Did you know? There are 4 most comfortable and advised positions for breastfeeding?
I would really advise you to attend the breastfeeding training during your last trimester to learn more about breastfeeding, because this is not easy at first, though it is a natural skill.
If you had no chance for attending the breastfeeding training, you can calm down if you live in Dubai (UAE), as the nurses in here are very professional and they teach you these four positions from day one.
The cradle hold:
This classic breastfeeding position requires you to cradle your baby’s head with the crook of your arm. Sit in a chair that has supportive armrests or on a bed with lots of pillows. Rest your feet on a stool, coffee table, or other raised surface to avoid leaning down toward your baby.
Hold her in your lap (or on a pillow on your lap) so that she’s lying on her side with her face, stomach, and knees directly facing you. Tuck her lower arm under your own.
If she’s nursing on the right breast, rest her head in the crook of your right arm.
Extend your forearm and hand down her back to support her neck, spine, and bottom. Secure her knees against your body, across or just below your left breast. She should lie horizontally, or at a slight angle.
Best for: The cradle hold often works well for full-term babies who were delivered vaginally. Few mothers say this hold makes it hard to guide their newborn’s mouth to the nipple, so you may prefer to use this position once your baby has stronger neck muscles at about 1 month old. Women who have had a cesarean section may find it puts too much pressure on their abdomen.
This is my favorite position and I use it most of the times, though I had a C-section.
This was perfect for me during night feedings for first 4 months, as I was afraid using side-lying position initially.
I used this position by sitting in a sofa with support of breastfeeding pillow. Sometimes I could fall asleep in this position without any harm to my son. Experts might ban me for mentioning it, however it is difficult to follow all the requirements in reality, mothers get exhausted by first 3 months and might fall asleep unconsciously. I used to fall asleep in this position and had found out by waking up that my son slept cuddled to me and I was move less (I was simply frozen in that position). Please remember this is only my experience I am not advising you of doing so, I am just being honest with my experience. Please don’t repeat.
The cross cradle position:
Also known as the cross-cradle hold, this position differs from the cradle hold in that you don’t support your baby’s head with the crook of your arm. Instead, your arms switch roles.
If you’re nursing from your right breast, use your left hand and arm to hold your baby. Rotate his body so his chest and tummy are directly facing you. With your thumb and fingers behind his head and below his ears, guide his mouth to your breast.
Best for: This hold may work well for small babies and for infants who have trouble latching on.
My experience: I couldn’t use this position, it is uncomfortable for me, maybe because my son was born big.
The ball position (football position):
As the name suggests, in this position you tuck your baby under your arm (on the same side that you’re nursing from) like a football or handbag.
First, position your baby at your side, under your arm. She should be facing you with her nose level with your nipple and her feet pointing toward your back.
Rest your arm on a pillow in your lap or right beside you, and support your baby’s shoulders, neck, and head with your hand. Using a C-hold (see below), guide her to your nipple, chin first.
But be careful — don’t push her toward your breast so much that she resists and arches her head against your hand. Use your forearm to support her upper back.
Best for: You may want to try this hold if you’ve had a Cesarean section (to avoid having the baby rest on your stomach). And if your baby is small or has trouble latching on, the hold allows you to guide her head to your nipple. It also works well for women who have large breasts or flat nipples, and for mothers of twins.
I had a C-section and had large breasts, which were the reasons for nurses to force me using this position mostly. I used it 45 days for day feedings and really hated it. This seems as the most difficult position to me (I needed someone’s help to place my son onto this position even during the feeding, as he was too big). I never got back to this position after stopping it. Sometimes I believe this was the reason for wrong latch-on as it is easy to lose the correct positioning with bight babies on this position. Once again this is only my experience that I am sharing for sake of honesty
The side-lying position:
To nurse while lying on your side in bed, ask your partner or helper to place several pillows behind your back for support. You can put a pillow under your head and shoulders, and one between your bent knees, too. The goal is to keep your back and hips in a straight line.
With your baby facing you, draw him close and cradle his head with the hand of your bottom arm. Or, cradle his head with your top arm, tucking your bottom arm under your head, out of the way.
If your baby needs to be higher and closer to your breast, place a small pillow or folded receiving blanket under his head. He shouldn’t strain to reach your nipple, and you shouldn’t bend down toward him. You may need to lift your breast, with your fingers underneath, so he can reach comfortably.
Best for: You may want to nurse lying down if you’re recovering from a cesarean or difficult delivery, sitting up is uncomfortable, or you’re nursing in bed at night or during the day.
This is my second favorite position. I felt pity for not using it from day one (as I mentioned earlier I was afraid using it) I started using it from 5th month along with my co-sleep experience. This is the best position for night nursing while co-sleeping. Mother gets the most rest by keep comforting the baby through the night.
All these positions can be applied to twins if you are a lucky mother 🙂
Always try using these positions to chose your favorite/s. Also, you may always try changing the position whenever you face difficulties during breastfeeding or the growth spurt times with particular position.