How to breastfeed your new baby is a matter of what works best for the two of you. And, what’s right for some woman might feel strange & awkward to you. Here at The Baby Box Co., we know that the early days of nursing can be a doozy, so we’re here to get you started with a simple step-by-step guide breastfeeding positions.
The Basics: How To Find The Right Breastfeeding Position For You
If breastfeeding feels a little strange at first, you’re definitely not alone. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Health, most moms “need time” to practice and experiment until they find the most comfortable breastfeeding position. What feels best will depend on a number of factors, ranging from your method of childbirth to the size of your baby. Remember, the perfect fit is out there—you just need to try a few to find what’s best for you.
Here are the 5 best breastfeeding positions for new moms to try:
1. The Cross-cradle Hold
Hold your baby so they lie tummy-to-tummy with you. (You may want to place a breastfeeding pillow under them for support) Then, if they’re nursing your right side, cradle them with your left arm, ensuring that you’re supporting the neck. Use your right hand to support the breast.
2. The Football Hold
Gently prop your baby under your arm like a very fragile, important football (yes, like a football) with their nose at your nipple and their feet extended back. Then, place a pillow on your lap & rest your arm on the pillow. Make sure to provide support to your baby’s head and shoulders. Lift your breast with your opposite hand and guide their mouth to it.
Helpful Hint: Moms with larger breasts tend to find this position the most comfortable.
3. The Vertical Baby Position
Sometimes, it helps to mix things up with a vertical baby position. Sit cross-legged with your baby rested against or straddling your thigh. Place your hand behind their back, with their head nestled in the V-shape between your thumb and fingers. Then, bring the baby up to your breast by gently pushing the heel of your hand, lifting their chin and tilting their head back. Voila!
4. The Reclining Position
Lie down on your side, ensuring that your back and hips are aligned. You’ll want someone to help you put pillows behind your back for support. Then, hug your baby in close using your bottom arm to cradle their head. If the baby can’t reach your nipple without straining, prop up their head with a small pillow or blanket. Support your breast with your other hand. (Be sure to have your Baby Box close by—falling asleep together is tempting, but don’t forget to place your sleeping baby on their back in a safe sleep-approved bassinet or Baby Box so that they can sleep safely.)
5. The Laid-back Position
Put gravity to work for you! Find a comfortable reclining position on your bed and position your baby vertically on your chest or belly. Instinctively, or with some guidance from mom, the baby will start to root, looking for your breast.
What are you tips & tricks for breastfeeding? Tell us in the comments!