For some mamas, the process of breastfeeding comes naturally. For others, especially those who are enduring rougher physical recoveries from the birthing process, it can be challenging to figure out. There’s a certain level of skill required for successful breastfeeding and a correct technique to use. One of the biggest reasons some mamas give up early on breastfeeding is that they can’t figure out a comfortable breastfeeding position.
Why is the correct technique important? If you and your baby aren’t in the right position, it can be difficult for baby to latch. An incorrect latch can result in an injury to the nipple or breast if you’re not careful.
So how do you figure out the best way to breastfeed your baby? It all starts with the latch.
1. Start by stroking the baby’s cheek with your nipple. The baby will open their mouth towards the nipple
2. When the baby’s mouth opens, gently push your nipple in so that the baby gets a mouthful of nipple and areola.
This is called latching on. Many women prefer to wear nursing bras, which allow easier access to the breast than regular bras.
The length of time for each feeding will vary. Regardless of the duration of feeding time, it’s important for mothers to be comfortable. The following are the recommended positions you can use:
1. Upright: You are seated and your back is straight. Preferably you have your back against the back of a couch or chair.
2. Mobile: You breastfeed while wearing the baby. You have the baby in a sling or carrier, and you just breastfeed as needed while you go about your day. Great idea if you’re good at multi-tasking.
3. Lying down: This is the easiest position for night feeds or for mamas who had a caesarean section or are otherwise experiencing a difficult physical recovery from childbirth.
4. On your back: You sit in a slightly upright position. This is an especially good position if you are tandem breastfeeding.
5. On your side: You and baby both lie on your sides, facing one another.
6. Hands and knees: In this yoga-esque feeding position, you get on all fours with the baby underneath you. Unless you are an undercover acrobat, this position isn’t normally recommended.
If you ever feel uncomfortable with a feeding position, stop and switch to a different position. Each position is different, and each mama/baby duo (or trio, etc) is different. While some may prefer one position, others may find that a totally different position works best for them. Experiment to see which position is best for you.