Breastfeeding, like any other activity, can be made perfect with practice. While making milk might not be a task for new moms, giving them to your baby involves some sort of precision and skill, and can be improved with time. Expect the first few times to be haphazard and weird, as you don’t know what you’re doing and how to do it.
We’ll try to help you position your baby just right so that your little one can latch on and both you and your baby can have the best experience!
1. Cradle position
Hold your baby in a position so that his/her head rests in the bend of your arm’s elbow on the side you’ll be breastfeeding, with your hand supporting the rest of your baby’s body. Cup your breast with your other hand, placing your thumb above your nipple and areola at the spot where your baby’s nose will touch your breast. Your index finger should be at the spot where your baby’s chin will make contact with the breast. Lightly compress your breast so that the nipple points slightly toward your baby’s nose. Baby’s now ready to latch.
2. Crossover position
With the hand opposite to the side of your feeding breast, hold your baby’s head. Your wrist should rest between the baby’s shoulder blades, your thumb behind one ear and your other fingers behind the other ear. The other free hand can be used to cup your breast for latching as described above.
3. Football position
This one is also known as the clutch hold. This can be used if you have: twins, had a C-section and want to avoid placing your baby against your abdomen, large breasts, a small or premature baby. Hold your baby to a side facing you, with your baby’s legs tucked in under your arms (hence the name, football) on the same side as the feeding breast. Support your baby’s head with the same hand, and with the other hand, cup your breast as described above.
4. Laid-back position
For moms with smaller breasts, this is perfect. All you have to do is lean back on a bed/couch, well supported by pillows. Then keep your baby tummy-to-tummy on your body, with his/her head near your breast, so that s/he can feed. Once your baby has latched onto your breast, you just have to lie back and relax.
5. Side position
When you don’t want to get up in the middle of the night, this would be a good position. Both you and your baby can lie on your sides, and you can use the hand that is free to cup your breast, and help your baby latch on, as we’ve told you above.