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Q&A: Breastfeeding positions?

I can't master free handed BFing -- I always have to hold the breast my son is nursing on because it'll either smother him or pull and eventually fall out. And I can't nurse laying on my side without mangling my breast. I don't think I could hold him up with out my nursing pillow, especially since I have to use one hand for breast wrangling! Is hands-free just not feasible for some?

Re: I can't master free handed BFing -- I always have to hold the breast my son is nursing on because it'll either smother him or pull and eventually fall out. And I can't nurse laying on my side without mangling my breast. I don't think I could hold him up with out my nursing pillow, especially since I have to use one hand for breast wrangling! Is hands-free just not feasible for some?

The Bump Expert

Every mom holds her baby in the way that works best for her.  There are certain traditional holds, like the cradle, cross cradle, football and side-lying holds. If you can’t get comfortable feeding him while lying down, then don’t do it. Some women swear by that position because it helps them relax, while others find it awkward. Regardless of which hold you prefer, if it helps to hold your breast with one hand, than that’s what works best for you. There’s nothing wrong with doing that -- just think of it as your special trick to help him eat.

As for the pillow, if he’s young or small, a pillow can be a big help. It raises the baby to the level of your breast so that you aren’t leaning forward to feed him.  As your baby gets bigger, you might find that you don’t need the pillow anymore. Everything evolves over time.

Andi Silvermanm, author of Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding

Q&A: Breastfeeding positions?

I haven't been able to be hands-free either. When I visited my lactation consultant, she told me that it's best to push up a little on the inside of the breast because milk will pool in that area. It also keeps my breast from falling out of my daughter's mouth. It would be nice to be able to do something else while I'm breastfeeding!

emilyveien |

Q&A: Breastfeeding positions?

I find the football hold to be the best position for those w/ large breasts. I too feel like I'm going to smother my DD w/ my breast sometimes in other positions. However, I really love the side lying position as I can relax and be completely hands free.

Sansonee |

Q&A: Breastfeeding positions?

I love my boppy. We even use it when DS isn't eating since it relaxs him. For those who can't be hands-free...I'd suggest a e-reader or nook type deal since you only need one hand for those. It's great to be able to read baby books (or the latest Grisham) while feeding.

fernybride |

Q&A: Breastfeeding positions?

I like the craddle hold the best. My baby latched on right away though so she was a naturel from birth. That is the positon I mostly use and hand's free is nice! Good luck to ay

joyfulmama3 |

Q&A: Breastfeeding positions?

cradle or cross-cradle have been my saving grace...it can be a pain for night feedings, but its the most relaxing for my LO and I

asterialeigh |

Q&A: Breastfeeding positions?

I have a 4 week old, so I'm pretty new to this and I LOVE laying down while BF. It is wonderful on those nights where you are extra tired you can doze off while feeding at the same time! I just now started to be able to not have to hold my breast while feeding. You just have to find that certain position to be able to do it. I still find myself not being able to let go with some feedings. So it may just be a matter of your baby learning as well as you.

sarahbethbarrick |

Q&A: Breastfeeding positions?

I have resorted to facing the fact that I just have to watch tv, listen to music, stare at the ceiling, ... anything that doesn't require any hands. Sorry, no good advice here! But hey at least it might help to know you're not alone, right? ;)

Datinkz |

Q&A: Breastfeeding positions?

We haven't mastered hands free either, but we're getting better at it. He likes cradle on one side and cross cradle on the other. My breast still ends up being supported, although not "sandwiched" for him when he's in cradle, so I'm glad he's getting better at that. As far as laying down, he does best if he latches on sitting up, and then we lay down. Its not my favorite though, he's only 2 weeks old, so he tends to get sleepy and nod off sooner when he's laying, so I usually only do it if it seems like he is fussing for comfort and already has a full belly.

GinaKina |

Q&A: Breastfeeding positions?

Sansonee, you're worrying me. I'm a DD and haven't even gotten pregnant yet. I've always heard that breast size typically increases during pregnancy and stays that way (at least for a while). My fiance jokingly said I would smother our baby if I breastfed, then I started thinking, he could be right. So does anyone know good positions for mothers with large breasts?

MrsM2BiAm |

Q&A: Breastfeeding positions?

I too have large breasts. Don't worry about smothering baby. The lactation consultant said that the baby pulls away when he/she gets too close. Also, she gave me tips about how to hold the breast so that it doesn't smother my DS. Thumb on top of the breast and rest of fingers come from the bottom. More of the areola should go in the mouth from the bottom of the breast so you compress the breast like a sandwich conforming to the shape of the baby 's mouth depending on the position. Not hands free but it doesn't hurt and it doesn't smother baby.

paitnbutterflies |

Q&A: Breastfeeding positions?

I also have large breasts. I find the football hold the best. Also our lactation consultant really helped. The best way to latch is hold baby's head above his ears (for best control) and have one finger under his chin. Push his chin out from his chest. Hold your breast with your other hand and sort of 'pinch' your areola... put your index finger on one edge of your areola where you want baby's bottom jaw to be, and your thumb on the other side where you want his top jaw to be. Push your thumb into your breast so your nipple is pointing AWAY from baby (so it will stimulate his hard palette).Once baby opens wide, drive his chin into your breast and make sure it is still out from his chest. This will make sure his nose isn't jammed into your breast! Takes practice but works amazingly. Hope this isn't too confusing and maybe helps... although not hands free it works really well for large breasts!

kennellys |

Q&A: Breastfeeding positions?

I too have large breasts. I have found that lying on my back is a good way to nurse and relax at the same time. I think it takes a little time and practice to master. Trial and error and see what you can come up with. I don't use a boppi or bf pillow, i actually use pillows from the couch.

norvelln |

Q&A: Breastfeeding positions?

I use a Boppy and usually have one hand free. My husband bought me an iPad for my birthday and it's turned out to be a breastfeeding lifesaver. I can do a ton of stuff while breastfeeding. Similac even has a great breastfeeding app that let's you track breast feedings and diaper changes.

robynolivia |

Q&A: Breastfeeding positions?

I love the football hold , my breast are big. When I tried the cradle hold it was hard for him to breath plus with the other positions I find it hard to get the latch right which is painful.

Twalac |

Q&A: Breastfeeding positions?

My DD is 15 days old and her and I both were having a lot of trouble when I started bf. A nurse at the hospital showed me the football position which was a God send our first week, it allowed me to hold her with one hand and my breast with the other. My sister-in-law bought me a boppie pillow on day 8, now I can postition her however I like without having to hold her.

trapdnak |

Q&A: Breastfeeding positions?

I am a 38 I and I have to use a nipple shield, the best bfing position I have found is the football hold. I have to make sure the shield stays in place so baby can breath as well a make sure my breasts don't smother him. Using my boppy we have been able to develop a semi hands free technique. My son is 9 weeks old and I don't have to hold him in place anymore I just have to make sure that the shield is taught against my breast which leaves me with one free hand at least and many times with both hands free. It is tough and we have gone through several adjustments in our positioning but if you keep working at it and don't be afraid to tweak things you may be able to find a hands free position that works for you. I can't use the side lying position as my breast are so big that my baby cant reach my nipples but we have a great chair that I can relax in while feeding him using the boppy. I hope this helps! Big boobs can be limiting but usually you can find a way.

enserrano |