7 Breastfeeding Positions for Nursing Moms

Many expectant mothers are told that mothering comes naturally. While this is true for a lot of parts of being a mom, some things take practice and patience before getting them right. Breastfeeding is one of those things. There are many different nursing positions, and every mother is encouraged to give each one a try to figure out what works for her and her infant. Learn about the various nursing positions that mothers use while feeding their infants. These include the cradle hold, the football hold, and more.

Why breastfeeding is important?

Breast milk constitutes about one hundred ingredients lacking in even the best artificial infant milk supplement. Macrophages, the live cells that abound in human milk, give it a close functional resemblance to blood. Microphages oust and destroy any potential threat like fungi, bacteria, and viruses.

Lactoferrin found in a mother's milk contributes to coating and protecting the baby's intestines. E. coli and staphylococci bacteria are combated by the antibiotic shield, which is formed by the combination of Lactoferrin with lysozyme. Immunoglobulins like Secretory IgA help protect ears, throat, and nose and safeguard the GI tract against bacteria and foreign bodies. The antibodies in Breast milk can alter their protective qualities to provide immunity against any allergens, bacteria, or germs that may thrive in the environment. 

The probability of infants succumbing to allergies, ear or respiratory infections, and asthma is greatly reduced owing to the above antibodies. 

The bulk of carbohydrates in Breast milk owe their existence to lactose. Lactose helps in calcium absorption and enhances the metabolism of galactose and glucose, which provide energy to a rapidly growing infant's brain.

Breastfeeding Positions

The Cradle Hold
The cradle hold is a commonly seen nursing position. This is the hold doctors, and nurses usually recommend in the beginning. The cradle hold is accomplished by supporting the baby's head in the curve of your arm, your hand supporting the baby's back and bottom. The baby should be positioned belly-to-belly with you. Use your supporting arm to pull your baby's body in close to your breast and help him to latch on using your opposite hand.

The Football Hold
The football hold consists of the mother holding her baby off to the side instead of across her body. To do this, cradle your baby beside your body, her head, and neck supported in your hand with a pillow underneath. Hold your baby's body closely against your side, her legs tucked underneath your arm. Use your arm to pull your baby's face close to the breast and help her to latch on with your other hand. This position works well for moms who had a cesarean section or mothers of twins.

Nursing Lying Down
To breastfeed lying down, you should lay on a flat surface on your side with your baby in front of you on his side. Using your arm, you can pull your infant close to your body, his nose in front of your nipple. Your arm behind him will keep him from rolling away from you. Nursing lying down is great for mothers who would like to get some rest while breastfeeding or moms who had a C-section.

The Cross-Cradle Hold
The cross-cradle hold is very much like the basic cradle hold. In this hold, your arms are in reversed positions. The arm that you would use to hold your baby in the cradle hold supports your breast, while your other arm comes around the infant's body for support. Your arm should come forward between the baby's legs, and your hand should gently support her neck and head. Your baby should remain belly-to-belly in this breastfeeding position.

Lying Back to Nurse
Lying back to the nurse is a comfortable way to feed your baby. A nursing bra can be used for more comfort. This position is widely recommended by La Leche League. To do this, lay back in a partially reclined position. If you are reclined back far enough, you shouldn't have to hold your baby in place – gravity will do its job. Your baby can be in any position you'd like, as long as his cheek is close to your nipple. That touch against his cheek will help him to find the nipple and latch on by himself instinctively.

Standing to Nurse
Mothers with a lot of breastfeeding experience may eventually learn to nurse while standing up. This can be done in the cradle or cross-cradle hold. Some moms come up with their own standing breastfeeding hold after a while. Mothers who wish to nurse standing up but have difficulties may wish to use a baby carrier – this can make nursing a hands-free task and help moms to get more done during the day.

If a mother tries each breastfeeding position in the early weeks, she will soon come to learn what works best for her and her child. While one of the above nursing positions is likely to be comfortable, a mother may even come up with her own nursing position while trying each one out.

Breastfeeding position: side-lying

Breastfeeding while lying down is one of the greatest things. This position is a secret of many moms why they never felt deprived of sleep. It allowed them to sleep when my baby sleeps. All you have to do is face your baby, face her to your side, and there, you are feeding. 

Here is what you need to do to attain this position.

  • While you and your baby are lying down on the bed, face each other side to side.
  • Put pillows on your head and on your back. Put pillows on your baby’s back too.
  • Adjust your baby’s position, so the mouth is lined up with your nipple.
  • This breastfeeding position is great for moms who underwent Cesarean birth.
  • This position works best for babies who already have a good latch.
  • This position may be a little challenging for younger and little babies since we need to maneuver their heads for a good latch-on.
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