Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Positions

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Breastfeeding is a skill that requires patience and practice! Slight differences in the way you latch your baby can effect your comfort, ability to express milk efficiently and your overall success and enjoyment with breastfeeding. 

Here are the 4 most common positions for breastfeeding: 

  • The Clutch Position (The football)
    • In this position lay baby on their back tucked under your arm like a football. Baby’s feet should be extended behind your back and his/her face should be toward you, level with your breast. Use your hand to support his/her head.
    • Pro: Very helpful for mothers who have had Cesarean deliveries or have abdominal discomfort r if the baby is having difficulty grasping your nipple in other positions
    • Con: This position can be difficult to get a good latch since the babes chin tends to tuck down into their chest, instead of extending up. Can be hard to see baby's position and latch…and will not be useful as the baby gets bigger and starts pushing with their legs off the back of your chair.
  • Cradle Position
    • In this position the baby’s arm wrapped around your midriff, their head cradled in your arm and your hand supporting their lower body. 
    • Pro: Most convenient nursing position for moms
    • Con: It is hard to keep the baby close to your breast in this position. A newborn will have all the control over their head making it more difficult for them to latch
  • Laying Down
    • In this position, lie on your side on a flat surface with your baby lying directly in front of you facing your nipple. A blanket or a pillow placed behind the baby can keep them from rolling away from your breast. 
    • Pro: Can be an enjoyable and relaxing way to feed your baby giving you the ability to rest.
    • Con: This position may be difficult for about the first 4 weeks until the baby can come to the nipple easier on their own, and also becomes larger which makes it easier to line up to the breast.
  • The Cross Cradle Position
    • In this position lay baby across your chest while supporting their head with your opposite hand.  This gives you the ability to hold baby and breast at the same time.
    • Pro: Gives you the most control over baby and the baby will be closer to your breast, which can make the latch much easier and make the feedings more efficient and comfortable.
    • Con: Can be difficult to do while you are out with the baby because you will need some sort of a pillow or support to hold the baby in this position

Each position is different and takes time to learn for both you and your baby. First attempts may be difficult but with practice, a positive attitude and support from your significant other will help ensure success and nursing will soon become second nature for both of you.

For more information on breastfeeding positions check out Shari Criso’s Breastfeeding Class "Simply Breastfeeding".

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