Feeding your baby lying down in the side-lying position can be very comfortable and relaxing. This position can be a bit more challenging to learn in the early weeks, but once you and your baby have gotten a better grasp of breastfeeding, this position can be very useful for those middle of the night feedings.
Proper positioning is essential to ensure adequate milk removal from the breast and to avoid nipple damage.
Follow these steps to correctly position your baby:
- You and your baby should lie down on your side facing each other in a “tummy-to-tummy” position.
- Use pillows to support your head and neck. You might find that pillows behind your back and/or legs are also helpful in provide comfort.
- Use the arm that you are lying on (the arm on the same side as the breast you will be nursing from) to support your baby’s head. If this is uncomfortable, you can use pillows or rolled up blankets behind your baby’s back for support.
- Use your opposite hand (the one opposite the breast you will be nursing from) to maneuver your breast.
|A Little Something for Mama-To-Be|
Compress and shape your breast to fit the size of your baby's mouth; your fingers should be parallel to baby's lips (think of when you eat a sandwich and compress the breast as you would if eating a sandwich). Be sure your fingers are not directly on your areola since this can interfere with your baby’s latch. Depending on your baby's position at the breast, a "C" hold or a "U" hold of the breast can be used.
- To compress your breast using the "C" hold, place your thumb on the top margin of your areola (the dark area around your nipple) and the remaining fingers under the lower margin of your areola.
- For the "U" hold, compress the breast by making a "U" with your hand. Place your thumb on the outer, side margin of your areola and the remaining fingers should be placed on the inner, side margin of the areola.
- Bring your baby to your breast (instead of bringing your breast to your baby) and stimulate your baby to open his/her mouth by stroking your nipple from your baby’s nose down to his/her chin. This “up-to-down” motion helps stimulate your baby to open his/her mouth wide.
- When your baby has opened his/her mouth wide and the tongue is down, quickly (and gently) bring your baby to your breast.
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|Breastfeeding - Side Lying|
Author : Diba Tillery RN, BSN, IBCLC, CPST