12 October, 2012

31 Days of Breastfeeding: Positions

I know. I've totally been slacking on my breastfeeding posts. For some reason, the creative juices just haven't been flowing lately! Also, my little miss has been super-de-duper clingy for the past week. It's hard to type up a blog post with a little one in your lap pressing keys and the trackpad. (No really, I tried it.) 

Anyways! Today I've decided that we're gonna talk feeding positions. Are you ready!?

When Charlotte was born, the position we used most was the cross-cradle. 

It was the easiest for me to figure out and it kept her in the correct spot. She was an itsy bitsy baby, but a wiggly one. With this position, you put your hand on their neck/head and bring the baby to your breast. Tummy to tummy. Most, but not all, find that using a Boppy with this position helps. Especially with a new baby. I used my Boppy all the time until Charlotte was around 3-4 months old. It was a life saver. Not to mention it kept my arms from cramping during those 30-45 minute nursing sessions!

Another position that's good for those new, squishy babies is the football hold. Called such because you hold them pretty much like a football player headed for the end zone. =)

Your hand is under their head, while their body is to your side. According to my bestie (and probably several LCs), this position is great for ladies with inverted or flat nipples. This position helps them latch easier. I even used this one with Charlotte when we were having trouble with her latch. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. I don't have inverted/flat nipples, though. Charlotte is just picky and chose to like it whenever she wanted to. =P I also used this hold when my nipples were badly cracked. Sometimes trying a new position helps...it puts the pressure in a slightly different spot. Seriously, you never know what's going to work!

In my opinion, the cradle hold is better for older babies. I didn't really start using this one with little missy until she was around 3-4 months old. She had better head/neck control then and I just felt more comfortable with breastfeeding in general.

This one's pretty simple: just cradle the baby as if you're going to rock her/him, but low enough that s/he can latch onto your nipple. Then you're set to snuggle with your little lovie while s/he breastfeeds. Sometimes when I rock Charlotte she'll start rooting even though she's not hungry. She just knows that that position usually means feeding time. It's pretty funny! This is the position we use about 95% of the time now. Of course, her toosh rests in my lap while she's eating so I don't have to worry about holding her up or using the Boppy. That's mostly why I waited so long to use this one.

Last, but definitely not least, is the side-lying position. 

I didn't use this one until around a month or so ago. *gasp* Shocking, I know. This one is most common for mamas who've had a c-section, as they don't have to worry about touching the incision site while breast feeding. And most mamas feed their babies in bed at night in this position. Charlotte has never slept in our bed - not even in our room - so there was no real reason for me to feed her this way. 

One day I just decided to try it. She woke up around 6am, which is way earlier than usual and this mama does not do 6am. I let her stay in her crib until she got fussy (come on, who hasn't done that?!) and then I brought her in bed with me and fed her. Joe was long gone to PT and I was tired. So, I fed her. And? I loved it. It was so sweet and cuddly! I had hopes that she'd fall asleep once she was done, but she didn't. I can't be too surprised, though. We'd never done that before. I do it more often now...when I'm feeling lazy. Occasionally I'll feed her side-lying on the couch, but she does better with it in bed. I definitely love the sweet cuddles that this position allows. =)

I've also fed Charlotte in a sort of modified football hold... She has reflux, which used to be really bad. I got the idea one day to try feeding her with her sitting beside me, but facing me. Make sense? It worked for a while, but she didn't really like it. She wasn't sitting on her own then, so that could've been part of it. The sitting up helped her reflux calm down while she was eating, but I just don't think she liked it that much. So we only did it a few times. 

So, there you have it! All of the feeding positions and a mini-explanation. I liked the cross-cradle best for my squishy newborn, but I know some mamas have different experiences and opinions. I never really liked the football hold, but I'm sure that's partially because Charlotte never really cared for it either. The cradle hold is our most successful one, while the side-lying is something I do every now and then for the ease and cuddles. =)

If you're a breastfeeding mama, what's your favorite?

P.S. Got any questions? Feel free to ask! I'm all ears - er, eyes! ;-)


Chantal said...

Oh positions. Nowadays I do a cross cradle, except she's sorta sitting in my lap half the time... Other times she actually sits up and eats. We do side-lying a lot too. Or my favorite the other day, climb on my chest and eat.

Katy said...

With my first we mostly did the cross cradle with the assistance of the Boppy. I learned after a couple months about laying down and gave it a try since she took 45min to an hour to eat the first 5 months or so. My middle child who was tiny and had awful reflux till sh was 10 months old preferred the football hold. And our newest baby boy definitely likes the cross cradle.

heather said...

I use the cradle position the most. i did that from the beginning with my first and now my second. i am fairly large chested to begin with so the football hold never worked for me. i could only get them to latch on a few times. and ill use the side by side one some time but i have to be carful because i will fall asleep lol so i try not to do it at night. my first loved it but little miss priss isnt a big fan of it, she likes the cradle position.

Heather said...

I did the cross cradle at first. It was the only way I could get her to latch properly at first. I had no idea what it was called though! lol