ANYONE who’s given birth will know the struggles of trying to breastfeed, especially when you’re new to the whole thing.
While it may be natural, this doesn’t make breastfeeding any less tough for new mums, especially for those who are suffering with breastfeeding pain infections such as mastitis.
Speaking to Good To Know, Marley Hall, Midwife and Author of Midwife Marley’s Guide – Pregnancy, Birth & The Fourth Trimester says that positioning can be key to getting your baby to latch on and begin breastfeeding.
She says: “If someone is struggling to get their baby to latch onto the breast in a certain position, sometimes changing positions can prove to be helpful.”
The midwife has revealed the four best breastfeeding positions, so if one is working out for you then be sure to try one of the other three which may prove to be an improvement for both you and baby.
For most mothers and babies this is the perfect position when breastfeeding is just starting out.
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All you need to do is hold your baby in the crook of the arm opposite the breast you're feeding from. Then just hold the back of the head to stabilise the baby’s position and support them.
While this may work for many mothers, Marley says: “Many women find this a good one.
“But, ultimately, every baby is different and some may have a preference over some positions rather than others. It’s a real case of trying a variety of positions to find what works best.”
If the cross-cradle just isn’t working then perhaps laid-back nursing may work out better for you.
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This position is useful for those who are feeding in bed or laid back on a reclining chair, in this position you’ll be able to relax a bit more and bring your baby close to your chest.
For this position you’ll just need to lean your body backwards, placing your baby across your front.
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Then just ensure that their ear, shoulder and hips are in a straight line, and their mouth is facing your nipple.
Once latched it will feel as if your baby is snuggled to you.
Another bed-friendly position, side lying is simply lying on your side, using pillows to support yourself if necessary.
Then just lay your baby on the bed facing towards you and bring them towards your breast until they latch on.
To avoid causing strain to your baby by having them reach for your nipple you can also place a pillow beneath them to bring them to the correct level.
The football hold
The football hold is a seated position, where you’ll place a pillow or some cushions at your side so that your baby can lie on them.
Then just ensure that their head is level with your breast with their feet pointing behind you.
If they’re feeding from your right breast you should hold their head with your right arm, and if feeding from the left then with your left arm.
Marley adds: “Many women who have larger breasts find this hold a little easier than the ‘cross cradle’ hold.
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“This is because they don’t have to stretch their arms so much or feel like the baby’s face is being squashed into the breast.
“Laying down positions may also be beneficial to those who suffer from back pain or who are recovering from a caesarean.”
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