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Breastfeeding Techniques – Everything You Need To Know

6 min


A mother feeding her little bundle of joy is one of the most beautiful moments nature could ever create. There is no denying the fact that it is one of the simplest and natural phenomenon. Breastfeeding is a learning skill that takes practice. You need to learn how to hold and support your little one in the most comfortable position that requires both coordination and patience.

Are you clueless and curious to know about the different and best breastfeeding techniques? Worry not! Go ahead and give this post a read!

When Can You Start Breastfeeding?

Your newborn will be ready and eager to breastfeed soon after birth. Place your little one skin to skin, as often as possible during the initial days of birth. It will help your baby adjust to the environment outside and for a better breastfeed. Babies start displaying various sucking behaviors like sucking, linking, bringing their fingers near the mouth, rooting and nuzzling nipple. Your little one’s sucking reflex will be great in the first 45 minutes to 2 hours after birth. The feedings at this time period will have an everlasting effect on both you and your baby.

At around 20 to 24 hours of age, your newborn will be more interested to feed. She will feed often and sleep less. Healthy and full term babies may breastfeed every hour usually in the late night or early morning hours. Your baby will feel satisfied when you respond to her cluster feeding needs.

Breastfeeding After A C-Section:

A c-section may not affect the breastfeeding process. But, fatigue, discomfort and medicines taken during surgery will pose risks when you start nursing. For this, you should feed your baby soon after delivery at least 8 to 12 times or the next 24 hours. Once you start feeding your little one regularly, your milk supply will also increase.

You can take the help of your partner or caretaker to help you position your baby. You and your baby will be more comfortable using cradle hold, side-lying or football hold positions. Let us know all about these different breastfeeding techniques below.

Breastfeeding Techniques That Work:

Look at some time tested breastfeeding positions that may help nursing go smoothly.

1. Cradle Hold:

It is a natural and most comfortable position for older babies who can handle their head better.

Here are the basic steps for this technique:

  • Sit comfortably with your baby at the level of your heart
  • Cradle your little one in your arm with her tummy against yours and head resting in your elbow bend. Her ear, shoulders and hip should follow a straight line.
  • Place your baby’s lower arm under your breast or your underarm with her mouth near to your breast.
  • Using your free hand to support your breast.
  • Rest your thumb above the areola and the rest of the fingers beneath the breast.
  • Now gently fondle your nipple on her lower lip. In response to the rooting reflex, her mouth opens wide that takes some time.
  • Pull her quickly onto the breast and let her latch-on.
  • Another variation, the laid back breastfeeding, the mother rests in a reclined position with tummy to tummy contact with the baby where her instincts work to get on the breast. It is a learning process that takes time for the baby to latch-on.

2. Cross Cradle Hold:

This is the common breastfeeding position that is also known as crossover hold. It offers a great support to the baby and the mother ill have complete control over her baby with just one hand.

Here are the basic steps for this technique:

  • Sit comfortably with your baby at the level of your heart
  • Cradle your little one in your arm with her tummy against yours and your hand at her head base and neck. Her ear, shoulders and hip should follow a straight line.
  • Place your baby’s lower arm out of the way with her mouth near to your breast. Here you will use opposite arms from the cradle hold position.
  • Use your free hand to support your breast.
  • Rest your thumb above the areola and the rest of the fingers beneath the breast.
  • Now gently fondle your nipple on her lower lip. In response to the rooting reflex, her mouth opens wide that takes some time.
  • Pull her quickly onto the breast and let her latch-on. Do not lean over your baby, instead pull her near you.

This position works well when you:

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  • Nurse a newborn
  • Are learning how to position an infant correctly

3. Football Hold:

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