Top Breastfeeding Positions For Mom and Baby

7 min read

Written by Pradeep

Pradeep

Top Breastfeeding Positions For Mom And Baby

As a new mom, you may have many apprehensions, especially when breastfeeding. Will your baby latch on without fuss? Will you be able to produce enough milk? And in what position should you feed your little one?  When you have your first baby and you are new to breastfeeding, you would want to try some new positions in which you can breastfeed your baby. This article details top breastfeeding positions for mom and baby.

Exploring breastfeeding positions is an essential part of breastfeeding. It will help you identify which position is the best for breastfeeding for you and your baby. This will not just make you confident but also help with what best works for you and your baby. You don’t need to breastfeed in just one single position throughout. You can try more positions depending on the comfort levels of you and your baby.

In This Article

Why is Breastfeeding Important?

Breastfeeding is essential for newborns. Mother’s milk provides the best source of nutrition for babies by providing them with essential vitamins, fats, proteins, and everything else required by the baby’s body to grow and keep them nourished. It also builds a baby’s resistance levels. Breast milk is easily digested by babies, and it contains antibodies that keep your baby away from viruses, bacteria, and infectious diseases.

We are aware that babies have an immature digestive system, and they cannot digest anything and everything. Still, they need a proper source of nutrition for growth and development. Breast milk provides all of this and more. Breastfeeding also creates a bonding between the mother and the baby. Skin-to-skin touch is vital for baby’s growth and weight gain and breastfeeding ensures this contact between the mom and the baby.

When to Start Breastfeeding?

When to Start Breastfeeding

Most babies are ready to have breastmilk immediately after birth while others will have milk 1 to 2 hours after. In most cases, you can begin breastfeeding within a few hours after your baby is born. When your baby is born, you would be thrilled and excited to lift them in your arms and you may even be encouraged to hold them against your skin, also known as skin-to-skin contact or “kangaroo care”. This shows your affection for your child and creates the much-needed mom-baby bond. This affection will ultimately encourage you to breastfeed your baby, and your baby to latch and have milk from you.

Once your baby is born, your breasts start to fill up with breastmilk. Firstly, your body will produce “colostrum” which is a pre-milk that can think and be watery or thick or yellowish. Pre-milk lasts for just some time until your baby learns fully to nurse. After around 4-5 days, once the nursing period is over, the real breastmilk will start to flow in.

[Read : Kangaroo Mother Care For Newborn Babies]

How to Start Breastfeeding a Baby?

Once you are ready for breastfeeding, place your baby in a position against your breast with which you and your baby are comfortable. After that, as it’s the first time you are breastfeeding your infant, it is essential to guide your baby’s mouth towards your nipple. When your baby and you are in a breastfeeding position, you must ensure that your baby’s mouth is covering the entire areola (the darker side of your nipple).

As you start breastfeeding, you might hear small noises of your baby sucking. Although breastfeeding is not a painful process, if you are feeling some kind of pain while breastfeeding, you might not have latched your baby correctly onto the areola.

Below are some steps that need to be followed while breastfeeding your infant:

  1. Rinse your hands with soap and sanitize them before breastfeeding your baby.
  2. Place your baby in the most comfortable breastfeeding position.
  3. Now, place your free hand’s thumb on the top of your breast and your other fingers below.
  4. Guide your baby’s mouth towards your breasts until they open their mouth wide-opened.
  5. Put your nipple entirely into your baby’s mouth and pull your baby close to you.
  6. Allow your baby to suck the milk.

[Read : Breastfeeding Pains and Discomfort]

Top 5 Comfortable Breastfeeding Positions For Mom and Baby

Breastfeeding is a natural activity that takes time to learn. But when you are fully aware of breastfeeding tactics, you will find this activity the easiest and the loveliest activity in your motherhood. Breastfeeding positions should be chosen in a way that makes the baby and the mother comfortable and for your convenience, we have mentioned different breastfeeding positions for mom and baby below.

1. Cradle Hold

Cradle Hold

The cradle hold is one of the most common breastfeeding positions for mom and baby. But it might be a little difficult to breastfeed your baby in a Cradle hold initially. Once you get used to this position of breastfeeding, you will realize that this is one of the best and the most comfortable ones.

All you need to do is to sit with your baby lengthwise and bring them up to your breast height. Support their head through your elbows and support their bottom with your hand. Use your other hand to hold your breast. If you are breastfeeding your baby with your right breast, your baby should be cradled in the right arm and vice versa.

2. Cross Cradle Hold

Cross cradle hold

Cross cradle hold, also known as crossover hold, work wonders for newborns. Newborns who are having difficulty in latching on will find it easier to breastfeed in crossover hold. For breastfeeding mothers too, this is the best position as you can easily see your nipple and your baby’s mouth in it. Also, as you are holding your baby’s head, it would be a lot easier to take full control over your baby while breastfeeding in this position.

3. Football Hold

football hold

Football hold, also known as the clutch hold, is the perfect choice when you are having twins to be fed. Also, football hold is a perfect position after the cesarean section since you cannot lay your baby towards your abdomen. Not just this, mothers who have big breasts with flat or inverted nipples can also prefer to breastfeed their babies in this position.

4. Side-Lying Position

Side lying position

The side-lying position is best for the time when you are exhausted and tired and want to breastfeed while lying down. This is a very common breastfeeding position to be used during nighttime breastfeeding. It is also a good breastfeeding position for the moms who had a c-section delivery.

5. Laid-Back Position

Laid Back Position

The laid-back position is mainly good for babies who are having difficulties latching on. This breastfeeding position is a good choice for anyone, but it is an ideal position for mothers with twins and preemies.

Breastfeeding Positions to Avoid

If your baby is not placed in the right position, then your breasts might not be able to produce more milk, and this can lead to difficulties in breastfeeding. There are certain positions (mentioned below) that must be avoided to ensure smooth breastfeeding.

Here are a few breastfeeding positions you must avoid.

1. Hunching Over Your Baby

Many mothers try to hunch over their babies so that they can insert their breasts into their baby’s mouths. This is not the right way to breastfeed. You should sit straight and breastfeed, rather than forcing your baby while breastfeeding.

2. No Skin-to-Skin Contact

You should ensure that your baby is in proximity to you and there is proper skin contact with your baby when breastfeeding. Keeping your baby at a distance from the breasts will not encourage proper breastfeeding.

Problems You May Face While Breastfeeding Your Baby

Problems You May Face While Breastfeeding Your Baby

Breastfeeding may not be that easy a task for many new mothers. There are many issues that may crop up. It is always a good idea to consult a lactation specialist when struggling to feed your baby or your baby is struggling to latch.

Here are some problems you may encounter when breastfeeding your infant.

1. Not Enough Breastmilk

Some new moms may not be able to produce enough breastmilk. The reasons may be as varied as hormonal imbalances, a C-section delivery or stress on the part of the mother. To ensure a good milk supply, it would be better to make use of both breasts rather than just one. This would ensure a good milk supply for your baby and helps in stimulating more milk.

You can also talk to your gynecologist or a lactation consultant your will advise you on ways and means to improve your breastmilk supply.

[Read : Low Milk Supply – Breastfeeding Issues]

2. Sore or Cracked Nipples

You may find sore nipples when your baby is not properly positioned towards your breasts. This can be discomforting for you as well. Therefore, seeking professional help would be an ideal choice.

Breastfeeding a baby is a precious experience every mother would want to go through. While this process can be a smooth sail for some mothers, others can experience issues. Understanding the top breastfeeding.

FAQ’s

1. How Long to Breastfeed a Baby?

Babies should receive exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first 6 months of their life. After 6 months, babies can receive complimentary solids and/ or formula milk along with breastfeeding at least until they celebrate their first birthday. After this, the mother can take a call on whether to continue breastfeeding or start the weaning process.

2. How Many Times Should You Breastfeed a Baby?

Babies will show signs of hunger and demand breastfeeding as and when they are hungry. They will stop taking the feed when they are full. Babies fall asleep or are drowsy once they have enough milk and are satiated. Ideally, it is okay to breastfeed your baby around 8-12 times within 24 hours.

3. How Long to Keep The Newborn Upright After Feeding?

Generally, you should keep your baby upright for at least 10 minutes after feeding or until your baby has burped. Burping your baby will ensure that there are no air locked inside your baby’s time during feeding. This process also ensures that there are no digestion related issues in the baby. You can talk to your baby’s pediatrician on the right ways to burp the baby.

Read Also: 7 Signs Your Baby Is Getting Enough Breast Milk

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