Breastfeeding carries with it the age-old pictures from nursery rhyme books, where the mother is sitting in her rocking chair, holding the baby, and breastfeeding it in both arms. Best breastfeeding positions always show this picture. This is such an idyllic picture that very few people think of the actual dynamics of this. Hold an empty glass jar out in front of you to demonstrate how tiring this can get. It can be a small glass jar, and it absolutely can be completely empty.
This is fairly simple, right? The jar is not heavy. It’s really no big deal. Now, continue holding the jar in front of you for ten minutes. After about four minutes, you’ll start feeling it in your muscles, even though it just an empty glass jar.
Try to hold the jar for twenty minutes.
Get the picture? As much as holding your baby in both arms while breastfeeding seems so perfect and sweet, the truth is, your arms will become very tired very quickly. Think you can give your arms a rest? Think again. Baby will need to be fed 8 or 9 times a day and 2 or 3 times throughout the night. What can you do?
The 2 Easiest Breastfeeding Positions of All Time
The Flat Reclining Position.
This position should be done with you lying completely flat on your back. Even sitting up in a lean-back chair can create enough angle to make it difficult for both you and baby. Instead, use your couch. Prop your feet or calves up on the armrest, lie flat on your back, and let baby find your breast. This is extremely easy because you don’t have to arch your neck down to check on things right below you, you don’t have to use your arm muscles in active engagement for hours of the day, and you can safely close your eyes and rest without having to worry about dropping baby if you get too relaxed. This is one of the best breastfeeding positions of all time.
The Flat Reclining Method.
This position is also known as the Biological Method because it is easiest for baby, too. Human babies are not designed to start straining their neck muscles right after birth. Instead, they can build these muscles up at their own pace by crawling around on your tummy. Trying to lift their neck and latch onto your nipple and then suck without getting too much stream going is incredibly difficult for baby. Instead, they can find your nipple, latch on, drink as much as they want, and then let go when they want a break. And they can do this every single time they want a break without fearing extra milk coming out. This is natural and organic for the way human babies are made.
The Side-Lying Position.
The side-lying position is perfect for couches, floors, and beds, as well as the Flat Reclining Method. You can actually lie on your side (with your baby between you and the back of the couch, just to be safe), and baby can latch on to either nipple while you watch or close your eyes for a brief nap.
Both of these positions are brilliant for sleeping, resting, joining baby on the floor, and for generally getting in naps throughout the day. The sleep deprivation caused by caring for a newborn is so intense that these two positions should be your go-to positions around the clock. This one is also at the top when talking about the best breastfeeding positions.
Cradle Holds and Side Holds
Cradle Hold and Cross-Cradle Hold. A list of best breastfeeding positions cannot be given without the standard cradle holds. These two cradle holds are virtually identical to each other but differ in the position of your hands. In the Cradle Hold, you hold your baby like normal, with your arms crossed underneath it. In the Cross-Cradle Hold, you hold your baby just as before, but this time you are using the hand closest to the breast they are feeding on to hold and manipulate your breast for baby’s convenience.
Side Hold (also known as the Football Hold). This is a great position if you have a pillow to put beside you for baby to lie on or if your baby is a small toddler now and can just sit beside, facing the other direction. You hold your baby under your arm (like you would tuck a football under your arm) and their head comes out and latches onto your breast.