The first two years of your baby’s life represent the most critical period of growth and development. Breastfeeding is just one additional task that ensures your child’s immune system and growth. However, many mothers are still unsure about breastfeeding and how to do it properly? This article will discuss 10 Positions & benefits of Breastfeeding that will clear your mind and help you out.
As a mother, you have completed the most challenging task of your life— labor and birth. Now that you have your baby in your lap, you are confused & overwhelmed about how to move forward.
These motherly feelings are beyond explanation! You have the precious gift of your struggle snuggling right beside you. But remember, the most important thing that your baby wants now is nourishment and gentle care.
Breastfeeding & Why Is It Important?
Breastmilk offers a range of benefits to your infants like health, rapid growth, robust immune system, and development. Formula and other supplements can never provide immunity against diabetes, cancer, and infections.
A child who breastfeeds is more likely to be strong, intelligent, and resilient than children fed formula.
The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends breastfeeding exclusively for at least six months after birth. Six months is the minimum time limit for women who don’t want to breastfeed their child for a long time due to whatever reasons.
However, women who don’t mind nourishing their kids with breastmilk can go as long as two years. Breastfeeding not only benefits the child but also benefits you in the long run!
Please note: Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your newborn baby is your personal decision. As a mother, you can decide what is best for your baby! To have a reasonable opinion about breastfeeding/formula-feeding, consult a lactational specialist, your doctor, friends, mothers in a family, and neighboring mothers.
Many medical experts and Gynecologists strongly recommend BREASTFEEDING exclusively (No formula, no juice, or even water) because it contains everything your child needs:
- Antibodies (immunoglobin) block harmful foreign agents inside a child’s body.
- Digestible nutrients
Breast milk forms a protective layer over your baby and lowers risks like asthma, ear infections, respiratory illness, and diarrhea. Your baby grows healthy with your milk and reduces trips to the pediatrician.
Breastfeeding for a year, even more, can make your baby healthy and active forever. Breastfeeding also helps gain a proper amount of weight without the risk of obesity.
10 Positions Of BreastFeeding
Breastfeeding is not as easy as it may seem. However, it’s not difficult either. It will take a little while of massaging and sucking to stimulate breastmilk. If you don’t know how to massage your breasts to stimulate milk flow, consult your lactational specialist or the one present at the hospital. Your doula can serve very well as well!
Here are some significant breastfeeding positions to use to start breastfeeding without any struggles:
1. Cradle Position
It’s the most classic position for feeding your baby. You have to cradle your baby’s head with the crook of your arm.
Choose a place where you can sit, lean back, and support your back comfortably.
- It can be a chair with supportive armrests.
- Or a bed with the support of pillows.
- You can also purchase a comfortable breastfeeding lounge sofa that provides a footrest.
While breastfeeding in a cradle position,
- Keep your feet on a stool or any other raised surface to avoid leaning downwards.
- Next, hold the baby in a position where their face, stomach, and knees are directly facing you.
- Take your infant’s lower arm under yours.
- If you’re feeding with your right breast, rest their head in the crook of your right arm and vice versa.
- Support your baby belly against your boy to make them feel safe and protected.
- Cup your breast with freehand, place your thumb above the nipple and areola (where your baby’s nose touches the breast), and keep your index finger where your baby’s chin contacts your breast
- Press your breast slightly so that your breast’s nipple points toward your baby’s nose. This position doesn’t burden your child with your breast weight. Thus, the cradle position is the most comfortable and easy for your child to start latching.
2. Football or the Clutch Hold Position.
As the name suggests, tuck your baby under your arm as if holding a football. Give support to his head and neck with your palm. In this position,
- Your baby will be facing you,
- Their noses will level with your nipples
- And feet will point towards your back.
Please remember one thing: don’t push the baby towards your breast too much because they might resist and arch their head against your hand.
It’s one of the best positions for cesarean mothers as it protects their belly from their baby’s pressure or weight. This position helps them to recover soon.
3. Side-lying position
This position is the best at bedtime or for mothers who have a fast flow/breastmilk supply.
Other positions may make your baby uncomfortable with overflow. However, this side-lying position regulates milk flow and eases the baby. The side-lying position is also perfect for mothers who underwent episiotomy during labor and birth as it decreases stretching to the minimum and doesn’t bother stitches in your vagina.
You don’t have to wake up and sit upright whenever your child wakes up at night for milk in the side-lying position— you can simply pull your child close to your body and feed them comfortably.
- Just keep a soft pillow under your neck,
- Get baby close to your breast with a free hand,
- And lift your nipple into your baby’s mouth.
Breastfeeding for twins
Breastfeeding is even more arduous when you have to feed twin babies simultaneously. Undoubtedly, your hands will be full, and you will feel stressed out day & night.
Hats off to all the soon-to-be moms, especially the mother of twins. How do they deal with their twins? Women genuinely are god-sent! As a mother myself, I can understand the problems you face right now. I got trouble feeding a single child, and here you are, handling two babies at a time who are hungry most of the day.
Below are some positions for breastfeeding twins. Maybe these can help you and provide you with some relief.
4. Double-Cradle Hold Position with Twin Breastfeeding Pillow
It’s by far the best position for a mother of twins. You can easily breastfeed two at a time with a twin breastfeeding pillow. This pillow will safely hold your babies close to your stomach and provide cushiony comfort.
5. Double-Football hold
Again, use a big breastfeeding pillow to support your child in a double-football position. You can also hold one baby in a cradle and another in a football position.
BREASTFEEDING PILLOW helps significantly to get the baby positioned. So, you should purchase one right now!
Positions for the large size of breasts:
Mothers with large breasts often face difficulties supporting their breasts during feeding sessions— they are constantly worrying about suffocating their children with their breasts’ weight.
Moms with huge breasts will definitely benefit from the side-lying position. The bed mattress provides excellent support to massive breast weight while the child is latching.
Here are some more breastfeeding positions for mothers with heavy breasts:
6. Semi- Reclining position
The semi-reclining position holds your breasts’ weight on your body. This position allows your baby to latch for milk without the additional load of your heavy breasts.
You don’t have to recline completely; bending a little on your back and supporting it with pillows is fine!
The reclining position is also suitable for moms recovering from cesarean who can’t sit properly.
Tips for all nursing positions:
Ensure that you have all the necessary breastfeeding essentials before giving birth. If you haven’t bought them yet; it’s time that you go for some postpartum shopping. These breasfeeding essentials will facilitate a better breastfeeding experience with less pain and good feeding hours. These may include booby tubes, breastfeeding pillo, twin breastfeeding pillow, etc.
1. Support your body
Choose a chair with armrests and use multiple pillows to get extra support for your back and arms. Keep a stool or table under your feet not to strain your legs or lean downward.
2. Support your breast:-
Since your boobs are getting bigger and heavier during lactation, you need to support them. So use your free hand to support your breast with a c-hold or a v-hold while feeding your baby. Keep your fingers a few inches behind the nipple and areola. It helps your baby to suck correctly.
3. Support your baby
You will happily and efficiently nurse your baby if you feel comfortable and relaxed. Use all the things like your arms and hands, pillows, or folded towels to support your baby’s neck, head, back, hips, and keep them all in a straight position.
4. Vary feeding routine
Now you know all the nursing positions better that are comfortable while feeding. The best way for a mother to avoid getting clogged milk ducts is to regularly alternate breastfeeding hours. Every time you miss a breastfeeding session, you will get sore breasts or blocked ducts. So, it’s best to schedule both your breasts to void overload or milk clogs.
5. Relax and then feed
Calmly hold a glass of milk or juice in your hand while feeding— it will keep you hydrated during breastfeeding and keep your health in check.
6. Time to stop feeding
If your baby’s stomach is full, they might have drained one of your breasts. Just confirm by gently inserting your finger into the corner of their mouth or patting them lightly on their back. The sound of “pop” means they are full.
7. Keep breastfeeding pain in check
While in hospital, get the advice of a nurse or lactation consultant to check how the baby latches. Latching will make you uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be painful. If you feel pain, you have to change your feeding position.
8. Having nursing bras to support your breasts
Once you start lactating, your breasts will increase in size. So keep some well-fitting nursing bras on hand. These bras don’t have any buttons or hooks at the back and are comfortable to wear while nursing.
9. Diet to maintain milk production
You have to eat a nutritious diet to make enough milk.
- Keep yourself hydrated by taking enough fluids.
- Always try to feed your baby with your breast nipple
- Avoid any bottle or artificial nipples, including pacifiers, in the initial months.
These lactational tips will help you increase milk supply easily!
10. Latching Tips
The most essential thing in breastfeeding is a good latch.
- When you are feeding, ensure that the area around the nipple and nipple is in the baby’s mouth.
- Make sure your baby has a full, open mouth that effectively empties the milk ducts around the nipple.
- If the baby only latches on nipples, they might not be able to drink a good amount of milk, and it will also hurt your nipples.
- The more your baby sucks milk from your breast, the more milk it makes. So, ensure a correct latch to facilitate good milk flow.
Burping after feeding
Some babies cannot handle the fast flow of milk and may swallow air while feeding on you. This additional air may make them uncomfortable— some babies start to cry or cough when there’s too much gas in their stomach or food pipe.
So, try making your baby burp between feeding to eliminate air from your baby’s stomach. Once the gas passes, your baby may as well be willing to feed again!
If your baby coughs, gulps when your milk rushes down,
- Immediately remove your baby.
- Let your milk flow into the nursing pad,
- Make your child burp.
- Re-attach the baby with your breast by lying down on your side.
It is a good sign that your baby wets many diapers in a single day— it indicates that they are getting enough milk. You can hear a whispering sound when the baby sucks milk which means they are satisfying their hunger.
Why do babies fart?
When your breast starts producing more milk, your baby will likely try to gulp it faster and probably with a lot of air at the same time. Other causes of baby farts are tongue-tie and a poor latch during Breastfeeding.
These reasons may also include an immature digestive system, fatigue, overstimulation, illness, etc.
Babies have an immature digestive system, so it’s pretty standard for newborns to fart throughout the day. However, always look out for signs of tongue-tie, improper latch, and extra air consumption.
Try to eliminate any source of fragrance because some babies are sensitive to perfume.
Breastfeeding in public places
Breastfeeding is a natural process, and it is beautiful even in public places. Don’t feel embarrassed about feeding your baby in public. If you are out for a long time and the baby needs milk, you must provide them with milk without hesitation.
Some fantastic products like BABY SLING are excellent for moms when breastfeeding outside— it enables moms to get more things done while providing skin-to-skin contact with the baby. Sling makes Breastfeeding easier.
New moms must eat well.
You will get dizzy during nursing sessions in the first weeks if you don’t get enough calories. Babies tend to suck all the nutrients out of you and leave nothing for you in the end.
It can make your body weak, so eat many fresh veggies and fruits. Keep biscuits, snacks, water, and juices close to you. Intake these if you feel hungry while feeding your baby.
You can consult a doctor and get some advice related to health. Just keep yourself healthy and happy while feeding the baby. If you’re getting dizzy, you can’t perform daily tasks. So save yourself fit for any situation.
Types of breastfeeding pain
We all know breastfeeding hurts at the beginning for newbie moms, and in fact, it may get uncomfortable for experienced moms as well.
Your nipples are cracked, your breasts are sore, and you feel this nagging pain always.
Breast engorgement, Clogged milk, and mastitis
Breast engorgement occurs when your baby doesn’t empty your milk completely and allows milk to get clogged. It usually happens:
- Early in the breastfeeding journey, when your baby doesn’t know how to feed properly
- Or late breastfeeding months, when your baby doesn’t require much milk and may feed less.
To ease/cure breast engorgement and clogged milk ducts;
- Maintain a proper latch to help empty your milk ducts properly (Refer to our ‘latching tips’ section)
- Use warm compressors or hot showers to release pain and soreness.
- Breast pump to empty your milk ducts when your baby is done feeding.
Mastitis is a condition where your breasts may get swollen and get a severe case of inflammation. In such cases, please consult your dogs as soon as possible. You cannot cure mastitis with home remedies, so proper prescription and pain relief medicines are necessary at an early stage.
Avoid these breastfeeding mistakes to escape breastfeeding pain and clogged milk ducts.
How does breastfeeding play an important role?
Breastfeeding plays an essential role in preventing newborn babies from SIDE (Sudden infant death syndrome).
- It lowers the risk of obesity and diabetes.
- Nursing benefits babies as well as mothers.
- You may lose your pregnancy weight faster as breastfeeding burns extra calories stored during pregnancy.
- Breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterus gain its pre-pregnancy size and reduces uterine bleeding after the birth process.
- If you choose to breastfeed, it saves costs on sterilized nipples, warm bottles, baby formula, cleaning equipment, etc. Plus, you also save time by not having to clean all these bottle-feeding and breast pumping equipment.
- You will remain close to your newborn while feeding when it urges, which lowers the risk of breast cancer and osteoporosis disease.
- It’s a fantastic feeling to relax quietly with your baby all the time while feeding. Mothers always love this kind of feeling.
About the First Milk, colostrum:
After the birth process, your breasts produce an ideal “First Milk” called colostrum; it is thick and yellowish and beneficial to your baby’s nutrition needs.
Colostrum is thicker than breast milk and contains more antibodies, protein, protective properties, enzymes, and salts. It has less amount of sugar, calories, and fat.
- Your body produces/releases colostrum for five days since birth.
- After a week, the milk converts into transitional milk, i.e., a combination of breast milk+colostrum.
- After 14 days, colostrum leaves your body, and you start feeding your baby regular breast milk, i.e., mature milk.
Try to feed immediately after birth. Your “first milk” provides valuable colostrum to your baby. In the hospital, ask for a separate baby room to feed your infant every hour freely.
How does breastfeeding work— when to stop it?
Your breasts produce milk naturally as per your baby’s needs. Your baby’s latch and suction stimulate the body to produce more milk daily as per demand. However, if your body doesn’t receive any stimulation— it will stop milk production. Such is the case with mothers who choose not to breastfeed and focus on formula feeding.
It’s essential to feed your newborn baby breastmilk to deliver all the essential and naturally-occurring antibodies present in the milk. Supplements and baby formula lack antibodies and thus may result in a lower immune system and a high percentage of diseases at a young age.
For short-term breastfeeding, I highly recommend feeding your baby breastmilk for at least six months. It’s better to breastfeed for a short time than no time at all.
Don’t quit breastfeeding altogether once your baby starts to wean off— I suggest you slow it down to allow your body to make breastmilk.
I hope these tips are helpful to all the new-to-be-moms. The article is about my own experience with breastfeeding, and I would love to hear your good breastfeeding stories as well in the comment section. I am eagerly waiting for your comments.
You can share your experience related to positions & benefits of breastfeeding, which can help many other moms.