facing you.
This position is best for breastfeeding infants who have difficulty latching on or for small size babies.
4. The Reclining Position
Most women prefer this reclining position while lying in bed. Your hips and back should be in a straight line. For this, ask your helper or partner to put many pillows behind you for better support. You can also place a pillow between the bent knees and under your head.
- Cradle your baby’s head with your lower arm or hand, or with your upper arm (while tucking the lower arm underneath your head).
- If the baby is facing trouble reaching the nipple, then place a small, comfortable pillow under his head, too.
- Lift the breast with fingers, so your baby can reach easily to the nipple.
This position is best for the mums who have gone through difficult delivery or cesarean as sitting up might be painful for them.
5. Laid Back Breastfeeding Position
What is more comforting than kicking back in your bed? Laid back breastfeeding position, also known as ‘biological nurturing’, is about employing positions which stimulate natural nurturing reflexes in both babies and mothers. Hence, you have biological permission to breastfeed your baby with these laid-back breastfeeding positions.
- Find a couch or bed which is not flat but having a leaning back so that gravity keeps him in position when you put him on your breast.
- Your head, as well as shoulders, should be well held. Let your entire front touch your baby’s entire front.
- You have no lap as you are leaning back, so rest your baby in any position. However, his entire front should be on your body.
- Let his cheeks rest on your breast
- Help your baby as much as you can because you two are a team.
- You can either hold the breast or not.
The laid-back breastfeeding positions can be executed in several ways, provided that your baby’s tummy lies on you. He can lie diagonally under the breasts, vertically below the breasts, across the breasts, and even over the mother’s shoulders as shown in the above pictures. All these laid back breastfeeding positions are best for the mothers having cesarean so that the baby will not rest on your incision.
All the natural and best breastfeeding positions such as cradle hold, cross-cradle hold, football hold, reclining, and laid back positions come in handy. It is not compulsory that you try each of them. Soon after having the ‘apple of your eye’ in your hands, you will naturally learn your best positions according to your disposition by trial and error.