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Achieve a more comfortable and safe breastfeeding

22 August 2022

Key points:

  • There is no correct position for breastfeeding, it all depends on each person’s needs.
  • Breastfeeding helps to create a unique connection between mother and baby.
  • Always be careful not to cover the baby’s nose when breastfeeding and prevent their breathing.

There are many positions for breastfeeding and, although there are some that are more recommended than others, you, as a mother, will find the one that you like the most and you will change them depending on how you feel. But in each of these variants, the important thing is how you offer the areola, the nipple, and the way the baby’s mouth surrounds them, as well as the position of their lips, this being essential for any position, says Dr. Yazmín Chirino Barceló – Pediatrician and neonatology specialist at ABC Medical Center.

Every time you are going to breastfeed and before starting the feeding process, it is very important that you seek comfort, this includes going to the bathroom, having a snack on hand, and drinking water, Dr. Chirino recommends that you drink at least two glasses of water before each intake, regardless of the amount of water you consume throughout the day.

“UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) point out that breastfeeding, among other benefits, stimulates brain development and protects babies against major diseases.”1

Regarding comfort, the best thing is to have pillows that cover the lumbar region and, if possible, also place some on the shoulder and arms to allow you to be comfortable throughout the process.

This way, you can have a good feed, the baby won’t hurt your breast, there will be good milk production, and that the baby will be more comfortable.

As already mentioned, there is no single position for breastfeeding, however, Dr. Chirino provides some options that will help make this process more bearable, depending on your and your baby’s needs.

Reclining position

Through this position, the baby will be directly on your chest and its abdomen directly on yours. The baby’s head will rest on your elbow.

Once the baby is in the correct position, you will compress the breast with your hand and thumb to offer it to the baby, who must take the areola completely with their mouth.

If necessary, you can make slight movements to stimulate the baby so that they can open their mouth. You must watch that their lips are positioned perfectly outside.

As a recommendation, you can press under the baby’s chin, which will allow the tongue to compress against the palate and stimulate sucking.

Ball position

This position is very useful when breastfeeding twin babies, although it can also be used for a single baby. This time the baby’s head should be placed at breast level and the body rested on the arm towards the elbow.

It is also recommended to use pillows as support to achieve good support for the baby. Also, preferably, that the chair or armchair where you are going to breastfeed has arms for greater support.

The same position is repeated on the other arm when feeding two babies. For this type of breastfeeding, someone’s assistance is required to position both babies.

An additional benefit of this position is that the baby’s nose is automatically released and you can check that it is not blocked.

Koala position and ballerina position

Position designed for special situations, such as a baby with low muscle tone, sucking problems, or growing premature babies. To achieve this position, instead of placing the baby reclining, they will be almost upright with their head at breast level and their body sitting on your leg, you can straddle for better control.

For the dancer position, follow the steps of the koala position, however, the breast is not taken from the side, but from the bottom.

Lying down position

Used for night feeding, this position allows you to lie on your side and offer the breast to the baby, who will be parallel.

For this process, it is vitally important to involve your partner or be accompanied, so that they can make sure that you do not fall asleep.

General Recommendations

Dr. Chirino says that, although there are many breastfeeding positions, you should choose the one or those that best suit your comfort, current situation, and your baby’s needs.

Remember that it is very important to watch that the baby is breathing because babies do not have a choking reflex, and if they cover their nose with the breast, or anything else, they will not be able to breathe and they will not try to do it either. Thus, in the reclining position and any other, you should try not to fall asleep when feeding the baby to avoid any risk of suffocation.

Lastly, Dr. Chirino reminds you that the baby’s gaze towards you during the breastfeeding process is full of love, so it is a time to make a connection between the two and give love through this process.

At ABC Medical Center’s Obstetrics Center, we can provide you with specialized care. Contact us!

Dra. Yazmín Chirino Barceló – Pediatrician specialized in neonatology at the Centro Médico ABC.

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    Dra. Yazmín Amelia Chirino Barceló

    Dra. Yazmín Amelia Chirino Barceló


    Formed as Médico Cirujano at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Specialized on Neonatology at the Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gómez and has a subspecialty in Neonatology por la Universidad Nacional de Singapur.

    Medical License: 1384440

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