Breastfeeding & finding a position that suits you...
The first hold & the first latch can often be a very foreign act for both mother and child. Its often a process that takes time to learn.
Ensuring you have a correct breastfeeding position will lead to a better latch from baby: which in turn ensures they are draining the breast with each feed which will help to increase and maintain your milk supply, it also means that you are preventing any damage to your nipple or posture whilst feeding.
There are a handful of different breastfeeding positions that can be tried in the comfort of your own home. It can take a bit of trial and error to see which suits you best. But keep in mind that it doesn’t mean you can only feed in one position you may find that a variety of these positions suit you and your baby when it comes to breastfeeding
The cradle hold is the most common of breastfeeding holds.
Baby’s head will lie in your elbow of the side they are feeding on. Your other arm will be a support along baby’s neck and back. For this hold, baby should lie chest to chest with the mother.
This position uses the opposite arm to that of the cradle hold. For example if baby if feeding from the right breast your left arm will be the primary support. Your hand will cup around baby’s head and neck. (your wrist will rest between baby’s shoulder blades your thumb behind one ear & the other fingers behind the other ear).
The football hold is sometimes referred to as the clutch hold. Generally, the football hold breastfeeding position suits mothers who have delivered via c-section, who have larger breasts or are feeding twins.
Position baby by your side (the side you want to feed on) with your arm supporting their body & hand holding their head. Your spare hand can be used to cup your breast to ensure a correct latch.
Get yourself comfortable in a reclined position, place baby on you (laying tummy on tummy), with baby's head up near your breast. Gravity will assist with keeping baby in the correct position.
Side Lying Hold:
The side lying hold is a breastfeeding position that is done in the comfort of your own bed. Lie on the side that your wishing to feed from. You can use your arm of the same side to support baby if need be or to support yourself. This style of hold could be well suited to mothers who delivered via c-section (allowing pressure to be removed from the stomach) as well as allowing you to remove yourself from next to baby if they have fallen asleep & transfer if possible (please keep in mind a baby should never be left unattended on a couch or bed)
If you have concerns in regards to your breastfeeding journey it is important to seek professional advice from your local GP, medical professional or a certified lactation consultant.