How to Stay Comfortable While Breastfeeding
By: Jordan Berns
Breastfeeding women are often told all about breast and nipple pain and injuries. But how does one go about healing the general aches and pains that go with taking care of a baby? Breastfeeding can be a physically exhausting process. This article will give you tips and tricks on how to breastfeed while staying comfortable and pain free.
5 Ways to get rid of body aches and pains while breastfeeding.
- Where You Nurse Matters: The first step is to examine your nursing space. Is your chair comfortable? A cushioned chair with good arm support can make all the difference in the world. If the arm rests on your chair are too low or too hard, consider padding them with pillows or blankets. Firm pillows work best in providing maximum support. Some mothers feel more comfortable with a pillow or book at their feet while others prefer to have their feet flat on the floor. You can even use blankets or pillows to elevate your baby. Remember to bring the baby to your breast, not bring your breast to the baby. This should help minimize back pain.
- Try Yoga: Yoga can be a significant pain reducer. Some poses to try to specifically to combat body aches from nursing are: the cow face pose, half tortoise pose, thread the needle, reclining hero pose, fish pose, supine spinal twists, banana pose, sages twist, seated spinal twist, and rag doll. Ask your doctor or lactation consultant about Mommy and Me yoga classes in your area.
- It Can get Better with Time: If you’ve made changes to your routine and are still experiencing discomfort, know that it probably won’t last forever. Body pain and aches with nursing tend to decrease as your baby’s age increases. As babies grow older, they have more muscle tone and are more alert, as compared to newborns who tend to be more sleepy and need greater assistance with staying in position to latch and nurse.
How do I nurse in the side lying position?
- The Side Lying Position: Feeling back, shoulder, and side pain while breastfeeding can be an uncomfortable reality. To alleviate pain, try the side lying nursing position. This position is especially great for women recovering from c-sections and women with larger breasts.
- Get comfortable lying down on a soft surface.
- Rest on your side and put a pillow beneath your head. If it helps, lean up against the side of a bed or couch. You can put pillows behind your back or between your legs for extra comfort.
- Bend your knees and keep your body in a straight formation to protect your back .
- Position your baby facing towards you in the same direction with their head at your nipple. You can help them nurse by positioning your breast with your hand.
- Support your baby with your lower arm or a pillow behind their backs.
- Bring your baby to the breast.
- If their mouth doesn’t open with their tongue down, encourage them to open their mouths by using your finger to stroke their cheek.
- Bring your baby’s mouth to your nipple. If they don’t have a proper latch, gently separate the latch with your finger and try again.
- Good nursing positions for women who’ve had c-sections.
- The Football Position: If the side lying position isn’t for you, try the football position instead. The football hold can be ideal for women who had c-sections or women who have more petite babies. Women with larger breasts might also enjoy this hold because it will increase their breast control.
- Sit down and get comfy.
- Position a pillow by your side.
- Cradle your baby with their head going in the direction of your knees and place them on top of the pillow. They should be pulled up close to your side with their feet and legs positioned under your arm.
- Take the palm of your hand to lend support to your baby’s neck with your thumb and forefingers positioned at your baby’s ears.
- Bring your baby to the breast.
Breastfeeding can seem like a daunting task. Treating yourself with kindness and making sure you’re comfortable is a key to nursing successfully. The best way to find out what works for you is to experiment. Every woman is different and moms might even need to change up their positions occasionally. Just as your baby is changing, your routine might need to change as well. The right breastfeeding position is not a one size fits all solution.