Whatever position the mother chooses should be comfortable for the mother and safe for the infant.
◈ Infant should be in light (REM) sleep or in a quiet alert state but not crying. A sleepy baby may not respond with a rooting reflex and may not take the breast. Unwrapping and undressing a baby may help awaken a sleepy baby. A gentle massage of the soles of the baby’s feet may also help.
◈ Infant should be held on the same level as mother's breast, turned so the baby’s abdomen faces the mother’s abdomen (“tummy to tummy”), held close and well supported with pillows.
◈ Mother should sit comfortably, with her back well supported, and bring baby in close to her. She offers her breast to the baby in a way that promotes good attachment of the baby’s mouth to the breast. She may support her breast with all four fingers below and thumb resting lightly atop the breast. This is often called a “C hold”.
◈ Her thumb and fingers should be away from the areola so that baby can grasp the nipple and areola area without interference. Often we see mothers offering the breast to the baby using a “scissors” hold, with the nipple between the forefinger and middle finger. If her fingers block the areola, the baby cannot attach properly.
1. Modified cradle position
- a. Have mother sit comfortably in upright position using good body alignment. Use pillows for support. A lap pillow should help bring baby up to breast level so mother does not lean over baby
- b. Place baby on mothers lap and turn baby’s entire body toward mother. Position baby’s bodyso that the baby’ys nose lines up to the nipple. Maintain baby’s body in a horizontal position
- c. To feed at left breast, mother supports baby’s head with her right hand at nape of baby’ws neck, mother right thumb by baby’s left ear, and right forefinger nearn baby’s right ear.
- d. With mothers free left hand, she can offer her left breast
2. cradle position
- a. Have mother sit comfortable in upright position using good body alignment. Use pillows for support. Lap pillow should help bring baby up to breast level so mother does not lean over baby
- b. Place baby on mother’s lap and turn baby’s entire body toward mother. Position baby so that the baby’s nose lines up to the nipple. Maintain baby’s body in a horizontal alignment.
- c. If feeding from the left beast, have mother cradle baby’s head near the crook of her left arm while supporting her baby’s body with her left forearm
- d. With mohter’s free right hand, she can offer her left breast
3. football hold position
- a. have mother sit comfortably and use pillows to raise baby’s body to breast level.
- b. If feeding at left breast, place baby on the left side of mother’s body, heading baby into position feet first. Baby’s bottom should rest on pillow near mother’s elbow
- c. Turn baby slightly on her side so that she faces the breast
- d. Mother’s left arm clutches baby’s body close to mother’s body. Baby’s body should feel secure under mothers arm
- e. Have mother support baby’s head with her left hand.
4. side lying position
- a. Have mother rest comfortably lying on her side
- b. Place baby in side-lying position next to mother’s body. Baby’s body should face mother’s body. Baby’s nose should line up to mother’s nipple. Place a roll behind baby’s back, if desired.
- c. With mother’s free right hand, she can offer her left breast. After baby is securely attached, mom can rest her right hand anywhere that is comfortable for her.