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How to Position Your Baby During Breastfeeding

The position of your baby is everything when breastfeeding. If you donít position your baby properly, he or she canít latch on properly, which can cause a world of problems for you both. The baby may not get enough to eat and you could wind up with sore nipples, just to name a few.

However, all hope is not lost. If you have any trouble at all with breastfeeding, positioning your baby is likely the problem. If you can solve this problem, youíll be successful and breastfeeding can become enjoyable for you both.

Use the step by step guide below to learn how to properly position your baby for breastfeeding. If you continue to have problems with latch on or any other aspect of breastfeeding, you should seek professional guidance. La Leche League is one of the best resources available for young mothers and is absolutely free. They actually have consultants, called La Leche Leaders, that can come to your home or hospital and give you hands-on professional help in breastfeeding your baby.

Meanwhile, try these tips for positioning a newborn baby for breastfeeding:

Sit comfortably with back support and pillows propping you up. Sit cross legged and place a pillow or two in your lap to help support the baby. This is called the cross cradle position and is most often recommended for newborns. Once your baby can hold up his own head, you can switch to the cradle position, holding the baby in the crook of your arm and supporting his back with one hand.

Your baby should be positioned so that he doesnít have to turn his head to feed from your breast. This will require you to tilt his hips toward you and support his back so that he stays fairly straight.

You must hold your breast firmly in one hand while using the other hand to guide the baby to your breast. You wonít have to support your breast for your baby after a few weeks, once you both get the hang of things. You may want to have pillows supporting your arms because theyíll likely get tired before youíre finished with the feeding. Once you have the baby in position and your breast is supported, you need to latch on the baby.

When the baby latches on, it should have at least a half inch from the base of the nipple in his mouth. His lips shouldnít be turned inward, but outward to form a proper seal. Not only will this keep your nipples from getting sore but will also ensure that the baby is getting enough milk.

If breastfeeding is extremely uncomfortable for you, the baby probably isnít latched on properly. Break the seal of the babyís mouth with one finger and start again. Continue to do this until you and the baby are both comfortable during the feeding. Donít be discouraged Ė you and your baby will quickly learn how to do this naturally and with little effort.

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