4 Common Breastfeeding Positions
Every new mom has a different body and breast shape that needs to be taken into account when choosing a suitable and comfortable breastfeeding position. In addition, factors such as whether delivery was by C-section or natural birth can also play a role in comfort during breastfeeding. And lastly, the size and comfort of baby must also be taken into account.
4 Common breastfeeding positions to try to find one that is most comfortable for you and baby include:
1. The Cradle
This is the position that most of us are familiar with. The baby’s head is cradled in the crook of the elbow while the arm supports the body of the baby. Mom and baby’s chests should be touching in this position with the head turned towards the breast and nipple.
2. The Cross-Cradle Position
The cross cradle position allows the baby’s head to be held in the hand opposite to the breast that the baby is feeding on with the body supported by mom’s arm. This position allows more freedom from the hand not cradling the baby allowing mom to position the breast better so that baby can latch on properly.
3. Clutch Or Football Position
This position allows mom to place baby by her side, under her arm with the head supported in the hand and the arm supporting the body. This is the preferred position for mom’s who have had a C-section as it does not place any weight or pressure on the chest or belly area which can be extremely uncomfortable. It also provides much better support for the head of the baby and allows for better placement on the breast. This can aid a baby who is having trouble latching properly – especially premature or low birth-weight babies.
4. Side Lying
Both mom and baby lie side-by-side facing each-other with the baby’s mouth lined up with the nipple and areola. This is a very comfortable position for both mom and baby and additional support in the form of pillows or rolled blankets can be added for increased comfort. It is ideal for mom’s who can just roll over and go back to sleep after providing a night-time feed and re sharing a bed. However, the downfall is that it does make it more difficult for mom to see whether baby has latched properly and the re-positioning the breast or head.
There are many reasons why choosing the right breastfeeding position is so important. Firstly, it is essential to position the breast and head of baby in order to allow baby to latch on to the nipple and areola properly to receive sufficient milk and nutrition. Comfort is essential to allow baby to suckle for a sufficient period of time.
Nurse For An Extended Time
And last but not least, it is important to extend the breastfeeding period. Research has shown that many mom’s stop breastfeeding before baby has reached 6 weeks of age! According to the World Health Organization, it is optimal to breastfeed until at least 6 months of age.
A mom that is comfortable breastfeeding and a baby who’s nutritional requirements are being met will result in an extended breastfeeding period, for the lifetime benefit of the baby.