While breastfeeding is one of the most natural acts in the world, that doesn’t mean it comes naturally to all moms and babies. It’s a bit of an art form- a skill that both mom and baby have to work together to develop.Thankfully, there are plenty of step-by-step guides that will help you breast feed your baby. We like this one by Fit Pregnancy that demonstrates three different ways you can hold your baby when breastfeeding.
In their view, the most crucial part of breastfeeding is getting your baby to latch:
“Any good lactation consultant will tell you: Latching is everything. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Position the baby on her side so she is directly facing you, with her belly touching yours.
Step 2: Next, prop up the baby with a pillow, if necessary, and hold her up to your breast; don’t lean over toward her.
Step 3: Place your thumb and fingers around your areola and tilt your baby’s head back slightly and tickle her lips with your nipple until she opens her mouth wide.
Step 4: Help her “scoop” the breast into her mouth by placing her lower jaw on first, well below the nipple. Tilt her head forward, placing her upper jaw deeply on the breast. Make sure she takes the entire nipple and at least 1 1/2 inches of the areola in her mouth.”
The article suggests several ways you can hold your baby for comfortable feeding.
Position your baby on your forearm, her head in the crook of your arm. Support her bottom with your other hand. Pull her in close to you, belly to belly, with her ear, shoulder and hip in a straight line.
While useful for all women, this position is particularly helpful for mothers who have had a Cesarean section. Place your baby on a pillow, tucked close to your side. Rest your arm on the pillow to bring your baby’s mouth up to your breast; support her head with your hand.
This position is also helpful if you had a C-section or want to rest while nursing your baby. Lie on the side you will be breastfeeding on. Place your head on a pillow and draw your baby in close to you, using your arm to support her bottom. Use your other hand to bring your breast up to baby’s mouth.”
Better yet, watch this video for a live action step-by-step tutorial!