Breastfeeding is a skill which should be learned and perfected. New moms need to be aware that getting a newborn to properly latch on the breast heavily depends on the position in which they are held or placed. There are numerous breastfeeding positions, from Cradle hold to Dangle. If you want to properly breastfeed, below are some of the best positions that you can try out.
It’s considered as the classic breastfeeding position. Cradle requires the mom to sit upright with the baby positioned on their side. Their neck and head should be placed on your forearm while their body should be against your stomach. For first-time moms, this means that both you and your baby need to be in a tummy to tummy feeding position.
Even though the Cradle position is the most popular, it’s usually challenging for newborns. At this stage, they need as much body support as possible and this position doesn’t offer that fully.
Tip: if you want to perfectly use the cradle position with a newborn, you can use a breastfeeding pillow to prop up the baby while you hold them with your arms.
It’s almost similar to Cradle position but your arms will switch roles. Breastfeeding using the Cross-Cradle position means that your baby’s body should lie on the opposite forearm. This position is meant to provide the baby with shoulders and neck support. Cross Cradle is the best breastfeeding position for newborns and small babies who have latching problems. The opposite arm support allows them to easily tilt their head prior to latching.
Tip: During the early days, avoid holding your newborn around the head if you are using the Cross-Cradle hold because you might end up pushing their chin to chest. The downside of this is sore nipples and a shallow latch.
Reclined or Laid-Back
It’s also known as the biological nurturing. The reclined position is recommended for first-time moms who are new to breastfeeding and motherhood. When the baby is placed on your tummy or chest after childbirth, they’ll instinctively move towards the breasts and try to latch on i.e. the breast crawl. What normally leads to the breast crawl is the skin-to-skin contact which stimulates their feeding instinct.
Tip: use pillows or cushions for a comfier recline or laid-back position.
A side-lying position is great if you are in bed or lying on a sofa. Although its suitable for all moms, it is highly recommended for those moms who have undergone c-section or have stitches. This position requires you and your baby to lie on the sides, in a belly-to-belly position.
Newborns usually feed throughout the day and night. There are times when you are just tired or fatigued and don’t want to get out of bed. This position allows you to rest while taking care of the baby’s needs.
Tip: use pillows for neck and back support.
It’s also known as the underarm or rugby ball hold. To breastfeed in this position, sit on bed or sofa and let the baby rest along one of your forearms. Their body and feet should be tucked under your arm and towards your back. This position is great for mums who have had c-section because it eliminates baby weight from your chest and the abdominal area.
Tip: use a pillow to support your arm as your baby’s head rests on your hand.
This is just a clutch position but it’s used with newborn twins. With the double clutch, you need to use specially designed pillows. They are supposed to provide your babies with head and neck support. The best thing about double clutch is that both your hands will be free and you can easily control how your babies feed.
You need to place the baby on their back and crouch over them while you are on all fours. Thereafter dangle your nipple in their mouth. Although the dangle position isn’t common, its suitable for short breastfeeding sessions and it helps to ease pressure if you have mastitis.
Tip: Use pillows and cushions to support your hands to avoid straining your shoulders and back.
General Breastfeeding Tips
- Always support your body and baby.
- Alternate between the breasts to reduce chances of mastitis and boost milk production
- Alternate nursing positions to prevent clogged milk ducts, breast infection, and nipple soreness