I wish I had been shown some of these breastfeeding positions before the birth of my daughter. It took me months to discover some of them were even possible!
It can be useful to know a variety of breastfeeding positions, but it is by no means necessary to try them all during the first week. Changing position can be very useful to empty some parts of your breasts that are engorged. I once heard of a woman who could only feel better when she was breastfeeding “on top” of her baby, resting on her forearms. I would have never thought of that before hearing it! It does make sense, though, that depending on your breast angle, gravity will play its part and some parts of your breasts will empty more quickly than others.
Here are 6 breastfeeding positions worth a try:
1. The Football Hold: Look at the baby’s legs against the wall! This is a great position for breastfeeding twins, as the baby is not blocking the way to the other breast.
2. The Reversed Cradle Hold: I find that this is a great starter position, as it allows you to position your breast really well .
3. The Cradle Hold is a classic. You can start with the reverse cradle and switch to the cradle when you feel comfortable.
4. Side-Lying down: THE breastfeeding position for everyone who had a c-section. The baby is not pressing on the rough spots and you can rest. It is also a nice position at night.
5. The saddle hold: I like this one, especially for older babies. At some point, they are tall enough to sit on your lap and nurse! Before they reach that height, you can put a cushion underneath their bums. This is worth a try.
6. Lying on your back (the Australian hold), the baby breastfeeding face down on you: no one had told me that I could breastfeed this way and I was fighting with tons of pillows to get my baby to latch on with the side lying position (she was small and my breast was too high for her to reach it when I laid on my side). After a few months, I tried this position and I really wish I had tried it earlier. Being small-breasted, it just made more sense for me to nurse this way. No more need for any pillows!
I’d love it if you could let me know what positions worked best for you and why.