While breastfeeding is a natural process that babies are born to do they are not completely ready for the excitement they feel when they see the breast and smell breastmilk. The most common problem new mothers report involves difficulty latching. Most mothers think the only position available is the cradle hold, but there are other breastfeeding positions that may help your baby latch more effectively and ease the stress of learning to breastfeed.
Regular Cradle Hold
The regular cradle hold is the position most often used for breastfeeding literature. New mothers see women holding baby in the crook of their arm and smiling as they breastfeed. The cradle hold is a natural position, but it is not without problems. If baby’s weight is too heavy to comfortably concentrate on latching, prop baby up on a pillow. Position baby close to the breast, don’t lean your body to baby. The cradle hold requires you to bring baby to the breast as opposed to bringing the breast to baby.
If your infant has trouble latching onto the breast or was born premature, the clutch hold may help ease breastfeeding stress. Sit in your breastfeeding chair or in a comfortable position. Prop pillows on the side where baby will feed. Position baby under the arm; holding baby like a football. Add more pillows if needed to raise baby to the breast.
Sleepless nights are something every breastfeeding mother is expected to grow accustomed to, but there is a breastfeeding position that allows mom to rest while feed. The side-lying hold allow mom to lie down while feeding. Simply lie on your side and bring baby to the breast closest to the bed. Some mothers find pillows ideal for propping behind baby, under the leg and under the neck to increase comfortability while breastfeeding. It is best to try this position during naptime at first rather than overnight. Once you perfect the position, baby can breastfeed in the middle of the night while you rest.
Reverse Cradle Hold
The reverse cradle hold is ideal for baby’s having difficulty latching onto the breast. Start with baby in the regular cradle hold. Feed your opposite arm under baby, holding the head in the palm of your hand. Use your free hand to support the breast and touch your nipple to baby’s bottom lip. When baby’s mouth opens, feed the nipple and areola into the mouth. Use pillows to prop up baby while feeding.