Breastfeeding the first few weeks can get really challenging and nursing lying down can make things a little easier for mom.
Breastfeeding while lying down will also help mom breastfeed at night as she can continue to rest while breastfeeding.
Sometimes it can be best to wait until baby is a little experienced at breastfeeding before attempting to lie down while breastfeeding.
Watch this informative breastfeeding lying down video below…
How to breastfeed lying down
- Things mom will need: Firm mattress, pillows and a baby blanket rolled up to put behind baby so that he doesn’t roll away from mom.
- Sometimes it helps for comfort if mom puts a pillow behind her back, under her head and/or between her legs while nursing lying down. Get somebody to help you the first few times…make sure you are resting your weight on the pillows as not to put too much strain on your hips and lower back.
- Place baby on his side facing you with your nipple in line with his nose. If you are breastfeeding from the right breast you should be lying on your right hand side.
- Pull his feet in close so that they are touching you, so that you and him form a V shape together.
- Use your free hand that is not against the bed to guide your breast into baby’s mouth. Older babies can sometimes do this themselves.
- Try not to flex baby’s neck too far back this will just make it too difficult for him to swallow.
- Once baby has opened his mouth and taken in your breast you can push his shoulders in towards you.
- Wedge the rolled blanket or towel behind baby’s back so that he doesn’t move.
- You can either keep your arm underneath baby’s head or keep baby’s head on the bed and your arm free…it depends on what’s most comfortable to you.
- If the latch feels painful you can just gently detach and try again. If you start to feel frustrated, then you can rather leave this breastfeeding position until baby becomes a little more experienced at breastfeeding.
- Always allow baby freedom of head movement so that he can unlatch if he has difficulty breathing for any reason.
Other tips for breastfeeding lying down
- If baby is old enough to crawl it's best to make safety precautions in-case he decides to move while you are asleep on the bed. Read more here on safe co-sleeping.
- If you feel that towards the end of your feeding your breast has not drained sufficiently, it would be best to sit up a while to breastfeed.
- After baby has drained the first breast, you can either roll yourself and baby over to the other side or just lean over so that baby can get hold of the other breast while in the same breastfeeding position.
- Keep a burp cloth under baby’s mouth to catch any leaking milk.
- Some moms find it easier to first latch baby and then lie down slowly.
Advantages of the lying down position while breastfeeding
- It’s much easier to breastfeed after a c-section since baby will not be leaning on your cut.
- You can rest and even sleep while breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding on demand is made easy.
- You don’t need to put on a light or get up at night. Therefore also keeping baby calm while breastfeeding.
- Just the fact that baby is breastfeeding decreases his chances of getting ear infections as breast milk has germ fighting properties.
- Breast milk is sometimes used to cure ear infections! If the ear drum is not leaking fluids, mom can squirt a bit of breast milk inside baby's ears.
- Moms can try breastfeeding semi reclined too, so that baby is at an angle. As shown in the picture
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