You can breastfeed your baby in numerous positions. When your firstborn comes along, breastfeeding is new to you so you might want to try out some positions to figure out which are most comfortable.
As you become more confident with breastfeeding, you can then experiment with different positions. Before you know it, you will find the one that works the best for you and your baby.
The most common breastfeeding positions are:
1. The laid-back nursing position
When it is time to feed, lie back on a comfy sofa or bed. Don't lie completely flat on your back, but instead prop yourself into a semi-reclining position using pillows and cushions. The pillows will help support your back, neck, and shoulders.
When you're comfortable, hold your baby with their belly touching yours and their head level with your breast. They will begin to smell or feel their way to your nipple and latch on. You can help by positioning and supporting their body, guiding their mouth to the correct position on your breast or just having a snuggle with them.
2. The cradle hold/cross cradle hold
This is probably the most popular position for early breastfeeding. Sit up straight in a comfortable chair and bring your baby across the front of your body so that you are tummy to tummy. Hold your baby in the crook of your arm which is opposite the breast you are feeding with. Support the back of the baby’s head with your open hand and use the other hand to support your breast from the underside in a U shape.
3. The rugby ball position
The rugby ball hold is the breastfeeding position that most mothers find the most comfortable. To achieve this position, place a pillow next to you. Cradle your baby facing upward in your arm. Using the palm of your hand on that same arm to support his or her neck, nestle your baby's side closely against your side. Your baby's feet and legs should be tucked under your arm. Then lift your baby to your breast.
4. The side-lying position
The side-lying position is great when you're tired and want to nurse while lying down. It's a very natural choice for night-time feedings. Start by lying on your side with your baby facing you on their side. Your baby should be positioned so that their nose is opposite your nipple. Use your lower arm to cradle your baby's back, while your other arm supports your head. You can support your breast with your other hand.
By using different holds, you will allow your baby to drain the different areas of your breasts more effectively and avoid clogged milk ducts. Always remember to keep your baby’s body and head facing the same direction, do not hunch your body over your baby, and make sure your baby’s body is never too far away from your breast.