A large part of breastfeeding successfully rests on the position that you hold your baby and how comfortable you both are. Your baby needs to latch on properly, taking a large mouthful of your breast in order for the milk to flow properly and to ensure you're not in pain. Being comfortable without having to move their head, and having their body lined up straight is really important to ensuring they can do this.
There are several different ways to hold your baby while nursing them, so try them out and see what works best for you. Don't be discouraged if it feels difficult to start off with, it will get easier with practise and you should get to a point where you can even breastfeed in public easily and discreetly.
If you're struggling to get your baby to latch on properly ask your health visitor for help and they can go through some different positions with you.
Whatever position you try, there are certain golden rules that you need to remember to ensure that your baby is safe and comfortable:
Laid back relaxingIf you're feeding in bed or laid back on a reclining chair you can relax and tuck your baby close to your front. With your body leant backwards, your baby's body should be laid across your front, ensuring their ear, shoulder and hip are in a straight line and mouth is facing your nipple. Their body should be supported by your body. You can use pillows to keep your back and sides supported and pop one under your baby to keep them supported too.
Laid on your sideTry lying on your side in bed. Tuck some pillows behind your back to support you. You could put some underneath your shoulder or head and even in-between your bent knees so you're comfortable. With your baby lying on the bed facing you, draw them close underneath one of your breasts and support their head. Your baby shouldn't have to strain to reach your nipple, so they may need a small pillow underneath them to lift them to the right place.
Sitting in a chairSitting up in a well supporting chair, cradle your baby across your front making sure their head and neck are supported in the crook of your arm. This is the most common position for mothers when breastfeeding.
Under armPop some cushions at your side so that your baby can lie on them, looking up at you with their feet pointing behind you. Support their back and head with your right arm if they are feeding on your right breast and vice versa. As always make sure their body isn't twisted and their nose and your nipple are in line. This is a particularly good position for twins as you can have a baby on each breast.
Have you ever tried these breastfeeding positions? Let us know in the comments below