How To Breastfeed Lying Down (And Why You Should Try It!)

How To Breastfeed Lying Down (And Why You Should Try It!)

Breastfeeding lying down. Just saying those words sounds wonderful. Being able to nourish and nurture your baby, and relax and rest at the same time. Win, Win! However, many mothers are unsure about how to breastfeed lying down.

Indeed, many breastfeeding mothers enjoy breastfeeding lying down.

In fact, there are many reasons why this may be helpful other than just providing a mother with much needed R & R.

Caring for a little one can be tiring work, especially as you’re healing from pregnancy and giving birth. But there’s still more benefits than just allowing a mother to rest and heal.

How To Breastfeed Lying Down

What else can breastfeeding lying down do? And just how do you actually breastfeed lying down?

Breastfeeding lying down can:

Help A Baby Cope With A Fast Flow

Feeding your baby lying down on your side with your baby in close to you and on her side can help her cope with a fast flow of milk better. This is because this position can make it easier for her to take herself off the breast while the flow is fast and then go back on, and hence be more in control of the flow.

For more tips about dealing with an overactive let-down reflex read here.

Make Feeding Comfortable If You Have Back Pain

If you are suffering any back pain, breastfeeding lying down can be a great way to take the pressure off your baby, especially your lower back. You can read here about other ways to take care of yourself physically.

Make Feeding Comfortable If You Have Stiches

If you have stiches (e.g. due to perineal tearing or an episiotomy during giving birth), sitting to breastfeed can be painful. Lying down to breastfeed, however, is a comfortable position to feed in and can help reduce any swelling.

Make Feeding Comfortable After Having A C-section

Some mothers find breastfeeding lying down a comfortable breastfeeding position after having a c-section. This is because it can keep any of your baby’s weight off the c-section wound.

Be Helpful If You Have Large Breasts

Mothers with large breasts often find it difficult to position and attach their baby well because it’s difficult for them to see their nipple and their baby’s mouth. Breastfeeding lying down can enable these mothers to be able to see these things and hence be able to more effectively position and attach their baby well.

Breastfeeding While Lying Down

To breastfeed lying down:

  1. Lie down on your side with a pillow under your head.
  2. Placing a pillow between your legs for support can help, especially if you have back pain.
  3. Place your baby on her side and bring her right in close to your body.
  4. Bring her nose in to be level with your lower-most nipple.
  5. Support her back with your forearm and her neck and shoulder blades with your hand and wrist (avoiding contact with her head).
  6. Position her such that when her head is tipped back and her mouth is wide open, your nipple is pointing towards the roof of her mouth.
  7. Hug her onto your breast. (Older babies will be able to simply attach themselves).

Most mothers roll onto their other side to feed from the other breast. Although some mothers are able to feed their baby from the top breast too, without needing to swap sides.

So, if you haven’t already, why don’t you give breastfeeding lying down a go. Enjoy!

 
Last Updated: March 18, 2016

CONTRIBUTOR

Renee Kam is mother to Jessica and Lara, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), a physiotherapist, author of 'The Newborn Baby Manual' and an Australian Breastfeeding Association Counsellor. In her spare time, Renee enjoys spending time with family and friends, horse riding, running and reading.


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