Breastfeeding can be tricky at first until you get a hang of the most comfortable breastfeeding position. Remember that there is no ‘perfect’ position, you need to pick the one that works best for both you and your little one. Remember that every baby and his mother is different, so it can take a slight amount of trial and error before you get it right.
Here are some of the most common breastfeeding positions which the nursing mothers from all over the world adopt:
The cradle hold:
Support your baby with the arm on the same side as the breast you are nursing from. For example, if you are nursing from the left breast, your baby’s head will be in the crook of your left elbow. For you to be comfortable, sit back with cushions or pillows propping you up, against a sofa or chair with a firm back. In this position, you will be able to look at your baby as he faces the breast he is nursing from.
The cross-cradle hold:
This position works great for new mothers and their babies. While you sit upright, hold your baby in the crook of the arm opposite from the breast you are nursing from. For instance, if you are going to feed the baby from your right breast, your baby should be tucked away in your left arm. Using your other hand, support your breast from the underside so that you can guide the baby to your breast with ease and comfort.
The football hold:
A position commonly used by new mothers who have just had a caesarean section, or those with larger breasts, the football hold can be rather comfortable. Here, you tuck your baby next to you and support the baby with your arm and hand. Now guide the baby to your breast as you face him towards the nipple. For added comfort, you could use a pillow to support your arm.
The side-lying position:
A lying position is a good choice especially when you are sleepy (think of those night feeds!) or unable to sit up. Lie on your side and get your baby to face the breast you will nurse from. Use the other hand to guide your baby to the nipple and hold him close. Do make sure that once the baby is done nursing, you tuck him back into his usual sleeping place.
Tips to keep in mind
As your baby grows, remember that your breastfeeding position is likely to change. What worked for you and your infant, for instance, may not work when your infant becomes a toddler. At the same time, you would have long established your breastfeeding journey by this point, so adopting new positions may not be as much as a challenge as it initially was.
Whether at the beginning of your breastfeeding journey or a little later, you and the baby should both be comfortable during the process. This will ensure proper nourishment for your baby and satisfaction for yourself.
You can ask for professional help from a lactation consultant initially if you feel it will help you.