The Best Breastfeeding Positions

The Best Breastfeeding Positions

Last update: 23 July, 2018

It’s a challenge for new mothers to know how to feed their little ones. If you count yourself among this group, below you’ll find a useful list of the best breastfeeding positions for you and your baby.

4 Best breastfeeding positions

You can choose from different postures based on your physical condition and how you feel most comfortable while breastfeeding. In addition, you can vary the position of your baby so that he also feels comfortable.

Regardless of the position you choose, check that your baby holds the breast well so that he suckles correctly. For example, the mouth should be open, the tongue holding the nipple underneath and the lips facing outward. In addition, both the chin and the nose should touch the breast.

Ventral or biological posture

This is the most common posture in any mammal. It’s also good for human beings so that the baby can look for the breast on his own and change to the other when he needs to.

For this position, you should be semi-recumbent or with your back reclined. Place the baby on you, lying on his stomach and with his head between your breasts. As the baby has his entire body on you, you don’t need to hold him; you just need to keep an eye on him.

The Best Breastfeeding Positions

A newborn baby may take 10 to 60 minutes to find the breast, but as he grows it will become much easier for him to find. Then, it will take less than 10 minutes.

Sitting mother

When the mother is sitting or reclined, there are several options for placing the baby, including:

  • The stretched baby. The mother sits and keeps her back straight while holding the baby turned toward her chest with the feet placed toward the other breast. If the baby rejects one of the breasts, then move his feet to the other side so that he feels like he’s nursing from the breast he normally accepts.
  • Rugby ball style. This is when the baby is lying on his back while suckling, with his body tucked under the mother’s arm and his feet toward the mother’s back. This is undoubtedly one of the best breastfeeding positions, especially if you gave birth by cesarean, because the baby won’t put pressure on the wound. In addition, with this position it’s possible to drain the ducts that are in the chest and avoid obstructions due to milk retention.
  • Vertically or straddling. For this position, the mother sits down and places the child, also sitting, on one of her legs. In this way, he remains upright. This position favors eye contact and prevents babies from choking when they nurse very fast. For this, it’s recommended that the nipple point upward so that a good portion of the breast is below and the baby can hold onto it.

With the mother lying on her side

In this position, the baby lies on the bed and is stretched by your side. This way, you can rest while you breastfeed. 

This is also one of the best breastfeeding positions when the baby is very heavy or when you’re recovering from giving birth. This position can be done with the baby’s feet pointing toward your head or toward your stomach.

The position that the mother chooses will depend on her physical condition and how she feels most comfortable when breastfeeding her baby.

Four-legged posture

Although this is not very common, it’s a good option for mothers suffering from mastitis, as it facilitates the emptying of the ducts. For this, you must place the baby face up and kneel down with your legs near his head. Then you can lean toward him and bring your chest to his mouth.

The Best Breastfeeding Positions

What should you take into account when breastfeeding?

It’s important for you to prepare and have at hand several things that you’ll need, because you’ll spend many hours breastfeeding. Some of the things you should have nearby are:

  • A good chair where you can breastfeed.
  • Cushions to rest your arms while supporting the child, and others for the cervical and lumbar area, as well as for the area where the knees curve.
  • Books to read, handkerchiefs, a glass of water and other things you may need so that you don’t have to get up frequently.

Now that you’ve expanded your knowledge in terms of the best breastfeeding positions, you can use the ones you like or find the most comfortable for both you and your baby.

Finally, take into account that breastfeeding is a perfect bond of love and makes your child happy, strong and healthy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.