Breastfeeding Techniques

Breastfeeding Techniques

Breast milk is no doubt the liquid form of love and breastfeeding is a mother’s gift to her baby, to herself and to the earth.  The benefits of breastfeeding for both the baby and the mother are numerous and it is quite a special time of physical and emotional bonding between the mother and her newborn baby. Breastfeeding is natural & beautiful and can be mastered with a little patience and coordination.  There is no right or wrong way of breastfeeding the baby and what is most important here is that whatever position or technique is chosen, it should be a comfortable one for both mother and baby.

Whatever technique is adopted by the mother, there are some key pointers to ensure that nursing goes smoothly. The mother’s body should be well supported by using a comfortable chair with armrests or extra pillows for support. A footstool can prevent from bending over much and straining the back. The baby should be brought to the breast and not the other way around. The breasts which are heavier during lactation also ought to be supported well with the hand using a C-hold or a V- hold. The baby’s head, neck, back and hips should also be supported throughout the nursing process with the hand or with an extra folded blanket or pillows.

Some of the time tested breastfeeding techniques that can be tried out are;

Cradle Hold – This is the most classic breastfeeding technique which involves the mother sitting upright, with the baby positioned on its side, with the head and neck laying along the mother’s forearm and the baby’s body against the mother’s stomach.This technique though is not always easy with a newborn because it doesn’t give the baby adequate support.

Cross Cradle Hold – Also known as crossover hold, this technique offers great support to the baby and the mother. In this technique the baby is placed in the crook of the arm opposite the breast the baby is feeding at. Left arm for right breast, right arm for left and the back of the baby’s head can be supported by the mother’s open hand.

Football Hold– This technique is ideal for a mother with bigger breasts or who has had a C-section. It is also a perfect position for premature babies or tiny babies as it gives excellent control for mother over the baby.

Side-lying position –In this technique, the mother and baby lie on their sides next to one another, in a tummy to tummy position. This is an ideal position for relaxed night feeds and if the mother has had a caesarean as no pressure will be exerted on the stitches.

Laid-back position – Also known as biological nurturing this technique is especially comfortable after a caesarean section. In this technique, the mother will be in a reclined position with the baby’s body across the mother’s shoulder. This technique will be helpful for mothers with smaller breasts,for newborns, and for babies with sensitive tummies or excess gas.

“After Vaginal birth, position the baby so that his feet are near the mother’s thighs and his head is near the  breasts for comfortable suckling and skin to skin touch  ”

Koala hold-In this upright position, the baby sits straddling the mother’s thigh or on the hip the baby’s spine and head upright while he feeds. This technique is convenient way to feed an older baby who can sit unaided and is often the most comfortable breastfeeding technique for babies who suffer from reflux or ear infections.

If the mother delivers twins, then simultaneous breastfeeding can be difficult and tiring.  After getting used to breastfeeding one baby at a time, she can try Tandem nursing by adopting this positions:

Double-football hold  

Also called the double clutch, in this technique, both the babies will be facing the mother while being latched on. The babies’ bodies are tucked under the mother’s arms and their heads supported by the mother’s hands. A pillow placed on both sides of the mother’s body and across her lap can make the position more comfortable.

Double-cradle hold 

This position combines the football hold and a cradle hold. The babies lie across the mother with their bodies and feet pointing to the side, in the same direction.  If one baby takes more time to latch properly, try latching them first.

We at Divakar’s Hospital conduct regular sessions on Breastfeeding and Lactation techniques for new mothers. You can register for the next session or do a video consultation with our Certified Lactation Expert – Dr Payel Biswas Soo through the Divakar’s Hospital app which can be downloaded from Google play store or IOS

Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign Conducted at Divakar’s Speciality Hospital
Patient Reviews on Breastfeeding Sessions

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