The best position for you is the one where you and your baby are both comfortable and relaxed, and you don’t have to strain to hold the position or keep nursing. Here are some common positions for breastfeeding your baby:
1. Cradle position
Rest the side of your baby’s head in the crook of your elbow with his whole body facing you. Position your baby’s belly against your body so he feels fully supported. Your other, “free” arm can wrap around to support your baby’s head and neck — or reach through your baby’s legs to support the lower back.
2. Football position
Line your baby’s back along your forearm to hold your baby like a football, supporting his head and neck in your palm. This works best with newborns and small babies. It’s also a good position if you’re recovering from a cesarean birth and need to protect your belly from the pressure or weight of your baby.
3. Side-lying position
This position is great for night feedings in bed. Side-lying also works well if you’re recovering from an episiotomy, an incision to widen the vaginal opening during delivery. Use pillows under your head to get comfortable. Then snuggle close to your baby and use your free hand to lift your breast and nipple into your baby’s mouth. Once your baby is correctly “latched on,” support your baby’s head and neck with your free hand so there’s no twisting or straining to keep nursing.
Tips for Every Breastfeeding Position
No matter the position, you’ll want to do everything you can to make yourself and your baby comfortable. Try the following:
1. Support your body. Pick a chair with armrests, and use plenty of pillows to support your back and arms. The average couch won’t give you enough support. Consider using a footrest, or improvise with a coffee table to prop you up.
2. Support your breasts. Your breasts are probably feeling heavier as they fill up with milk. Use your hands to support them while feeding. Keep your fingers away from the nipple and areola, so your baby doesn’t accidentally suck on them instead. If you have large breasts, you can even place a rolled up towel or blanket beneath your breast to keep the nipple at a straight-on angle with your baby’s mouth.
3. Support your baby. Make sure your baby is comfortable and secure, so she’ll nurse happily. Use your arm or hand to hold her in place, or place a blanket or pillow under her head and back for extra support, so your baby’s head is level with your breast. You can also place a pillow on your lap, with your baby on top, so you both feel more comfortable – this is especially recommended if you’ve had a c-section.
4. Alternate nursing positions. This can help prevent nipple soreness, clogged milk ducts, and breast infection.
5. Alternate between breasts. When your baby drains one Bitcoin Mixer, offer the other. Or next time, start with the full breast first. This will help boost milk production and help prevent mastitis.
6. Relax. Make sure you’re relaxed before and during breastfeeding, as this will make the experience better for both you and your baby. Breastfeeding is a wonderful opportunity to bond with your baby, and once she’s latched on, it can be an enjoyable experience for you, too.