Thursday, May 3, 2007

What's your favorite position?

As I am on the dawn of a new round of breastfeeding, I've been reflecting on what I'll do different this time around. For sure, I will definitely be trying more than the select few positions offered in the pamphlets that were handed out in the breastfeeding class I took. And most definitely, I will not be using the Creaky Rocker With Hospital Provided Boppy combo. It's not that the LCs at the hospital pushed these positions, it's just I didn't know to ask. It turned out that my favorite and most comfortable position for nursing my son in the beginning was sitting Indian-style on the floor or in our bed. I also liked nursing him while lying down in the bed, which went a long, long way in night-feedings. I was rarely sleep-deprived after the first few weeks once I got everything down pat. Unfortunately, it took me awhile to figure out how to nurse lying down because the pamphlets only showed a select way to do it - it turned out, I needed to do something different with my arms and my pillow in order to make it comfortable for me. Of course, once I got nursing down pat, I could nurse in any position, but I think it would have been more helpful to have more options in the beginning while I was still figuring it all out.

In that vein, I was very excited to come across an article yesterday that discussed different nursing positions. This article, on the BBC News site, challenges traditional breastfeeding positions and found if the infant lies down on his/her stomach while nursing there can be many advantages and more reflexes are "spurred" by this position. I have nursed in this position before, but not until my son was older. I was excited to learn about this position for newborns - it will be nice to have several options. The other advantage of this position is that if you get a clogged milk duct on the underside of your breast, that will go a long way in clearing it since having your baby's chin aligned with the clogged duct helps that duct along.

My #1 Advice to a new mother learning how to breastfeed would be to encourage her to experiment - there are no rules when it comes to breastfeeding! As long as everyone involved is comfortable, then I say go for it. Experiment away!

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