5 Simple breastfeeding positions for you and your newborn
Basic breastfeeding positions to explore to feel like a pro in no time
Breastfeeding is an amazing maternal infant bonding experience, that will last long beyond your baby’s infancy. Not only are you supplying your baby with the well needed nutrients for their development, you are both in that moment developing a relationship with each other, especially in your baby’s first few weeks. During breastfeeding you are providing your baby with the comfort of skin to skin contact, you can stroke your baby’s head gently, and have conversations with your baby... for most moms this is a magical experience.
However, like many, finding suitable and comfortable breastfeeding positions in the early stages of nursing, from birth to around four months can be very tricky, especially when you’re trying to get your baby to latch the right way.
So, if you’re a new mom trying to figure out the best positions for latching and feeding comfortably, without limiting yourself to one position… here are five quick and easy solutions for you. Now as a heads up, some of these positions entail the use of a well trusted boppy, so if you own one, you’re halfway there.
1. The Football Hold
The football hold position is an essential breastfeeding position for newborns, and should be one of your ‘go to’. This method allows you to be able to look at your baby's face from all angles, while giving providing them with a good view of your face, strengthening the bonding process and the ability to properly latch.
This position is also geared toward moms who’s had a cesarean section and want to keep the baby away from that area. It’s also for moms that are heavy busted, providing them with much more control over their breasts. The football hold is also a great way to breastfeed a preterm baby.
For this position you need to choose your breastfeeding side, place the boppy around your waist, cradle your baby facing upwards towards you, with your baby’s legs and feet under your arm. The boppy will be used as additional support as you cradle and lift the baby’s head up towards your breast.
2. The Cross Cradle
This second position is a well loved position as it gives the baby a lot of support and brings the baby closer towards you, while still allowing you to see your baby’s face. It also provides you with a lot of control on how your baby latches on. You can also use your boppy to provide you and your baby with much more support.
In this position you are feeding your baby using one arm with the opposite breast. If you’re holding the baby with your left arm, with their head resting on your left palm and their feet are facing the left side of your body, your baby will be feeding from the right breast. To help your baby latch on much easier turn your baby slightly sideways towards your body when getting into the cross cradle position.
3. Upwards Cross Cradle
If you have a fast letdown or maybe you didn’t get around to pumping and you realize that your baby chokes up a lot when this happens, you can try this position to lessen the chances of that happening. It’s also a great breastfeeding position on those days when you are just too tired to pump.
With this position you want to feed your baby in one arm to your opposite breast, while ensuring that your baby is elevated, almost mimicking the motion of sitting up as your milk flows in a downward motion which helps to prevent choking.
The cradle is one of if not the most popular breastfeeding positions.This method is quite common among moms because it provides a more relaxed position and frees up your arm.
For this position you’ll cradle the baby in your left arm, with their head resting in the crook of your left elbow, with their feet pointing to the right side of your body, while feeding from your left breast. You can use your other arm that is free to help your baby latch on and then rest it below the other to cradle your baby.
This position is great as it allows you to look at and sway the baby while feeding.
This method is more advanced than the others as your arm movements are a lot more restricted, hence latching your baby can be a little bit more difficult, especially when you both are just learning to nurse. However it is still a very common method for both mom and baby, when rest is needed or after a cesarean section.
In this position you are literally laying on your side in bed with your baby also on their side facing you. You will then need to gently put their hands down and bring your baby’s head closer to your boob and then proceed to position your boob in their mouth to latch.
Remember while you are on your nursing journey that newborns have little muscle control, so you will always need to support your baby’s whole body.
When getting started, the cross cradle and football hold are ideal for your newborn and lastly once you’ve gotten more comfortable or have gotten enough experience, you can ease your way into the cradle and side-lying breastfeeding positions.
There you go moms, 5 easy breastfeeding positions to make feeding easier for you and your baby.