Breastfeeding Positions

March 10, 2008

As new mothers become more confident in breastfeeding their little ones, they will also discover new feeding positions. However, in the beginning most of them start off with the cradle hold as this seems to be the natural position for both mother and baby. The baby lies on his side, facing the nipple. While mother can hold him comfortably in both her arms without loosing control over what is happening, baby feels close, protected and warm. This tummy-to-tummy position seems ideal for a more relaxing experience, especially in the beginning.

The clutch hold: This position is ideal when you had a caesarean and you don’t want to put too much pressure on your abdomen. It may also facilitate breastfeeding for mothers with large breasts or if you are nursing twins. You hold your baby at your side, holding his legs under your arm. It is recommended to use a pillow to bring baby up to the level of the nipple, so holding baby should not become a strain. You support baby’s head with the right hand if he is feeding from the right breast (and vice versa).

The side-lying position: This position is preferred when baby needs a feed in the middle of the night or when you are having a rest. You lie on your side with baby in front of you on his back. He may either turn his head towards the nipple or lie on his side, so tummy-to-tummy. It is important that his mouth is in line with your nipple. You may find it helpful to support your breast with your hand. Putting a pillow behind baby’s back to keep him from rolling back (if he lies on his side) may also be helpful.

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