Breastfeeding is natural, but it does not always come naturally to a mother.
It is normal to feel a little overwhelmed and many mothers might feel uncomfortable the first few times they try to breastfeed their babies.
Finding the perfect breastfeeding position for you and your baby is very important.
The Best Nursing Positions Step By Step (Breastfeeding Holds)
The Cradle Hold Breastfeeding Position
This position is best for the older baby, who already has control over head and neck movement, and who can latch on easily.
If you want to try this position with a newborn, you will need your baby’s head resting on your forearm; you will need to keep your baby close, with lots of skin on skin contact. The more common and easy breastfeeding positions for newborns are the football hold and cross cradle hold explained below.
Another way a mother can cradle hold a newborn whilst breastfeeding, is with a sling or pouch, which is called the sling cradle hold. Read more about baby wearing here.Holding a baby in a sling is more convenient and much more comfortable.
Put the base of your baby’s head in the crook of your arm.
Tuck your baby’s lower arm under his/her body.
Baby’s tummy should be against your tummy. His/her face and knees should be facing your body.
Use a U hold (shown in the image) to hold the breast; when positioning your breasts, make sure that your fingers are not touching your areola; this is so that they do not get in the way when your baby is trying to latch on.
Tickle your baby’s lips and wait until he/she opens their mouth wide; then bring your baby to your breast (not your breast to your baby, this will cause neck and back pain for you).
Baby should have your whole nipple and a large part of your areola in their mouth.
With your free hand, you must hold your breast in a U shape(making sure
that your fingers are out of the way for a good latch-on)
Tickle baby’s lips with your nipple until he/she opens their mouth wide, then quickly push your baby's body towards you and latch on.
Baby should have all of the nipple and most of the lower areola in their
mouth. Your nipple should be quite far back in your baby's mouth. If the latch
feels uncomfortable or painful, you can break the seal by placing your
fingers in the corner of Baby’s mouth and try again.
If your baby’s bottom lip is curled in, it sometimes helps to try pull it out, for a better latch.
Do not try to make an air pocket on the top of the breast for your baby to
breathe. Doing this can cause nipple pain. Babies’ noses are made
especially for breastfeeding, and if your baby is struggling to breathe, he/she
will pull off on their own.
If your baby is drinking well, with
the cross breastfeeding hold, and your arm becomes tired, you can
transition into the normal cradle hold shown above.
This is a great breast feeding position for mothers who:
football breastfeeding hold is also referred to as the underarm hold or clutch
hold. With this nursing position, you will be holding your baby on either one
of your sides. This is a great position for Mothers who have just had a Cesarean section.