The standard "how to breastfeed" articles don't usually take into consideration mothers who breastfeed with their baby in bed, otherwise know as breastsleeping. But for many mothers who nurse through the night with their baby right next to them, breastsleeping positions are even more important to master than the typical cradle hold. Even if you don't plan to breastsleep with your baby, learning a few positions that allow you to lie down will make your "nursing arsenal" all the more versatile and comfortable for whatever situation you're in.
Breastsleeping — the phrase coined to normalize bed-sharing and breastfeeding — is on the rise and for new moms wanting to put the method into practice, learning these nursing positions beforehand will be extremely helpful.
Although the positions are fairly intuitive and definitely don't require a "how to" manual to master, reading a description of how to do them and watching a video of women putting them to use can help clear up any confusion you may have, as well as ensure that you're practicing the position as safely as possible.
Whether you're a seasoned breastsleeping pro, or a mother who is preparing to nurse for the first time, learning these two breastfeeding positions will make your nursing sessions (and your sleep) relaxing for both you and your baby.
1. Side Lying Position
This position is easy and comfortable for both mother and baby, since it requires little support. Since you'll likely be feeding during the middle of the night, the side lying position makes it so you don't have to sit up or adjust anything to nurse your baby. According to Ameda, all you have to do is roll onto whichever side you need to nurse on, place your baby next to you so that their nose is parallel to your nipple, and allow them to latch on. You'll be able to relax without supporting your baby and your baby can just unlatch and fall back asleep when they're done eating.
2. Laid Back Position
La Leche League International calls laid back nursing "biological nurturing," since it's a very intuitive and natural way to nurse. You can lay flat on your back or propped up a bit — whichever way you feel most comfortable. You simply place your baby on your chest, with their tummy facing you. This position, according to Breastfeeding USA is comfortable for mothers to maintain for a long time — making it ideal for breastsleeping.