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5 Best Breastfeeding Positions Explained : Improve Your Breastfeeding Experience

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Breastfeeding positions for every mother may be different, but the feeling of breastfeeding a newborn creates a lot of joyous moments and creates a memory for a lifetime that’s irreplaceable.

Breastfeeding has numerous benefits on offer for both mother and the baby. A baby’s nutritional needs, development of the immune system and growth all depend on the mother’s milk. Also, it fosters a strong emotional bond. For breastfeeding mothers, it can reduce the chances of certain cancers and most importantly, can aid postpartum recovery. One critical aspect of successful breastfeeding is the position in which you feed your baby. A breastfeeding position can enhance the comfort of lactation and can ensure that the baby gets enough milk. As it is common to have sore nipples and blocked ducts while breastfeeding.

With this blog we will try to understand that why breastfeeding positioning matters and what are some of the most common positions for latch your baby while breastfeeding.

A. Why Breastfeeding Positions Matter?

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As discussed earlier, the breastfeeding positioning is crucial for both the mother and the baby as this will ensure that a baby receives all the nutrients that are vital for growth and the mother stays comfortable and can make memories for the life.

However, we would like to tell you that there is no right or correct position according to a textbook. It is always about adjusting to the level of how the baby responses and how well you feel and how comfortable you are with that position. There are multiple positions to try, to find how well the baby latches on and how fast your milk reaches down for the baby’s intake.

Well adjusted breastfeeding positions matter for the following reasons :

  1. It prevents common breastfeeding issues such as sore nipples, blocked milk ducts, and mastitis. When the baby is well-positioned, they can latch properly, reducing discomfort and ensuring efficient milk transfer.
  2. A well-adjusted breastfeeding position helps the baby latch effectively, ensuring they get enough milk and reducing the risk of feeding-related issues such as colic and reflux. It also promotes better digestion and nutrient absorption.
  3. A comfortable breastfeeding positioning helps mothers avoid back, neck, and shoulder pain. It can also make breastfeeding a more enjoyable and bonding experience. Ensuring the mother’s comfort during breastfeeding is essential for maintaining a positive breastfeeding relationship.

Effective breastfeeding positioning can make a significant difference in the overall breastfeeding experience.

B. Most Common Breastfeeding Positions for New Moms

Those who have had successful breastfeeding sessions will tell you that breastfeeding is nothing less than a skill. A lot of different positions are tried, a lot of experiments are done with the positioning before finding a position that is quite comfortable and is best suited to your baby.

Namely, some of the most common breastfeeding positions are, cradle hold breastfeeding, cross cradle hold breastfeeding, football hold breastfeeding (rugby hold breastfeeding position), side lying breastfeeding position, and laid back breastfeeding position.

Before trying any position, make sure you are comfortable in your position, position your baby closer to you, make sure the head and the body of the baby are in the straight line, support their back, shoulders and neck and let them latch themselves.

Now, let’s get to know the common breastfeeding positions :

1. Breastfeeding Cradle Position

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Breastfeeding cradle position

Among any breastfeeding positions that give you the most control, then it is the cradle hold position. It is one of the most common and popular breastfeeding positions, once you find it comfortable. It may be a little challenging in the early weeks, so it is commonly used after the first few weeks.

In this position, the baby’s body is turned facing towards you, and their head rests on the inside part of your arm where it bends.

How to achieve it? It is an upright position, so you need to sit upright comfortably, maybe on a chair or a sofa with an armrest. Place your baby’s head on the inside part of your arm, supporting their body with the forearm and their bottom with your hand. Also, ensure that the stomach of the baby is against your stomach or the body and their head and body are in line with the breast.

It is best suited to mothers who are recovering from vaginal birth, as it may get uncomfortable under c-section birth because of the stitches you have on your stomach.

2. Cross Cradle Hold Breastfeeding

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Cross-cradle position

The cross cradle hold breastfeeding position is more or less like a cradle hold breastfeeding position only, but with a reversed arm position. Predominantly, it supports the baby’s head.

How to achieve it? In this position you need to use the arm that is opposite to the breast you are feeding from, to support the baby. As said, this position provides better control over the baby’s head. Bring the baby closer to you and place the body of the baby in the crook of your arm opposite to the breast you are preparing to feed. Support the back of the baby’s head with the same arm and with the other hand support your breast. Now guide the head of your baby towards your breast for latching.

It is best suited for newborns and small babies, helping with their latching. This position provides more head support and control which aids in proper latching and feeding.

3. Breastfeeding Football Position

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Football hold position

The football hold breastfeeding position is also known as the clutch hold position and the rugby hold position. Basically, in this position, the baby is tucked under the mother’s arm where the body of the baby is resting along the forearm of the mother. It is like holding a football or rugby under the arm.

How to achieve it? Tuck your baby under your arm on the same side as you decide to feed them. Support the baby’s body and head with your forearm such that they rest on your forearm and are facing towards your breast. Also, you can use a pillow below your arm to support your arm as well and be comfortable.

If you have twins, then this is one of the most suited breastfeeding positions. Also, for the mothers who are recovering from a c-section delivery, this breastfeeding technique is quite good for them. Simultaneously, babies with less head control can be benefit from this position.

4. Side Lying Breastfeeding Positions

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Side lay breastfeeding

This is a position where you and your baby lie on your sides facing each other. It is one of the easiest breastfeeding techniques to learn considering early weeks of breastfeeding. It is a great position to have when a mother is tired or resting, or when she has a difficult delivery.

How to achieve it? First lie on your side with the support of pillow on your back and for your head. Lay your baby on your side facing you with their mouth at a level with your breast. Now, with the help of your hand, guide your baby to latch on for lactation.

Best suited for night feeding in a resting position or when you are in recovery from your c-section delivery.

5. Laid Back Breastfeeding Positions

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Laid back feeding position

One of the breastfeeding positions that is referred as a natural breastfeeding technique is this laid back breastfeeding position. It is also called biological nurturing. This technique of breastfeeding is an encouragement towards natural instincts of breastfeeding for you and your baby. It is an easy choice among breastfeeding positions.

It is important to note here that you don’t have to lie flat on your back. You have to be in a reclined position that too a comfortable one. Your back has to be supported well, after that lay the baby on your stomach.

How to achieve it? Be in a reclining position that is semi upright and make sure that your position is well supported from the back, creating one of the comfortable breastfeeding positions for yourself. Now place your baby on your chest or tummy and let them latch on. You can use your hand to guide your baby to latch on to your breast but do not use any force in doing so.

Among other breastfeeding positions, this breastfeeding technique encourages a natural latch promoting skin to skin contact. This technique of breastfeeding supports the baby’s natural feeding instinct. Also, this is one of the breastfeeding positions where a mother may find soothing as well as baby may have a great session of being fed.

C. Some Essential Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers

Breastfeeding can be challenging for new moms and particularly in the initial weeks after childbirth. Therefore, some of the essential tips for new moms while trying to figure out the most comfortable position among many breastfeeding positions are :

  1. Ensure a good latch on for adequate milk flow.
  2. A baby’s mouth covering most of the areola with lips flanged outwards can ensure a good latch.
  3. Always maintain a good comfortable position for yourself too, while having breastfeeding sessions.
  4. Use good comfortable chairs, recliners with proper back support and you can use pillows to support your arms and baby’s weight.
  5. A baby swallowing rhythmically and seeming satisfied after the feeding session is a good sign of successful feeding.
  6. Make sure you have a good postpartum diet to improve lactation

D. Using Support Items for Breastfeeding

For new moms, breastfeeding can be challenging, but there are certain items that can support their breastfeeding. Breastfeeding aids such as nursing pillows and breastfeeding chairs can be beneficial for new moms in the following situations:

  1. Can provide additional support to new moms while breastfeeding.
  2. It can make the initial breastfeeding positions comfortable.
  3. Can provide extra support in postpartum recovery, especially in C-section recovery by avoiding pressures on sensitive areas.
  4. Can help maintain comfort during prolonged feeding sessions in any of the particular breastfeeding positions, etc.

E. Conclusion on Breastfeeding Positions

There is no such thing as correct or right breastfeeding positions. However, finding a position that is comfortable for a mother as well as which ensures that the baby is fed effectively is essential during postpartum. It takes many trials to discover what works best.

A proper breastfeeding positioning can significantly enhance the breastfeeding experience, making it more comfortable and effective. By understanding and practicing multiple and various breastfeeding techniques, breastfeeding mothers can find the optimal breastfeeding positions that work best for them and their babies, which eventually leads to a successful breastfeeding journey.

Equisential with its healthy and delicious postpartum care diet, also supports every mother’s breastfeeding journey by providing them with clean and healthy nutrition post childbirth. These nutrients may help in improving the quality and quantity of milk for feeding sessions, ensuring the baby receives the required nourishment for proper growth and development.

Mothers, you can also share your experience and tips in the comment section below to help other new mothers with breastfeeding positions in their breastfeeding journey.

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