19 September 2013
Some of my fondest memories as a mother were breastfeeding my children. Touching their soft skin, listening to their contented little sighs and staring into their eyes as they look up so adoringly at you–it was amazing. Breastfeeding is some pretty powerful stuff.
I can still vividly recall those first few nights at home after my babies were born. It felt like we were the only two people awake in the world sometimes. Sore and a little beat up, I tried my best to position the little squirming ball of humanity to my breast. Do women know how to do this instinctively? Am I doing this all wrong? Why is this so hard?
I had some struggles along the way, that’s for sure. Somehow I managed to maintain a breastfeeding relationship with most of my children. Once I gave birth to baby #6, I realized I became a seasoned veteran at breastfeeding along the way. How did I know this?
I had my favorite breastfeeding positions down pat. There was no need to experiment–I knew which ones were the most convenient and the most comfortable for both of us. Hands down, my favorite breastfeeding position was laying down. When you can both mother your child, feed her and doze in and out of sleep–that’s not laziness, it’s just pure genius. I gave up the notion of a crib a long time ago, which meant we were free to nurse and fall back asleep. I would usually lay my daughter across my hip (which was very soft and padded, by the way) to briefly burp her and then we’d switch sides.
On those occasions when I couldn’t lay down to nurse my baby girl, I would use the football hold. That is, until she was big enough to play with her feet and yank my nipple because her attention was directed across the room. Ouch.
I asked a few of my breastfeeding mama friends, and they shared a few of their favorite breastfeeding positions.
Lap Position: You will find yourself breastfeeding with your sweet babe spread out on your lap quite often.
Side Lying Nursing: This is probably my favorite breastfeeding position! Once the oxytocin starts to flow and you begin to feel drowsy, it's the perfect time to nap.
Cradle Hold: The most common breastfeeding position. It's easy and comfortable.
Babywearing - Sling: I never quite figured out how to nurse while wearing a sling, but lots of moms swear by it.
Foodball Hold: This is great for moms who are new to breastfeeding because it gives a great view of baby's latch-on.
Lying Flat Back Position: This is supposed to be a restful position for mom--until the baby gets the idea that he's hungry!
Tandem Hold: For the mothers with two young nursing babes, there is the tandem hold.
My second favorite breastfeeding position--comfortably on your lap, head cradled in your arms, eyes looking up at you and their tiny hand griping yours.