The Different Types of Breastfeeding and How They Work

Types of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding mothers may ask why they need to learn different methods of nursing their babies. Well, life brings unexpected challenges at times, forcing us to be versatile. And there are also times when newborns have trouble latching and trying out the different types of breastfeeding to find a good latch may help.

Also, when your baby gets older and bigger, the way you normally breastfeed them may start to feel tiring and uncomfortable.

Luckily, there are many ways that you can breastfeed your baby. You will soon discover that there is no set way to breastfeed your baby that is supposed to work for everyone.

The best way to breastfeed your child, regardless of how you choose to do it, will be the one that works for both you and your child and the one that is comfortable for both of you.    

Let’s find out more about the different types of breastfeeding.

1.    Reclined Breastfeeding or Laidback breast feeding

As the name suggests, reclined or laid-back breastfeeding requires you to be in a reclined position. This is one of the most comfortable and easiest ways to feed your baby.

In fact, by placing the baby on your skin near your breasts, they will naturally and instinctively seek out a breast to latch on.

Find a comfortable and reclined position for you to be in. You may also lie flat on the bed and place your baby on top of you.

Lying flat in your back, however, may feel less comfortable and more strenuous than being in a relaxed and reclined position.

2.    Cradle Hold position

Whenever anyone thinks of breastfeeding, this position is often the one that comes to mind. Think of it as traditional breastfeeding when the baby has his tummy to your tummy (belly to belly) and you are supporting his head and his neck with your forearm.

While it is the most commonly known style, it can be less comfortable for the baby especially when it is a newborn and is still very small.

Here, the mother sits in an upright position. To ensure that you feel comfortable, place a pillow behind your lower back and use a breastfeeding pillow on which you will place on your lap and under your forearm to elevate the baby some more.

3.    Cross-Cradle position

This position is where you hold your baby while supporting baby’s head and neck with one arm, similar to the cradle position. However, you will also support the baby’s body with your other forearm.

This breastfeeding style is also quite popular and is great for a newborn. By using both hands you can alter the position of the baby and make sure they are properly latched. It is especially good when your baby has latching problems.

4.    Sling Nursing Position

It can prove very convenient to breastfeed your baby while in a sling. The sling nursing style is a great way to keep your baby full when you are out and about. It is also a convenient way to breastfeed your baby while you are still working or doing some light chores.

Some babies simply don’t want to be put down. For many babies, there are times when they just want to be close to their mom. One thing to know is that for this nursing position to be effective, your baby needs to be an experienced feeder and can latch on without the need for assistance.

5.    Side-Lying Position

This is another highly comfortable position for both you and your baby. As the name implies, you will both be lying on your side facing each other.

You can use this position while lying down with your baby both on the sofa or on the bed at night. If you delivered your baby via cesarean, then nursing your baby while sitting down might feel uncomfortable and painful.

This position is perfect when you have stitches as there is little strain on your midsection.

6.    Dangle Feeding Position

In this position, your baby will be lying on his or her back as you support your body above them with your knees and arms.

The baby can then suckle. Often breastfeeding moms claim this to be the best position when they are suffering from mastitis and don’t want to experience pain when their breasts are touched.

This, however, is not the most common breastfeeding style and should only be used if you are tired of sitting or lying down. It is also a good position when you have a baby who is having a hard time latching onto the nipple.

7.    Koala Hold Style

In this position, the baby sits upright on your thigh facing you as he or she suckles. It is an excellent position for older babies and highly comfortable for them.

That said, even newborns can suckle in this position provided that you offer them the right amount of support.

The koala hold nursing style can also work for a baby who has low muscle tone and one who is affected by an ear infection and doesn’t enjoy lying on the back or side.

8.    Double Rugby Ball

If you are a mom who’s been blessed with twins, then the double rugby ball position is the perfect way to keep them both nursing.

You can use this position together with a twin nursing pillow. As the name suggests you will place both your forearms under each baby as you would hold a rugby ball. Support the babies at the back of their head and bring them close to the nipples.

Note that this position is best for newborns as they are small and easy to hold and carry. Older twins could prove very difficult to nurse in this position.

Other Important Things to be Aware of to Help Make Your Breastfeeding Experience Less Stressful:

Types of Breastfeeding
Types of Breastfeeding

As easy as breastfeeding sounds, there are a lot of questions that come up when you become a mom. Here are some answers to some questions that may come up for you.

The Two Types of Breast Milk:

As per, the milk made by a breastfeeding mother can be divided into two types: foremilk and hindmilk.

Foremilk is the milk a baby drinks at the beginning of a feeding, and hindmilk is the milk a baby drinks at the end of a feeding.

Hindmilk contains more fat than foremilk, which usually consists mostly of water and other nutrients. 

Foremilk and hindmilk both contain lactose, which helps good bacteria grow in the digestive system.

The First Breast Milk and Why it’s Important for Baby:

During the first week of having your baby, the first breast milk that comes out is called Colostrum. It is thick and yellow and only lasts a few days after baby is born.

Colostrum also referred to as the baby superfood, is a powerful food to give to baby because of its powerful immune-boosting properties.

Colostrum contains antibodies and provides protection against environmental germs and internal inflammation and it also contributes significantly to the healthy, long-term development of your baby

How to Know When Baby is Full, When Breastfeeding:

As a new mom, you want to make sure your baby is getting enough food by knowing when he/she is full.

The amount your child has eaten is much easier to measure if they are fed by bottle rather than by breast.

One thing to be on the lookout for is hyperlactation, which is when a woman produces an excess of breast milk and the milk comes out in large quantities.

As a result, the baby may pull away from the breast because they are unable to handle the force the milk is coming out at.

The opposite of this is low milk production.

It is possible for women to not be able to produce enough milk for their babies for a variety of reasons. A low milk supply could also lead to the baby pulling away from the breast and causing them to cry and fuss.

Usually, you\’ll know whether your baby is full when he pulls away from the breast. There will be signs of contentment, relaxation, and perhaps even sleep from the baby.

Do Hiccups Mean Baby is full?

Hiccups are caused by the quick closing of the vocal cords and the contraction of the diaphragm.

The Cleveland Clinic points out that parents are more concerned when their babies experience hiccups, even though these are not generally problematic.

When the stomach is full, food and acid can rise to the top causing hiccups.

Despite this, hiccups could mean that the baby is full because experts believe that hiccups in babies are a sign of a full stomach.

Babies Losing Interest in Breastfeeding:

It is possible for a baby to lose interest in breastfeeding for a variety of reasons.

If your baby has reached the age of 1 year and has lost interest in breastfeeding, this is not a major problem; at this point, many babies are well-adjusted to solid foods and so they have other sources of nutrition.

A baby under one who loses interest in breastfeeding may be interested in receiving breast milk in a bottle. If your baby does not accept the bottle, you will want to contact your doctor to understand why your baby is not breastfeeding or bottle feeding. During this process, you can also use the lactation consultant to your advantage.

Common Reasons Baby May Lose Interest in Breastfeeding

  • Reduction in Mom’s Milk Supply
  • Preference for Solids
  • Early Introduction to Solids if Baby is Below 6 Months Old
  • Distractions as Baby Becomes More Aware
  • When your Period Returns

Final Thought

Every mom planning to breastfeed should be familiar with the different types of breastfeeding available. Since babies can be unpredictable, you may be required to try a few different breastfeeding methods before you find one that works for both you and your baby.

2 thoughts on “The Different Types of Breastfeeding and How They Work”

  1. Pingback: Haakaa Pump – Why It Is the Best Choice for Breastfeeding Mothers | Zzabs

  2. Pingback: Breastfeeding for Beginners - What You Need to Know - Zzabs

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts