Breastfeeding is a journey of love between you and baby. This article will help you in overcoming the challenges and making it blissful. Different breast feeding positions are possible. You will slowly learn the technique that best suits both of you. Don't get discouraged by any hurdles.
Cradle position This is the most commonly used position for breastfeeding.
Steps of breastfeeding with good positioning
1 - Relax, make yourself comfortable. You can sit cross legged on bed,floor or upright on a chair. 2- Make sure your back is supported 3 - Remove too many extra clothes from baby so baby can move freely and have skin to skin contact with you. 4- If you are feeding your baby from right breast,use right arm as a cradle.So baby's head and neck will lie in the curve of elbow. Your arm will support back and hand will hold the buttocks. This is called cradle position. Support baby's head and neck well. 5- Turn the baby towards you so her abdomen touches yours. 6- Put a feeding pillow or normal pillow below the baby to raise it so she can easily reach the nipple. Or raise your thigh if you are sitting cross- legged. You can use other free hand to hold the breast or move on baby's head. 7- Touch your breast near baby's mouth. Once the nipple touches the baby's mouth or cheek, baby opens mouth widely reflexly. Give nipple with areola by forming a teat into mouth. Hold the baby close to breast.Signs of proper attachment and advantages of the same are discussed later. Modified cradle position - This is useful for small or premature babies. If you are feeding from left breast, right hand will hold the head, right arm will support the back and buttocks. Your left hand is free to support the breast. Clutch hold or football position - This can be used if you have twins. Side lying position - This can be used if u had a C section or episiotomy. Both mom and baby lie facing each other, baby should be at nipple level. Baby should reach mother's abdomen. You can use your hand and arm to draw baby closer. Signs of good attachment Baby's mouth is wide open Baby's chin touches the breast Nipple and most of the areola are inside baby's mouth. No pain while breastfeeding.
How to get a good attachment? Sit upright, do not lean forward or push breasts on the baby. Use pillows to elevate the baby. Support your breast with a 'C' hold or 'V' hold such that full areola is exposed and thumb above and fingers below areola. Advantages of a good attachment Prevents sore nipples. leads to successful feeding and increase confidence of mother. Prevents breast engorgement
Disclaimer- These are the views of a qualified doctor and author. These are general suggestions and do not replace actual check up by a doctor. Any resemblance to anybody is coincidental.
Author information - Dr Harita Kothia, Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Mumbai