Hi, I’m Alissa Pemberton. I’m a lactation consultant and holistic sleep coach. I’m going to share with you some of the common issues that I come across around breastfeeding and my top tips to help.
For many mums, when they first have their baby, it’s really difficult to know how to hold your baby to feed him. And it will make a big difference how you position your baby at the breast as to how well they can latch on and how comfortable feeding is for you.
There’s a couple of really easy positions that you can use that work great with newborns and they give you really good control over where you’re positioning your baby and also make it really easy to encourage them to take a nice deep latch and be feeding effectively.
So, the first position that works really well for newborns is called the cross cradle hold. In this position, you’re going to support your baby with the opposite arm to the breast that you’re feeding on and hold them with your hand across their back and shoulder blades. It’s really important here that we don’t put your hand on the back of their head because they need to be able to tip their head back to come in and latch onto the breast so we want their head to be completely free. So with the heel of your hand and your palm across their back and shoulder blades, if you need to, you can use your fingers and thumb to support around the side of baby’s neck. And then we’ve got baby in a nice straight line tucked in under your arm.
If you feel you need the support, you can use a pillow underneath your baby or what also works really well is to use a rolled up blanket or towel. It makes a nice thick wedge that you can just use to prop on the baby’s body and support some of their weight.
Another position that works great for newborns and is also really good for mums with larger breasts is what I call the stargazing hold. So you’re going to position your baby with their feet underneath your arm towards your back. Hold them in the same way that you did before so we’ve got hand and palm across their back and shoulder blades. And your baby is looking up towards you.
In this position what you can do is that you can allow your breast to naturally fall at the angle that it does down towards your baby. And then all we want to be aware of doing in this position is making sure that we have baby far enough around your body, that they’re not cold in front of your breast, but that they’re actually looking up from underneath your breast before they latch on.
You’ll also probably want to be aware of making sure that you’ve got enough space for baby’s feet. So if you move yourself out on your chair or the sofa wherever you’re feeding and pop a couple of cushions behind your back, so that you’ve got plenty of room here for baby’s legs to sit out behind you.