Articles - Breast Feeding

Positions

There are three typical positions for breast-feeding. With a good comfortable position for the mother and the baby and a good latch-on technique, breast-feeding will typically go well.

The first position is the sitting position. The mother can sit and place the baby so that the baby's head is in the crook of the elbow. Make sure mother and child are chest to chest so that the baby's head doesn't have to turn to get to the breast. Touching the baby's cheek with your finger or nipple can stimulate the rooting reflex of the baby. The rooting reflex is where a baby turns toward the stimulation and widely opens the mouth. After this, pull the baby onto the breast so that the nipple and areola are in the baby's mouth. If just the nipple is in the mouth, this can cause pain and cracking. If the latch on was poor, put a finger in the baby's mouth to break the suction and try again.

The second position is lying down. This can be helpful at night. The mother lies on her side using pillows if necessary against her back. The baby lies facing the mother so a latch on can occur.

The third position is called the football hold. This is very helpful for mothers who had a C-section, as the baby will not be near the incision. This is also a good position for twins. Hold the baby like a football with the body along the arm and the head in the hand. Again use the rooting reflex to promote good latch on.

All of these positions and any other that is comfortable and promotes good latch on is fine. Always start with the breast you finished with last time. Putting a safety pin on the bra strap can serve as a reminder.


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