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Breast milk is the ideal nutrition for your baby, so it is all the more important to know about the different breastfeeding positions. For many mothers, it is not that easy to put the baby to the breast. So that your baby can drink well at the breast and you can also enjoy breastfeeding times comfortably, there is a selection of different breastfeeding positions.
Not every breastfeeding position is equally suitable for every baby and every mother. Here you can find out what to look out for when breastfeeding.
What Are The Advantages Of Different Breastfeeding Positions?
A calm atmosphere and good posture for mother and child are fundamental to the quality of breastfeeding. Only if both can breastfeed comfortably will sufficient milk be drunk during the meal.
For example, if your baby cannot grasp the breast properly with its mouth or if giving milk involves an uncomfortable posture for you, the breastfeeding time will automatically be shortened. Your baby doesn’t really get full and soon wants to go back to the breast. The intimacy can also suffer if you do not feel comfortable while breastfeeding.
Different breastfeeding positions have the advantage of being able to change the breastfeeding position depending on the situation. This can depend on the time and place of the meal, but also on the shape of your breast and your baby’s ability to drink from it. Especially for breastfeeding beginners, it is good to know that there are several ways to breastfeed a baby.
This can help prevent breastfeeding frustration or even the need to stop breastfeeding. Negative experiences during breastfeeding can cause stress on both sides, which increases from time to time.
With a good breastfeeding position, you can also survive times when your child does not want to go to the breast for other reasons. However, if there are uncertainties from the beginning, it often becomes more difficult from one breastfeeding session to the next.
Which Breastfeeding Positions Are Suitable For Whom?
There is basically no right or wrong with the different breastfeeding positions. If your baby feels comfortable while drinking and you can assume a comfortable posture, you may have already found the ideal position for giving milk. However, some of the grips and positions are particularly recommended for certain age groups of babies.
While newborns get even more support with some breastfeeding positions, other breastfeeding positions depend on a completely different question: At what point can babies sit?
After all, at some point, drinking milk at mommy’s breast becomes a little boring for some children or they need more room to move. Then it can make sense to switch to an upright breastfeeding position in a sitting position.
For Newborns And Breastfeeding Beginners: The Cradle Position
The most classic of all breastfeeding positions is the one in which you hold your baby in your arms and the baby’s head lies in the crook of your arm or on your forearm. You yourself sit as upright and comfortable as possible. The advantage of this position is that you can easily support the baby’s back or hold the thigh.
With your free hand you can grasp your breast in the C-grip and offer it to the baby. Especially for newborns who still have to learn to suckle firmly and if you have very full breasts, the cradle position can be a good start to comfortable breastfeeding.
If your baby is still very small, you can also modify the cradle position by supporting the baby’s head with your hand. In this way, you can guide the baby to the breast and stabilize it if it cannot yet hold its head well by itself.
The cradle position is one of the most common breastfeeding positions, as many babies and mothers get along well with it and find it comfortable. However, if you are just starting to breastfeed and have an infant at home, you may be interested in other breastfeeding positions.
Breastfeeding While Lying Down: Comfortable Position In Lateral Position
Among the breastfeeding positions, giving milk lying down is a good option for all mothers who suffer from back pain or whose babies do not go to the breast well in the cradle position. On the go, lying down to drink from the breast is only suitable to a limited extent.
However, wherever you find space for you and your baby, you can comfortably give the breast. You simply lie on your side, turn your baby sideways to you – you lie belly to belly.
Newborns should be supported at the back, either by your hand, a rolled-up towel, or a nursing pillow. If one breast is empty and you still want to offer the second, you can either bend slightly over the baby and offer the upper breast after the lower one.
If this is too complicated for you, you can also turn yourself and offer the second breast upside down, so to speak. Otherwise, lie down on the other side next to the baby and turn him so that you are again lying belly to belly.
If you are looking for breastfeeding positions that don’t require you to leave the bed, side-feeding is a good method. You should keep in mind that with the side-lying variant, the breast is a little harder for the baby to reach.
Once you get the hang of it, however, you can enjoy very relaxed breastfeeding moments in this position. This breastfeeding position is also suitable for nighttime breastfeeding because you don’t have to move your baby around.
Breastfeeding While Lying Down: Close And Intimate In The Supine Position
You may have already practiced breastfeeding lying down without having heard about the different breastfeeding positions – shortly after birth. Usually, newborns are placed on their mothers’ stomachs after delivery.
Many babies then instinctively seek their way to mom’s breast for their first drink. The reclined position not only provides breastfeeding babies with plenty of surface area to crawl and hold onto.
It also allows the baby to take the lead in breastfeeding itself. That’s why this somewhat unusual-looking variation of breastfeeding positions is often recommended in breastfeeding counseling. This position can also bring relief if you are struggling with sore and painful nipples.
While mom puts a pillow under her neck to lean back comfortably, the baby lies lengthwise, crosswise or diagonally on her stomach. It should be able to support itself with its feet, so it is better not to put socks on it.
You can breastfeed your baby properly in this primal breastfeeding position, as midwives also call it, when both of you can lie relaxed and comfortable, or sit leaning.
Reverse Breastfeeding: Putting The Baby On In The Side Position
You feel you can’t breastfeed properly and your baby can’t really latch on to the breast? If your mouth and breast don’t go together well, you have a large and heavy breast, or you suffer from milk engorgement, it can also work to put your baby to the side while drinking milk.
This involves holding the baby similar to a football with the feet towards the mother’s back and below the arm. This requires padding to provide stability. The advantage of this somewhat unusual method of breastfeeding positions.
You can hold your baby’s head with one hand and see very clearly how the baby’s mouth surrounds the nipple and give a little help if needed. It may sound a bit strange, but you can also breastfeed in this position at the table, if you place the baby on padded support at the edge of the table and sit close to the side.
Now turn the baby to the side so that he is facing your breast. Many children who cannot cope with other positions can drink better in this position. Ask your midwife to explain this position to you if other breastfeeding positions are unsuccessful, and always keep an eye on safety – the baby should always be held with at least one hand.
Breastfeeding I A Sitting Position: The Hoppe-Reiter-Sitz
If you want to try the Hoppe-Reiter-Sitz, your baby should be able to sit. At what age can babies sit? This varies from child to child – but your baby will be able to sit at seven months at the earliest, and usually at nine to ten months.
In the hopping-riding position, your baby should sit up straight and drink from your breast while facing it. You can also remain seated. Such upright breastfeeding positions are especially popular with children who can already crawl or even walk: When breastfeeding is needed, they simply move towards the mother themselves and start to drink.
For you and your back, too, giving milk while sitting can bring relief if you no longer have to really support or even hold your child.
Practical Aids For Breastfeeding
In order for you to be able to breastfeed comfortably, aids are recommended in some cases. The breastfeeding pillow mentioned above is available in various sizes. It supports you by allowing you to lay your baby on it or by stabilizing it.
Here you just have to try out what feels right for you. There are large and very long nursing pillows, which can also be used as side sleeper pillows, and short curved nursing pillows, which can be perfectly placed around the belly.
On the way, you can breastfeed your baby well in a sling. You don’t even have to take the baby out of the sling and it also acts as a privacy shield if you don’t like tobreastfeed in public . Many babies feel so secure when drinking milk in a sling that they fall asleep.
Have you tried different breastfeeding positions, but the areola always seems to slip out of your baby’s mouth? If your child has problems latching on, nursing caps can also help. They give the nipple a more stable shape and make it easier for many children to suckle at the breast.
What Should I Do If I Can’t Find A Good Breastfeeding Position?
Do you feel that your baby can’t drink well in any of the positions mentioned? Does your baby drink, but you have back pain after every breastfeeding? If you have problems drinking milk at the breast, your midwife is your first point of contact.
She can give you advice, show you alternative breastfeeding positions and help with latching on. However, if nothing helps, your child is not drinking enough milk, and drinking at the breast is becoming more and more frustrating, weaning can be a solution.
Switching to a bottle is not easy for many moms, but in some cases, it can be beneficial for the child’s health and emotional bond. There is nothing wrong with giving milk from a bottle. Therefore, you don’t have to feel bad if the numerous breastfeeding positions don’t solve your breastfeeding problems.