August Position of the Month: Laid Back Nursing

Are you a laid back kinda momma? Do you tend to stray from the mainstream? Then this position might be just for you. It’s called laid back nursing or biological nurturing and instead of a specific position, this nursing style can vary from mom to mom.

A key component of this position is mom being in a laid back position. From there baby is lying either up and down or across mom on her belly. In this position baby’s whole body is in contact with mom or the surrounding environment such as the bed or chair; babies in this position generally require very little support as gravity keeps them in place and the laid back position provides a little resistance that helps coordinate baby’s movements. Mom can assist in directing baby toward the breast, cup your breast in one hand like the underwire in a bra to help baby latch on.  Once baby is latched relax and provide support as needed.

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This position has many benefits a key one being it has been shown to help with latch and suck failure. Much research has been done on biological rooting behavior of infants- moving head from side to side, lip smacking, hand to mouth, etc- in this position these rooting behaviors are seen to be positive in terms of how they assist in getting babies latched on. Sometimes when working with other breastfeeding positions rooting behaviors can be seen as negatively impacting their latch and it can seem like a fight to get babies positioned correctly. In biological nurturing research has shown that infants have an innate sense of where the breast is and their rooting behaviors help them get there.

This position is also great for moms with a strong milk ejaculation reflex as babies are in more control of how much milk they take in from the breast. If you notice your baby choking or milk leaking from baby’s mouth at let down, you may have a strong milk ejaculation reflex. Additionally, incorporating this position in with skin-to-skin time increases mom’s ability to read baby’s cues, an important factor in bonding and increasing confidence.

There really aren’t any “rules” to this position; of course you want to make sure you are comfortable, well supported, and that you are not experiencing nipple pain (pinching feeling) which would suggest a shallow latch.  You also want to make sure you aren’t applying pressure to the baby’s head or back in this position as it hinders baby’s control of his/her neck movement. We think it’s important to stress that breastfeeding is natural, but that doesn’t always mean it comes naturally. Being familiar with a variety of positions can be helpful for moms who are having trouble. If you are feeling discouraged or are having a hard time the Nurses are always in!

SOURCES:

Colson, S. (2012). BIOLOGICAL NURTURING®: The Laid-back Breastfeeding Revolution. Midwifery Today, (101), 9-66

IMAGE:

http://www.breastfeedingusa.org

DISCLAIMER

Please be aware that this information provided is intended solely for general informational and educational purposes and is not intended to be substituted for professional medical advice. Always see the advice of your physician or medical provider for any questions you may have regarding your or your baby’s medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have received from this website or blog.

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