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    Comfortable Positions for Baby Breastfeeding

    By Lisa Hayden / February 21, 2024
    Comfortable Positions for Baby Breastfeeding

    Comfortable Positions for Baby Breastfeeding

    Imagine motherhood as a college degree you want to complete with flying colors. And within this course, there are different specializations you need to master - and one of those is breastfeeding. Before we explore the whole concept of breastfeeding, let’s take a trip down memory lane and see how your body transformed into a milk factory it is now after you gave birth.

    Mother holding her baby while breastfeeding

    Most comfortable breast feeding positions

    The physical transformations began around the first six weeks of fertilization. These earliest signs include sensitivity of the breasts and the darkening of nipples.

    Did you notice the bumps around your areola got bigger during your first trimester? These bumps are called Montgomery tubercles. The oil these glands produce keeps the nipples lubricated as well as protects them from infections when you start breastfeeding.​

    Simultaneous to these signs are the changes taking place inside the bosom. The formation of the placenta stimulates the release of the pregnancy hormones leading to the commence of the milk production.

    By the time the fetus reaches full term, the major milk ducts are intact. These are the canals that will transport milk inside the breasts. The milk glands had always been there, they only started to grow when a woman reached puberty and doubles in size during pregnancy.

    Becoming Acquainted with Breastfeeding

    After birth, your breasts were possibly at their biggest size. The breasts can expand to more than 1 pounds heavier. The hormone called prolactin, signals the production of milk from the sugars, fats, and proteins carried by the blood supply.

    Nature has ways of increasing human survival as it worked to make the milk ducts fully developed around the 2nd semester. This means you will be able to provide milk for you child even if he or she arrived earlier than expected.

    Milk production will be on a hype within the next 48 hours after delivery. Moms who have had children before will lactate earlier than they had experienced before.

    The mothering hormone, prolactin, is on the rise once the body expels the placenta. The pituitary gland will also work to send signals to the brain to manufacture more milk.​

    The Colostrum

    The early days of breastfeeding (or the finals weeks of pregnancy for some) is characterized by a yellowish substance called the colostrum. This creamy liquid is filled with antibodies that will strengthen the baby’s immunity against diseases. Colostrum can also serve as baby’s first food after delivery. You can express the colostrum, store it inside the fridge, and save it for late feeding.

    New born baby nursing on his mother's breast

    Finding a comfortable position for breastfeeding is essential for a positive experience!

    Proper Latching

    The secret to a fulfilling breastfeeding is proper latch. When the baby is correctly latched on to the breasts, milk will not be put to waste and you baby will be satisfied. Here are several techniques to follow to achieve a good latch:

    • Find a comfortable position on a chair or bed. Bring your baby at the level of your tummy. You can use a body pillow or any pillow to support your arm. You can also place a pillow under your baby’s body.
    • Rest your feet on a stool to prevent leg cramps and lower back pain.
    • Do not lean to your baby. Relax your back and using your free hand, cup your breast and guide the nipple towards your baby’s upper lip.
    • Slightly tilt baby’s head backward. If the baby’s mouth is still closed, ask help from someone and let this person gently open baby’s lower lip.
    • The baby must have a mouthful of your areola with his or her tongue down. The sides of the baby’s mouth must form a seal around the areola and there must be no milk leaking anywhere.

    Different Positions for Comfortable Breastfeeding

    There are many different positions for baby breastfeeding. One of the most important things that mothers need to keep into account when nursing is the way their little one is positioned as it can make a very big difference on the amount of difficulties a first time mother encounters when first having to deal with baby nursing. While the mother is pregnant, she might want to attend breastfeeding classes that the doctors offer at the hospital. They are given dolls that symbolize their soon-to-be born baby and they act as if they were truly breastfeeding. The caregivers teach their patients a few common positions for the mother to place her baby while nursing:

    The secret to a fulfilling breastfeeding is proper latch. When the baby is correctly latched on to the breasts, milk will not be put to waste and you baby will be satisfied. Here are several techniques to follow to achieve a good latch:

    Comfortable Positions for Baby Breastfeeding
    Football Position

    Obviously, the name suggests that you hold the baby the way football players carry the football. In this position, you will lay the under you arm and lift him or her like the way you hold onto your shoulder bag.

    To do this, you need to lay the baby under your arm and carry scoop him or her from the bed. In the first few tries, you can put a pillow under your forearm for support. The baby’s feet should be near your armpit. Use your hand and forearm to hold the baby’s head, neck, and upper body.This position is suitable for babies who have hard time latching on as well with mothers who have large breasts or had twins.

    The baby is placed along the mother’s forearm and holds his head with the open palm of her hand. Then, she gently welcomes her baby towards the breast, which she can easily place in the right position with her free hand. Many women find this position extremely comforting as relaxing as it allows them to be physically close to their baby and caress his head with their thumb. It also leaves room for the mother to watch her baby nursing, which creates a magical and intense bond between the two. Because it does not put pressure on the mother’s stomach, this position tends to be favored by women who underwent a cesarean section and are still recovering from it.

    Comfortable positions for breast feeding
    Cradle Position

    The cradle hold is the common breastfeeding position wherein you hold the baby by tucking him or her inside your two arms. This is better done with armrests or pillows below the elbows or the sides of the biceps. You can rest the feet on a stool to put balance your on the tail bone.

    To practice this position, let the baby lay on his or her side, facing towards you. Bent gently to the baby’s level and gently scoop his or her into your arms. If the baby is latched on one breast, extend your forearm to provide support to the baby’s spine. The baby should be positioned at a minimal angle, with the head a bit higher than the his or her lower body. The cradle hold position is easy for mothers who delivered their babies normally than moms who underwent cesarean section. This hold can cause pressure on the abdominal area.

    The baby is placed in front of his mother with his side head facing the inside of his mother’s elbow. This position is allows mother and baby to be in close physical contact as the mother is basically hugging her baby and keeping him close to her heart.

    Side Position

    In this position both mother and child are laying on their side, facing each other. The mother holds her baby’s head with an open palm and carefully helps him to properly start lactating. This side position is often used from women who have a wide scar due to a cesarean section and are still in severe pain while recovering from it. Moreover, it is also preferred as the perfect position for late night baby nursing.

    Crossover hold

    This position is quite similar with the cradle hold but you will use your other hand to support the baby’s head and neck instead of the crook of your arm. This hold is recommended for babies who have a hard time latching on their mothers’ breasts. While the other hand is clutching the baby at the level of the one breast, the free hand will hold the baby’s baby to direct it to the nipple.

    Reclining position

    This position is a bit tricky at first but you can eventually get used to it. Start by lying against a wall or you can lay on one side and place pillows behind you back. Clench the hand of your bottom arm to support your head. With the use of your top arm, gently draw the baby closer near your breast. You can use a small pillow or a folded towel to bring the baby’s mouth closer to your nipple. Lift your breast when needed so the baby can perfectly latch onto it. This position is best when co-sleeping with your little day or night. You may also want to try this when you are still recovering from a c-section delivery.

    Comfortable Positions for Baby Breastfeeding
    Timing Baby Breastfeeding

    It is very important, especially at the beginning and for first time mothers, to time their baby breastfeeding. A baby should lactate every one and a half hours to a maximum of two hours for the two to three months. Therefore, in a day a baby should be able to nurse at least 10 to 12 times. How long he nurses for is also crucial for breast milk production. In order for the mother’s body to get used to the right quantity of milk that it has to produce everyday to satisfy the demand, the baby needs to lactate for a minimum of 20 minutes on each breast, at every feeding. Therefore, being able to properly time the baby nursing routine is very important as it will help the mother create a proper schedule to work around.

    How to Improve Milk Supply

    Breastmilk is the one of the best things you can give to your bundle of joy. It comes for free and it contains the essential nutrients your baby needs. It is the best food for the baby as it also provides defense against sickness and allergies. Many mothers also proved that breastfeeding is the best way to shed the pregnancy weight quickly.

    However, not all women were blessed with an abundant milk supply. This is not the end of the world. According to most lactation specialists, inadequate milk supply is caused by stress, fatigue, dehydration, or too short feeding times. Here are a few tips to double your milk supply:​

    • Drink as much as two liters of water everyday. To make it easy for you, fill out containers that equate to two liters and make sure to get water from these whenever you drink.
    • Aim for a balanced diet that will amount to about 2,500 calories a day. You can use a diet app to keep track of your calorie count.
    • Keep away sources of stress like gossip magazines and television or better yet, unplug yourself from social media.
    • Sleep when your baby sleeps and ask the help of relatives and friends to do some of the household chores for you.
    • Breastfeed as often as possible. Many establishments have nursing rooms for mothers and babies to use. You have the option to use a nursing blanket if you need to breastfeed in public places.
    • Learn to express your milk manually or with the use of an electric breast pump. It is recommended to pump milk after sleep as prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk production, is elevated at these times.