Once you know you are pregnant you start planning everything from your baby’s name to setting up their nursery and then baby shower and what not. But out of all these doubts choosing whether to breastfeed or formula feed your baby is one of the biggest decisions expectant and new parents will make.
Anyhow when actual things come, many times parents face a lot of problems for which they were never prepared for. Planning and making decisions for your baby is surely very important. Many organizations like American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend breastfeeding as the best choice for babies. Breastfeeding helps defend against infections, prevent allergies, and protect against a number of chronic conditions.
So once you have decided that you are going to breastfeed you start googling things like different positions, how many times should I feed, for how long should I feed my baby etc. Out of them, the positions in which you can feed are very important because if a baby doesn’t latch properly to the breast he or she may discontinue to take the feed or you may end with sore nipple or breast lumps etc.
So here I am going to share some good positions which you can choose according to you and your baby’s comfort. Always ensure that your baby’s nose is clear and the baby is able to breathe.
Best Breastfeeding positions for Mother and Baby:
Madonna Hold (traditional)
The cradle, front or Madonna hold is the most popular way to hold a breastfeeding baby. You can support your baby as they are lying across the front of your lap. Use the arm which is on the same side as the breast you are offering so that you can have one arm and hand free to help the baby attach.
This is also the most basic position and is very comfortable. This is also called cross cradle. Hold your baby with your opposite arm to the breast you are offering and support him with your arm. Make a C-shape with your first finger and the thumb to support his neck. Gently latch the baby.
You can lie down parallel on your side with your baby whilst facing each other with your tummies aligned. This position is very good for mothers who have had Cesarean section deliveries. It also offers an opportunity for tired mothers to rest during breastfeeding. Just make sure that baby can breathe properly and his not having reflux.
Twin style or football hold
This is when the baby is positioned lying down underneath the mother’s arm and she supports the baby’s head with one hand. If you are facing problem with other positions or have large breasts then you can try this one. It is also used to rotate the point of stress on the nipple when attachment has become painful. You can feed your twins in this position simultaneously.
This position is not suggested for beginners. The baby is sitting upright and their bottom is supported by their mother’s cupped hands or her arms. This is often used for older toddlers who become very efficient little feeders and may only want to comfort suck for a short period of time. This also works if your baby has reflux or you have a very fast flow that a baby can’t take.
Some other important tips:
- Make sure that baby’s mouth is wide open because he should latch on the breast in order to stimulate the supply and not just the nipple. If the mouth is not wide open then it’s likely that you may end with painful nipple sores.
- If the baby latches in a wrong way, discontinue it by gently putting your finger to break the suction. Try again to latch properly because once you feel painful to feed it will keep getting worse.
- Feed yourself properly before feeding the baby. Have plenty of water. Babies sometimes take 30 minutes in initial days as they are slow and even fall asleep during the feed.
- Once you decide to discontinue the feed, do it gradually. The supply doesn’t stop in a day. Reduce 1 feed each week. Your body stops producing milk at that certain time when you miss the feed each day.
Happy Parenting with Budding Star