Best Breastfeeding Positions

There are various breastfeeding positions a mother can use when feeding her baby. It is vital to remember that a new born baby depends entirely on the mother as a source of their daily nourishment.

A well fed baby is a joy to every mother. So when your baby breastfeeds well, they sleep better and grow pretty fast. You as the mother also benefits when the baby is well fed, since they will be less fussy and you will have more time to rest. A well rested or relaxed mother also is able to produce more milk to feed her baby.

Finding the most favorable breastfeeding position for your baby, will enable you feed your baby better. Before we look at the various breastfeeding positions, let us see how to get the baby to latch on properly. So that no matter what position you choose, your newborn baby will have a better chance of breastfeeding well if latched on the breast properly.


Breastfeeding Positions: Latching on the baby

To latch on the baby is to get the nipple into the baby’s mouth.

The first step to latching on the baby is to bet the baby to open their mouth wide.

Brush your nipple on the baby’s lips to encourage him to open the mouth. If the baby’s lower lip is turned in, gently press the baby’s chin down to avert the inward turned lip.

To ready your breast for latching, support your breast with your fingers, placing them below and the thumb on top. Make sure your fingers are well behind the areola. Once the baby is latched on properly you can let go of your breast, unless it is too heavy for the baby to control.

Once the baby’s mouth is wide open, turn the baby towards you and pull him towards your breast, holding him with one hand. Then holding your breast with the other hand put the nipple into the baby’s wide open mouth.

Your baby’s gums should cover up the areola of your breast. The nipple of your breast and about an inch of your areola should be in the baby’s mouth, with the baby’s lips turned out.

Ii your baby is latched on wrongly; as the baby sucks you will feel pain. To remove your nipple from the baby’s mouth to correct the latching on position. Insert your clean finger in the side of the baby’s mouth between the gums. Then correctly latch on the baby as we have seen above.

When the baby is latched on wrongly, not only do you feel pain while breastfeeding but also the baby may not get enough milk. If the baby continues to breast feed incorrectly, you are most likely to develop painful and damaged nipples.

Types of Breastfeeding Positions

In the various breastfeeding positions were are going to look at, the posture of your body and position of your baby’s body in correlation with yours is of utmost importance. In a newborn baby, their body will be turning inwards towards you in fetal position, forming a C. This is the position the baby was used to be while in the womb.

The baby’s head, shoulders and hips should face your body facing the same direction. Your head should always be in line with the rest of the baby’s body. This way your are able to connect with the baby forming a stronger bond as your continue to nurse him. So never turn your head sideways or arched back.

During breastfeeding, invest in a breastfeeding pillow. This is really helpful as it helps to raise the baby to a comfortable height and position while breastfeeding. This way you do not strain while supporting the baby while nursing.

Your comfort during breastfeeding defines the success of the nursing process. So find a good posture and be comfortable before you start nursing your baby, regardless of the breastfeeding position you choose.

The different breastfeeding positions are: –

  • The Football Hold
  • The Cradle Hold
  • The Cross Cradle Hold
  • The Side Lying Breastfeeding Position


The Football Hold

Breastfeeding positions - football holdThe football hold is also referred to as clutch hold.

Position your baby with the head resting in your hand and the legs under your arm. Place the breastfeeding pillow under the baby to raise him in to a comfortable height, close to your breast.

Ensure there is enough room behind you so that the baby does not push their legs against the back of the chair.

If the back of the chair is to close, try place him bent at the hips, placing the legs and the baby’s bum against the back of the chair.

This is a good breastfeeding position if you have had a caesarean and are not able to hold your baby across your abdomen.

It is also ideal for women who have large breasts or if your baby is small or premature.


The Cradle Hold

Breastfeeding positions- The Cradle holdIn the cradle hold position, place the baby’s head the crook of your elbow, with your forearm supporting his back. Hold his upper high or bum with your hand.

Lay the baby on his side, with his whole body facing you and use your free hand to position your breast for proper latching.

This is a comfortable position for the baby, and due to your closeness wit the baby, nursing provide you with a perfect opportunity to bond.


The Cross Cradle Hold

Breastfeeding positions- The Cross Cradle HoldThis breastfeeding position is like the cradle hold, though you support the baby with the opposite arm.

The cross cradle hold position offers good control over the baby’s head, especially when positioning him to latch on. So the baby is stilled supported at the back of the head and neck while breastfeeding.

You can also interchange this position with the cradle hold, as you switch your baby from one breast to the other.


The Side-lying Breastfeeding Position

Breastfeeding positions - The Side Lying PositionIn this position, place the baby to lie on the bed, then lie on your side and place a pillow beneath your head. Ensure you and the baby are placing each other, chest to chest.

Place your lower arm under the baby’s head, such that the head is in the crook of your elbow as in the cradle hold. Use your free hand to position your breast and pull the baby close to you so as to latch properly.

This side lying hold is especially good for woman who have undergo cesarean section, have a back problem or are uncomfortable sitting down. It is also the right position to use while nursing at night.

Breastfeeding the baby is a wonderful experience for a mother. During this nursing time you will be able to form an everlasting bond with your baby. Nurse your baby as often as he is hungry. Especially the first days after delivery you may not be able to restrict the baby to a specific feeding routine.

As the baby grows you will be able to identify your baby’s feeding and sleeping patterns and use them to form that converted feeding routine. It is vital to remember to keep to a healthy diet while breastfeeding to boost your baby’s well being.

So continue to enjoy nursing your baby by using the various breastfeeding positions listed above to enrich your feeding experience.

Author: Winnie

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