Babies, like every human being, are all different. They are also different in the way that they start breastfeeding – some are faster to master it than others, but all eventually get there. Trying out different breastfeeding positions to make things easier for your baby will require some trial and error.
One of the most important aspects of the process is which breastfeeding positions your baby prefers. Positioning your baby in an optimal way will help it latch on to the breast quicker, so it can start receiving its vital nutrients to help it grow.
The benefits of a proper breastfeeding position are not only for your baby – they are for you as well. You could be spending hours every day in this state, so you might as well make things easier on your body. Learning optimal breastfeeding positions will save you the pain in the back and hands due to crouching during breastfeeding that many women experience.
5 Best Breastfeeding Positions for New Moms
The cradle hold is a classical breastfeeding position that most are familiar with. The way to most comfortably nurse in this position is to be in a chair that has armrests for you to support your hands. You can also be on a bed or a couch and use pillows to support your lower back and arms. Put your feet on a raised surface like a stool.
Take your baby in your hands so the face, stomach, and knees are in your direction. Use the crook of your arm as a rest for the head laying on one side. Use the forearm and hand to support the back, neck, and bottom, and adjust how close its mouth is to your breast. Have its legs under your other breast supported by your other hand.
This position is perfect for a baby that already has stronger neck muscles and can latch onto the nipple easier.
It is typical for babies to wake up in the middle of the night to be fed. If you are already tired and don’t want to get up, this is one of the best breastfeeding positions for a rested mother and child. Lie down face to face with your baby. Your baby’s head should be at the same level as your breast. To make things easier, use a pillow to support your baby’s back so it doesn’t roll back. If the breast is too high, place a small pillow under its head. If you need to, support your breast with the hand on your non-lying side. You can also use this hand to cradle the baby’s head close to you. Tuck the bottom hand under your head, and enjoy this strain-free nursing.
Clutch Hold Position
This is one of the best breastfeeding positions for mothers who have delivered through a C-section as it does not put pressure on the healing abdomen. Women with large breasts will also prefer to use this as one of their favorite breastfeeding positions. If you have twins or a small baby, you might try out this nursing method.
Also known as the ‘football’ position, this one requires that you hold your baby like a football under the arm on the side of your nursing breast.
Position the baby so its face is looking at your breast and its feet are stretched towards your back. The body of the baby will be laying over a pillow right under your arm. Using a C-position of your arm, support its head with the palm of your hand. Using the forearm, support its upper back.
Like the cradle hold, the body of the baby is supported by your hands. This time, the opposite hand is supporting the baby’s body and head (use the right hand when nursing from the left breast and vice versa). Rotate the baby’s body so that its stomach and chest are facing you. Use the palm of your hand to guide its mouth to the nipple. This is one of the best breastfeeding positions for newborn infants that have a hard time latching on for the first time.
This is a position for women with smaller breasts. Lay down on your back and have your baby lay on its tummy over your abdomen. Help it to find its way to the nipple. Once it latches on, you can relax and only slightly support its body with your hand.