It’s very important to know all the types of breastfeeding and all the respective techniques, especially if it’s your first baby. The way the baby is attached to your breast and the latch mean a lot for your own comfort and for the baby who needs to be satisfied after sucking. So check out the article below and find out more about proper breastfeeding and several very useful tips.
Types of breastfeeding positions
All mothers who have already tried breastfeeding their babies know well that there’s no single rule for the best possible techniques and methods. Every baby is unique and every case is unique. The best thing a mother can do to help her baby feel good while being breastfed is choose the position that’s comfortable for both of them. Of course, with time, everything may change and you need to know a lot to be able to adjust the whole process to the new conditions and demands.
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There are several most popular breastfeeding positions that might suit you well. They are different and you are able to choose whichever you like for the sake of your own comfort and the comfort of your baby. Keep in mind all the details: the way you delivered the baby (C-section or natural delivery), the presence or absence of labor cuts and stitches in your perineum, the weight of your baby and the size of your breasts, etc.
- On your back
This position is comfortable for the mother because she has an opportunity to relax for a while. Everything you need is a bed, a sofa, or a recliner where you can be about 45 degrees sitting with your baby. The baby will be lying on your breast, face down, hugging it from both sides with his or her arms. However, if you have small breasts, this position may be somewhat uncomfortable for you due to the weight of the baby’s head.
- Football position
This is one of the most comfortable positions for moms whose bellies need some rest and comfort after the C-section. This position means that you will take the baby under your arm, holding his or her head with your hand and supporting your breast with the other hand. For instance, if you tuck your baby under your left arm, you will hold the baby’s head with your left hand and support the breast with your right hand.
This is one of the most suitable positions for the simultaneous feeding of twins. What you need is a stable comfortable surface where you can put the baby while feeding.
- On your side
For this position, you need to lie on your side and put the baby on his or her side facing you, too. One of your breasts will be resting on the bed. This is the one to which the baby should be attached. To secure the baby’s position on the bed, put a rolled up towel or a special pillow behind the baby to support his or her back.
This is a comfortable position that’s often used by the moms who practice sleeping in the same bed with their babies. Such a position allows breastfeeding while both the mother and the baby are dozing off at night. However, sleeping with babies is highly disapproved because it’s easy to injure the baby very seriously in one’s sleep.
- Cross-cradling in your arms
This position is the most frequently chosen for feeding babies in public places. The baby is taken across your body and if you are attaching him or her to the right breast, the baby’s legs are by your left side. The baby is facing the breast; your left arm holds his or her body and your right hand supports your breast.
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When at home, you can sit with your legs crossed like in the Lotus yoga posture and put a feeding pillow on them. The baby will rest on the pillow while sucking and you will relax in peace. If you are also practicing bottle-feeding, this position is the most comfortable because you can see the baby and control the flow from the bottle.
- Cradling in your arms
This position is the same with the previous one with the only difference: you support the baby with the other hand. For instance, you attach him or her to the left breast, so your left arm cradles the baby while the right hand supports your breast. Again, a pillow can do a lot of the job for you and keep you comfortable while feeding.
Double cradling is a thing if you are a mother of twins. Holding them both in your arms with the help of a pillow is a great way out when you need to feed them at the same time.
- Sitting upright
This is a good position for the babies who can sit upright already. You are sitting with the baby facing you on your knee. Your arm secures the baby’s position while your other hand supports your breast. You can also hold the baby with both hands while he or she will be hugging your breast with both hands, too. This is one of those most comfortable breastfeeding techniques for public places.
Several essential breastfeeding tips for specific situations
Even though breastfeeding babies is one of the most natural things in the world, it doesn’t always come easy to every mom. It may be a long process towards finding the perfect position, the perfect time, the perfect place, and many other things. This is why every woman needs individual guidance because she can be that specific case, which needs a peculiar approach.
Feeding a baby if you have large breasts can be a tough task. It’s necessary to support the feeding breast so that it doesn’t smother the baby while sucking. Holding the weight can be quite tiring, too, so such mums may need some guidance while searching for the most comfortable position.
While you are still in the hospital after the delivery, ask for advice from the consultants and nurses they have there. Try to find out as much as you can to avoid problems when you get home and there’s nobody to help you and give you practical recommendations.
Still, if you need advice right now, here it is. The best breastfeeding positions for large breasts are the side position and the football hold. When resting on your side, you can put the weight of your breasts on the mattress and watch the baby eat comfortably. When holding the baby in the football position, you can give your arms some rest of the baby’s weight but you will need to support your breast to avoid the pressure of its weight on the baby.
Another problem that happens to feeding moms is the pain in nipples and breasts. Many women experience the pain when they start feeding their babies but the pain doesn’t last for a very long time. If you are experiencing pains in your nipples and breasts several weeks after the delivery, it’s a problem that cannot be cured with the help of a new feeding position.
It’s very likely that you will need to see a specialist who will check the baby’s latch and see whether it’s correct. If it’s not, then the specialist will tell you what to do to improve it and the pains will be gone letting you enjoy the time with your baby and the feeding process.
If your baby has reflux, the best position is when the child is sitting upright or when you are lying on your back with the baby on your stomach. This is how the very gravity force can help the baby’s meal stay in its proper place. The upright position is also good because babies swallow less air with the milk while sucking in these positions. Less air means less burping or less bloating, which is equally unpleasant for the baby.
In case the baby is still too young to sit, keep him or her in an upright position after the feeding for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will help the baby’s stomach settle the milk properly and keep it inside.