New moms can feel like their newborn is always hungry. After all, most infants need to eat about every two to three hours to maintain their healthy weight. There are lots of different breastfeeding positions out there—so many that it can be a little overwhelming if you’re not sure where to start. Which are the best breastfeeding positions for feeding your baby naturally? And which positions make it easier to produce milk and encourage your baby to latch on correctly? Users of Lactpedia will learn more about the different breastfeeding positions. Here are some of the best tips for feeding your baby easily and naturally:
Try the Football Hold
The football hold is one of the most popular breastfeeding positions out there. It’s easy to learn, and it’s a great position for moms who are working to correct an improper latch. This position is especially useful for moms with larger breasts, as it can be easier to get your breast in the baby’s mouth and positioned correctly. This position can reduce the amount of back pain that breastfeeding can sometimes cause, and it’s suitable for any breastfeeding scenario—whether you’re at home, at work, or out and about. The football hold is exactly what it sounds like: You’re sitting in a chair with your knees bent and your baby in your lap, head tucked into your chest, facing your breast. You’ll use your arms to “football-wrap” your baby around your breast, so her mouth is on the nipple with her nose and chin resting on your chest.
Try Kneeling or Squatting
Many moms find that kneeling or squatting is a great position for breastfeeding. It’s an especially good option if you’re breastfeeding twins or you’re trying to breastfeed your newborn while still pregnant. Squatting is an excellent breastfeeding position because it’s good for moms with large breasts, as it allows you to get your breast in the baby’s mouth with minimal fuss. Squatting can also be helpful if you’re experiencing back pain when breastfeeding. If you prefer kneeling, there are a few different ways to go about this breastfeeding position. You can kneel on a pillow, on a yoga mat, or on a towel or blanket on the floor. If you’re kneeling on a hard surface, you can use a folded blanket or pillow to pad your knees.
Co-sleep While Feeding
If co-sleeping is something you’re considering, breastfeeding while co-sleeping can be an excellent option. While there are definitely benefits to breastfeeding while co-sleeping, this is definitely not something you want to do if you’re already sleep-deprived and struggling to stay awake. If you’re breastfeeding while co-sleeping, you might want to consider using a special breast pump to collect your milk while you sleep. This can help you avoid getting plugged ducts or mastitis. To breastfeed while co-sleeping, you’ll put your baby on her back in her own special crib or bassinet next to your bed. You’ll then put your arm around your baby and bring her to your breast. While this can be challenging for moms who aren’t used to sleeping on their side, it is possible!
Use a Boppy and Pillow
If you’re struggling with breastfeeding into the third trimester (or beyond), using a Boppy and pillow can be a great way to support your baby while you latch her on. If you have large breasts and/or your baby has a difficult time latching on, using a Boppy to support your breast can help correct a tough latch and make breastfeeding easier. If your baby’s latch is correct, and you just want to make breastfeeding a bit more comfortable, placing a pillow between your arm and your body can help. If you’re planning on breastfeeding, you might want to consider buying a Boppy before your baby is born. Trying it out with a doll or your friend’s doll can give you an idea of how it works and how it can help you get breastfeeding off to a good start.
Don’t Forget the Shush-shush
It seems silly to include “shush-shush” as a breastfeeding position, but it’s a really useful tool when breastfeeding. Shush-shush is the act of gently making a shushing sound to let your baby know you’re there and that she’s doing a good job. Shushing your baby not only lets her know you’re there but also can help her calm down and relax. If your baby is crying, shushing her is a great way to let her know you’re there and help her settle down.
There are lots of different breastfeeding positions out there, and there’s no one “right” way to breastfeed. And while breastfeeding is often portrayed as a quiet, gentle bonding experience, that isn’t always the case. Many moms struggle with breastfeeding and will find that one breastfeeding position isn’t enough. Breastfeeding isn’t easy for everyone, and if you find breastfeeding overwhelming, it’s important to get help. You can find breastfeeding support groups in your area, and many hospitals and health care providers offer breastfeeding support groups. Even if you’ve heard that breastfeeding is natural and easy, it’s important to know that breastfeeding can be challenging for moms. Breastfeeding is a skill, and like any skill, it takes practice.