While breastfeeding is a natural process that babies are born to do they are not completely always completely ready. The most common problem new moms report is difficulty with latching. Most moms think the only position available is the cradle hold, but there are other breastfeeding positions that can 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. You will often see moms holding their baby in the crook of their arm and smiling as they breastfeed. The cradle hold is a natural position, but not one without problems. If your baby is too heavy to comfortably concentrate on latching, prop your baby up on a pillow. Position your baby close to your breast and don’t lean your body into your baby. The cradle hold requires you to bring your baby to your breast as opposed to bringing your breast to your baby.
If your newborn has trouble latching onto your 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 your baby will feed. Position your baby under the arm; holding him or her like a football. Add more pillows if needed to raise your baby to your breast.
Sleepless nights are something every breastfeeding mom will grow accustomed to, but there is a breastfeeding position that allows mom to rest while feeding. The side-lying hold allows mom to lie down while she feeds her baby. Simply lie on your side and bring your baby to your breast closest to the bed. Some moms find pillows ideal for propping behind the 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, your baby can breastfeed in the middle of the night while you rest.
Reverse cradle hold
The reverse cradle hold is ideal for babies who are having difficulty latching onto the breast. Start with your baby in the regular cradle hold. Feed your opposite arm under your baby, holding his or her head in the palm of your hand. Use your free hand to support your breast and touch your nipple to baby’s bottom lip. When your baby’s mouth opens, feed the nipple and areola into the mouth. Use pillows to prop up your baby while feeding.