Laid back breastfeeding

Laid back breastfeeding

Non-traditional Breastfeeding Position

Your newborn is rooting around showing you she's hungry. You get yourself set up with pillows or a boppy to prop her up, and then you bring her into a traditional position (like football, cradle, cross cradle), but she refuses to latch. She arches her back and pushes away from the breast. You know she's hungry but you aren't sure why she's pushing away from the breast. She's literally doing the opposite of what you need her to do to eat.


I've seen this happen more times than I can count. If this is happening to you, here's your checklist to run through and one feeding position that might save you from shedding many tears.

1. Hand placement: babies have a primitive reflex known as the tonic labyrinth reflex (TRL). It's a reaction to gravitational force. If you put your hand at the back of a baby's head they will push against it. Some infants are more sensitive to touch and gravity than others. When positioning your baby to latch, make sure your hand is at the back of your baby's neck, instead of on their head.

2. Birth: Birth requires a lot of hard work from your baby. They change the shape of their head to accommodate the pelvis and wiggle those shoulders through the pelvic outlet at an angle. It has to be uncomfortable for them. Your baby might have some soreness in their shoulders, neck, or head after birth. Experiment with breastfeeding positions to see if there's one they seem more comfortable in.

3. If all else fails, this one position might be your lifesaver since it reduces gravitational force and pressure at the back of the head by keeping your baby in an upright position. This position is called a number of things: ventral hold, Australian hold, saddle position.


Here's how it goes:

Lean back slightly against a couch or bed.

Lay your newborn across your belly, with his cheek near the upper-side of your nipple.

Let gravity, not your arms or pillows, hold your baby in place. If gravity is winning you need to lean back more.

Use your hand to hold your breast but avoid touching the back of your baby’s head and watch your baby latch

Infant TLC

Infant TLC

How to get your baby into the ideal position for childbirth

How to get your baby into the ideal position for childbirth

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