Use these breastfeeding techniques (step by step) with pictures to make sure you have a good latch, baby is getting enough milk, and you are comfy.
When I was pregnant with my first child in Scotland, my midwife gave me a DVD about how to get baby to latch on.
I watched that video once and, never in all my years breastfeeding 5 babies, did I have a latching on problem. It was simply so helpful!
Read: Thoughts On Nursing From A Mom of 5
As the above picture depicts, you will aim your nipple at the roof of baby’s mouth.
Then you will not lean down to baby, but you will bring baby towards you.
This will position both you and baby for an easy latch on.
Breastfeeding Techniques – Step By Step Positions & Tips
Hopefully these images will help you figure out some positions that will work for both you and baby. At certain times of the day certain positions might work better.
You may use some in public, some at home, and some for night feeds.
Read: Breastfeeding Schedules By Month: From Birth to 1 Year
#1 – The Basic Cradle Hold While Sitting
This is the position you’ll often use during the day, with baby unswaddled, in a rocking chair, your couch, or a park bench. Or even if you have to feed in your car while you’re running errands with baby.
#2 – Holding baby with opposite arm while feeding
Similar to position 1, the cross cradle nursing position is sitting and using the opposite arm to hold baby secure.
First, this will work out your arm muscles (win win)! But, it’s good if you are more blessed up top and need a hand available to help secure your breast as you nurse.
#3 – Lying on back with baby nursing, positioned on top
This is an excellent position if baby has reflux or you have a case of hyper lactation. Hyper lactation occurs when milk comes out so quickly baby struggles to drink it without choking or spitting up.
It’s also good if you have a newborn who tends to fall asleep all the time while nursing because he has to “work a little harder” to nurse this way.
Read: Newborn Feeding Schedules — All You Need To Know
#4 – Nursing baby while holding him tucked under, like holding a football
The football hold is similar to positions 1 and 2, but with a more snug and secure hold. This will be great if baby is swaddled or for night feeds when you want baby to remain mostly asleep while feeding.
#5 – Sitting up with baby straddling one leg, nursing upright
I’ve gotta be honest… I lived in Australia and have never seen this one around in the streets, but it’s a great one for home.
This position works well if baby is old enough to hold themselves up a bit (3 months on) and, again, if baby tends to fall asleep while feeding.
You want baby alert while feeding so they get as much milk as possible and are then able to learn to settle themselves to sleep.
#6 – Lying down with baby feeding “upside down”
This isn’t as intuitive as some of the other positions, but is a great one to try if you become engorged or feel baby isn’t fully emptying the breasts while nursing.
This breastfeeding technique gives baby another angle and can help unclog any clogged ducts that may contribute (or have already contributed) to mastitis. I have fed from different positions and along with some other weird remedies, been able to get through mastitis without antibiotics.
#7 – Lying on side with baby positioned nearly upright feeding on the top breast
One of the best parts about nursing is getting away from the hustle and bustle of the family to spend time with baby. It’s hard to do that, but worth it.
This position allows you to lie down and get comfortable while baby feeds. It also keeps baby upright which is good if your little one struggles with reflux and, again, for the daytime when you want baby awake while feeding.
Read: 8 Reasons You Have A Whiny Baby — And Solutions
#8 – Breastfeeding while lying on your side
This was my favorite nighttime feeding position for all 5 babies. If you cluster feed during the early evening hours and dream feed before midnight, this is likely the position you’ll be in a lot.
If baby is swaddled (and you buy a swaddle that zips from the bottom so you can feed baby while swaddled and change him without unswaddling him) then this position works well for night feeds. Baby remains swaddled and feeds while barely awake, meaning they re-settle quickly.
How To Keep Your Milk Supply Up
If you are nursing your little one, here are some general rules of thumb to go by that will help you have a baby who feeds well, grows well and on time, sleeps well, and is generally agreeable.
- Have your baby on an age appropriate routine so they don’t need to resort to crying to try and have their needs met.
- Eat a healthy diet and exercise so you remain in a good mental state, which will translate down to your relationship with baby.
- Teach baby how to sleep well from the beginning. If it’s already past that, it’s never too late to sleep train.
- Get families with baby sleep times and baby bedtime rituals, these will help baby be calm while feeding and after.
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