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Understanding Breastfeeding

There’s an art to breastfeeding, and just like each painter uses unique materials and techniques, each mother needs to find a breastfeeding style that works for her and her baby. Here are several positions to try; remember, the best position is the one that supports you and your newborn best.

Laid-back Breastfeeding

Also called “Biological Nurturing,” this breastfeeding position is all about getting cozy. Lay down on a bed or couch with your back supported. This is a good position if you have a forceful letdown (heavy flow), your baby is struggling to latch in other positions, or if you have large breasts. Lay your baby across your chest, with his back and feet supported.

Cradle Position

Sit upright. Position your baby on his side, with his stomach toward you, and his head cradled on your forearm. This position can be a little more difficult for newborns, as it doesn’t offer as much support, so you may need a breastfeeding pillow. Make sure that your breasts are resting at their natural height, to avoid sore nipples. Support your breast with a “C” hold: Place your thumb on top of your breast and your fingers underneath, with your hand well away from your areola or baby’s mouth.

Cross-cradle Position

Sit upright. Use a pillow to support your baby and your arms. Support your breast with a “U” hold: Place your right hand under your right breast (or left hand under left breast), with your index finger in the middle of your chest and your thumb on the outside. Use the other hand to support your baby; create a “second neck” by holding his head and neck with the webbing of your hand, and your palm between his shoulder blades.

Football Position

This position is good for those with larger breasts and women who have had C sections. Sit upright. Use plenty of pillows to get your baby to nipple height. Support him with your forearm and tuck him under your side, with his feet pointed behind you and his face toward your chest.

Side-lying Position

This position works well for women who have had C sections or babies with tongue-ties. Lay down facing your baby. Use pillows behind you or between your knees to make yourself comfortable. Use pillows behind your baby, so he doesn’t roll away. You can place your arm around your baby, so he’s cradled by your forearm. 

P.S. Need lactation support? Shop our Nursing and Postpartum store


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