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Breastfeeding Photo Tutorial

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Proper positioning and body/baby support is vitally important to latch on success, and comfortable breastfeeding. Many cases of nipple pain can be directly related to the baby being held improperly. Below you will see demonstrated the most common positions in which to breastfeed your baby.

The Football or "Clutch" Hold

This is a handy hold for most newborns. Not only does it give the mother a good view of what she is doing, it works well to achieve good eye contact between mother and child. It is also wonderful for low weight babies as well as large babies. It gives the mother good control over her breast, and gives a comfortable snuggle for baby as well. This hold is also a good choice for C-section mama's.
How To:
Hold the breast with your opposite hand in a "C" shaped hold, thumb on top of the areola, and the rest the fingers underneath the breast, to present the breast to the baby. Baby should be tucked in close to mother, with one hand tucked in close to the mother's body to prevent the hand from being in the way during latch on. Mother's outer arm should be snug to the baby, with her hand at the base of the baby's head/neck. Once baby is gaping wide, bring baby quickly YET GENTLY to the breast to achieve latch. Baby should latch chin first, obtaining more of the lower areola than the upper in his mouth. Visualize how you take a bite out of a thick sandwich, this is similar to how baby goes to the breast for latch on. In this order, mouth wide, bottom lip, tongue, top lip. Latched!

The device you see around the necks of these two moms is called a Medela Supplemental Nursing System. Both mom are using the device to get additional milk to their baby while breastfeeding because they are working on bringing up a low milk supplty. Both mom breastfed the babies you see here past 1 year.

Mom is using a Medela SNS due to low milk supply.

This mom had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both hands.
She used blankets and pillows to support her baby for nursing.

The Cross Cradle Hold AKA The Asymmetrical Latch

This is my absolute favorite and most used hold for moms, because unlike the football hold, it provides absolute comfort for mother, both with her body and her breasts, and it also allows baby to feel fully in control over her own feeding, and she feels secure resting on top of the breast, rather than desperately trying to maintain latch while laying UNDER the breast. This hold works beautifully for almost all breast sizes, and works fantastically for c-section AND vaginal birth moms, even with stitches! MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE LEANING BACK in your favorite reclining chair, or in the corner of your sofa, on top of pillows on your bed, and are comfortably reclined, so that your baby can rest across your breasts, her body laying fully across the tops of your breasts. Baby should NOT BE laying low and under the breast, but across the breast, with the breast she will be suckling from between her two arms, and the breast she is not suckling from between her two legs. Her belly button should be touching your body. If it's not, continue to rotate her hips around until it is.
How To:
Lay the baby across your breasts, in the way described above. If nursing on your right breast, use your right hand to cup the breast using the "U" hold, meaning, your hand is fully UNDER the areola, and your open cupped hand forms a U shape between your thumb and first finger around the areola (The dark part of skin around your nipple). The other arm goes across the baby's back, coming in between the baby's legs to give good control of baby's bottom, with gentle control at the base of the head/neck. Wait for baby to gape open wide, helping baby along by tickling the baby's TOP lip with your erect nipple. Once baby opens wide, you're ready to latch! See photo's below!

In these pictures, the mommy is sitting upright. New pics will be coming soon, showing the proper reclining position! This is a relatively new line of thinking, and so I am going to be photographing new moms and adding them to the new site for you!



The Cradle Hold (Traditional Hold)

You can move to this hold once the Asymmetrical latch has been achieved as described above, by slowly letting go on the breast with your hand (SLOWLY AND GENTLY!) bring your arm around so that baby lays on your arm. WE DO NOT START OUT NURSING A NEWBORN IN THIS POSITION. An older baby can easily start out nursing this way, but this is very difficult for a newborn. It is best to begin with the Asymmetrical latch, and then slowly move your arm around AFTER latch is well achieved and baby is happily nursing. Again, some photos to help!
How To:



Breastfeeding In The NICU....It Can Be Done!



Pumping while doing Kangaroo Care

If you are unable to pick your baby up, you CAN still breastfeed your baby, as long as baby is in an open top crib or can be moved to one. You will use the same basic principles as seen above for the Asymmetrical latch, the difference being that you will be standing. Just make sure that your body is VERY close to baby. Once your baby can be held in your arms, there is no reason whatsoever that you cannot put your baby to the breast to feed. It is best to do these first feeds with the help of a Lactation Professional, not just an RN from the NICU. Please feel free to call us for help anytime, day or night. See the photos below for inspiration!





If you have not grown up watching mothers breastfeeding their babies, it may be difficult or challenging emotionally if things don't come "naturally" to you. The great thing about seeking support to nurse your baby is that you will never feel alone, left to figure things out on your own. Call me for help, I am here for you, ready to be there for you to support you in success!

Call Me Today For Help!