What position is best for breastfeeding? Is there any position that is more recommended than another? The answer is no. There is no right or wrong position to hold and feed your baby . When breastfeeding, the comfort of the mother and the baby should always prevail.
The reason? Feeling relaxed and comfortable promotes milk flow , while stress and discomfort can hinder the production of oxytocin , a hormone essential for the release of breast milk .
Recommendations before taking
There are different positions to breastfeed the baby and each mother must find the one that best suits her specific circumstance.
Before detailing them, you should take into account some steps before feeding your baby:
- Make sure you have everything you need during the shot within reach.
- If you find it more comfortable you can use pillows or cushions to support your back and arms.
- Position the baby comfortably and securely, making sure their head, neck and spine are straight.
- Check that your baby is latching on well. Latch problems can cause you pain. To solve this, you can ask the midwife or a lactation consultant for help.
Posture 1: lying down or reclining
It is especially useful if the mother has large breasts or suffers from strong milk letdown.
Already immediately after giving birth, if the mother puts the baby on her chest or tummy, the baby will instinctively find its way to one of the breasts, crawl towards it and try to latch on.
Skin-to-skin contact helps stimulate baby’s feeding instincts, and gravity allows baby to latch on and stay in position.
For added comfort, you can lean back slightly, rather than lie down, and use pillows or cushions for support so you can see the baby.
Posture 2: Cradle
It is the most classic position
The mother sits upright and the baby is positioned on its side with its head and neck supported by the mother’s forearm and body on the stomach.
Moms can put a pillow or cushion behind her and use a nursing pillow on her lap. This way she will have more support and avoid tension in the shoulders and back.
Posture 3: cross cradle
Perfect for breastfeeding newborns or when latching is difficult
It is similar to the previous position but the baby rests on the opposite forearm. This way the mother has more control over her placement and she can use her free hand to shape the breast.
With this position, the mother holds the baby at the level of her neck and shoulders, allowing her to tilt her head before the latch.
Pose 4: koala
For babies with reflux or ear infections
The baby sits astride the mother’s thigh or hip, and both his spine and head are held upright while he sucks.
It is also a beneficial position for babies with ankyloglossia or low muscle tone. This position can be used both for older babies who are able to sit up unassisted and for newborns (provided the mother holds them well).
Posture 5: rugby ball
It is one of the preferred options for mothers of premature babies, twins or those who have had a cesarean section because it does not support the baby on the wound.
The woman is seated with the baby resting on her forearm. Her body is slightly curved on the mother’s side, with her feet towards the back of the chair where she is sitting.
In this position, the mother sees the face of her baby, who feels safer being snuggled up to his mother’s body.
Posture 6: double rugby ball
With twins and twins
The woman can breastfeed both babies at the same time while keeping her hands relatively free to attend to one or the other.
Other positions, such as the cross-cradle, lying down or koala position can also be used to breastfeed two children at the same time.
Posture 7: side lying
Perfect for night shots
The mother and baby are lying next to each other, belly to belly. It is ideal for night feedings, for mothers who have had a caesarean section or have stitches and can also facilitate breastfeeding for babies with a short frenulum or ankyloglossia.
Posture 8: lying on your back
It is complementary to the previous one, perfect after a caesarean section
The mother is lying down and has the baby’s body on her shoulder. She thus avoids supporting any weight or pressure on the wound.
Posture 9: on all fours
Very useful in case of mastitis
It is not comfortable for the mother, but it is very useful to be able to breastfeed with mastitis , because it prevents the baby from touching or crushing the breasts.
The baby is lying on his back and the mother squats over him, hovering the nipple over his mouth. To avoid strain on her back and shoulders, a woman can use pillows and cushions for support.
Position 10: in a baby carrier
To breastfeed away from home
This method works best if the baby is an experienced infant and can support his or her own head. Mom should check at all times that her little one’s chin is not pressed against her chest.
This alternative is also useful if the baby does not like to be put down or if he feeds frequently.
Posture 11: ballerina’s hand
For babies with low muscle tone
In this position the baby is well supported and the mother can control her posture and have a perfect view of the latch. That is why it is especially suitable for babies who have low muscle tone, such as those born prematurely or with Down syndrome, or those who have difficulty holding on.
To adopt this position, the mother should start by supporting the breast with her hand from below, with the thumb on one side and the rest of the fingers on the other. Next, she should slide her hand forward so that her thumb and forefinger form a U-shape just in front of her chest. Her other three fingers should continue to support your chest below her.
The mother places the baby’s jaw on the thumb and forefinger while feeding, with the chin at the bottom of the U, the thumb gently supporting one cheek and the index finger supporting the other.