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How to Use Nursing Pillow To Position Your Baby When Breastfeeding


Breast milk is a free gift or naturally oriented but how it gets to the baby’s belly requires little know-how and a lot of practice especially for new mothers.

A good and proper position is necessary as it helps your baby to latch on well and prevent some breast feeding problems such as nipple soreness, breast discomfort e t c. 
your breast feeding position may depend on where you are at the point of breastfeeding but remember that there is no particular best position to feed your baby it all depends on the position that works well for you and your baby.

 The way you hold your baby will make it easier for your baby to feed effectively and helpful to the mother. The skin to skin contact with your baby after birth helps to enhance your milk producing a hormone called prolactin, helping your breast to produce more milk.

Babies can latch on successfully from different positions and below are the list of different styles or hold the baby can latch on easily.



                                            Positions of Breastfeeding



Cross Body or Cradle Hold – this position is common for older babies who can easily latch. It is a position where the mother supports the baby’s head in the crook of her arm; the mother needs to sit with the baby’s length across her abdomen with her elbow supporting her baby’s head and mother’s hand supporting baby’s bottom while the other hand supports the breast.

 A breastfeeding pillow or nursing pillow can help to lift baby and support your elbows, using this method the baby fed from the support of her mother and it is hard to control the baby’s head when nursing in this position.

Side lying position – this position is common when feeding the baby at night or in the morning when you are still in bed. It is a good position for moms who had a C – section and for moms who want to rest their tired bodies while breastfeeding their babies. 

This hold involves mother and baby lying parallel where the baby’s nose needs to be at nipple level so that as the mother draws the baby closer by applying pressure to his or her back, the baby pushes his or her head back as he or she latch on. In this hold if the mother wants to feed the baby on the left breast, she will lie on her left side with her back supported while the baby lies on her side facing her and the baby’s chest will be against yours.

 The mothers right arm will be support the baby’s body while the right hand will support the baby’s head drawing the baby closer to your breast. Babies like this position because they feel supported on the bed but before you practice this position be sure that your baby can latch well.

Cross – Cradle or Cross – Over hold – this method can also be regarded as the transitional hold and it is similar to the cradle hold. This method of breastfeeding are mostly learned by mothers and it is the kind of position mostly taught in hospitals because it helps the mother focus, know the reaction of the baby and all what happens as the baby latches on.

 In this hold, the mother lay the baby on her side well supported the use of a nursing pillow is welcome. If the mother tends to feed the on her left breast she has to use her right arm to support the baby’s body and your right hand to support the baby’s head while your fingers support the breast. Applying the use of breastfeeding pillow or nursing pillow makes this position more comfortable and easier.

Laid back position – this position is also called biological nurturing because it involves the mother lying in a comfortable, semi-reclining and well supported position where the baby’s tummy is placed on the mother’s belly or chest in a vertical position then the baby uses his or her instincts to search for the breast. 

This method makes the baby feels he or she is in control and help him or her to use his or her innate ability to find the breast and feed. It is good for moms who had C – section as it protects their caesarean wound, help moms to relax while their baby is glued to their baby by gravity as she does not have to hold or support the baby. 

This hold is also good for moms who have smaller breast as your baby can latch on naturally all you need to do is to direct the nipples towards the baby’s mouth.

Vertical baby hold – this hold is good for babies with bruising at the back of their head due to forceps or vacuum extraction. It is very common for older babies but a mother who uses this position need to adjust depending on her height, the baby’s length and the size of the mother’s breast.

 In this hold, the mother sits cross-legged and rest the baby against one of her thigh or knee or use a nursing pillow. The main aim of this position is for the baby to come from under the mother’s breast and latch on, the mother will place her hand behind the baby’s back with his or her head in the V between her thumb and fingers bringing the baby to the breast by pressing with the heel of her hand so that the baby’s chin comes into the breast while the head pushes back.

Football Hold – this hold is amazing for beginners also called the clutch hold. It is the easiest kind of hold that helps the mother to focus on the baby’s latching while practicing other feeding positions.

 It is also good for moms who have large breast, those who had C – section who wants to avoid placing their baby against their abdomen, for small or premature babies, twins and moms struggling with deep latch. In this hold, the baby faces the mother and the length of the baby supported with a nursing pillow, placing the baby’s leg next to the mother’s side.

 For instance if the mother is nursing the baby on the right side, she uses her arm to support on her side and guides the head of the baby to her breast.

Koala holds – in this position the mother supports the baby while the baby straddles across the mother’s knees in an upright position. It is commonly for older babies, it requires the mother supporting the baby with the arm on the same side as the baby feeds while the mother supports her breast with the opposite hand as the football hold.

                     The Use of Breastfeeding Positions in Certain Conditions

Position over active breast milk – this is when the breast milk comes out in large quantity in a forceful manner, this can make the baby full fast which result in the baby gassing continuously and spitting up. 

When you notice this, the better position to use when breastfeeding is the laid back method. This method makes it easier for the baby to back off the feeding and away from the over pouring milk when needed.

Position for a gassy baby - the position for this situation is standing or walking while breastfeeding after this try to keep your baby upright over your shoulder for 20 minutes, this helps the baby to control the milk flow better and avoid gas. 

In cases where the baby is experiencing a painful gas try to check on the way he/she latches whether she is gulping a lot of air, this makes the baby gas no matter the position you use while breastfeeding.

Position for babies who find it difficult to latch – when you experience such attitude in your baby try different breastfeeding position and see which one will work for your baby but in most cases, the cross cradle method works well for this situation. This is because with this method you will be able to monitor or concentrate more on the baby as he/she latch on.

Position for reflux – some babies feel reluctant to breastfeed due to reflux when it is noticed try to walk or stand when breastfeeding the baby. The movement can assist in calming the baby and also encourage him or her to latch on, after breastfeeding the baby avoid seating or swinging the baby as this will put pressure on the esophageal sp hinder making the reflux worse rather place the baby on your shoulder or infant carrier for 20 minutes.

Position for babies with stuffy nose – when you notice this in your baby try to give him or her steamy bath so as to loosen the congestion. When you want to breastfeed, do not breastfeed while lying down as this could make the stuffy nose worse rather breastfeed your baby in an upright or laid back position.

Breastfeeding positions you should always avoid are
-        Trying to breastfeed when your baby’s body is far away from the breast.
-        Breastfeeding where the mother has to hunch over the baby.
-        Trying to breastfeed when the baby’s head and body face different directions.

Nursing or breastfeeding pillow – this is a type of pillow which looks like the letter C, it has a strap hold which helps to hold them in place around the mother’s waist. Whenever the mother wants to nurse her baby she positions the baby on the top of the pillow for easy latching.  

This pillow is used to support the baby while breastfeeding so as to give your tried arms a break; it is helpful when using the football or cross cradle style of breastfeeding. 

Whenever you need to use a pillow when breastfeeding avoids the use of sofa pillow or soft pillow as this will put your baby at the risk of suffocation. It is better to get a nursing pillow as this will be more helpful and careful when breastfeeding your baby.

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