Generally, to breastfeed in bed is something more than great.
After a long day of normal duties as a breastfeeding mom, you will seek a comfortable nursing position like the side lying one.
We collected for you the most advanced tips and tricks related to the side lying nursing position in the next tutorial
We hope to enjoy our visual guide that illustrates step by step how to master that amazing, comfortable breastfeeding position
How does side lying position look like?
It looks like co-sleeping with your newborn, where it is one of the most comfortable nursing positions.
It is the best position for:
- Lazy/tired nursing mom.
- After caesarian delivery.
- Nursing in the bed either before sleeping or in the daytime.
7 Helpful safety tips and tricks while side lying nursing to get your newborn to latch correctly
1- Breastfeeding holds are important in the side lying nursing
One of the most helpful breastfeeding techniques -for newborn to latch correctly during this side-lying position- is to squeeze your breast before baby latch.
Let me explain more:
Your breast is a heavy, big, and thick sandwich for your baby, certainly in the early weeks when your baby still needs your assistant.
Use one of your hands to squeeze the breast to make it more reachable for your baby when latching.
Regarding the side lying nursing, there are 3 breastfeeding holds which ease your baby latch:
- U hold
- C hold
- Scissors hold
2- Your nipple should be at the level of his eyes, not his mouth
Nipple at the eye level is a great way to guarantee the first successful step of wide mouth opening.
Now, your nipple is higher than his mouth, hence he would seek the nipple and start to open his mouth and turn his head backward to reach this higher level.
At this point, take the chance and use your hand to push your baby “through his shoulders” gently to your nipple to insert it deeply into his mouth while wide opening.
The next illustration summarizes the previous idea during your side lying position.
3- Upon the previous point, make sure that your baby’s head is free to move backward
Your baby’s head movement is essential to assist his wide mouth opening as we said before.
Don’t support his head with your hand. Instead, your hand is behind his shoulders to push his body when he opens his mouth.
4-During side lying breastfeeding position, both of your baby’s hands should hug the breast
As shown, one hand is under your breast and the other one is above your nipple.
That gives him more comfort /control during feeding time.
5-One of the most important tips for side lying position is to keep his neck and head within the same straight line.
This enables your breastfed baby to swallow your milk easily and to extract the optimum amount of his delicious meal.
Even for adults, in the case of straight alignment of both neck and body, the air pathway is clear and open and it is easy to eat, drink and swallow.
6-During side lying nursing, how can I burb my baby?
As you know, side lying position is common at night before sleep. And the good news for lazy moms that it is easy to burp your baby while side lying nursing without standing out.
After feeding, move your free hand gently starting from his back ending with his shoulders several times till he burps.
The aim of baby burping, especially after night feeding; is to evacuate the entrapped gases within his stomach. Swallowing air while nursing is a cause of the entrapped gases which may be a reason for colic and baby discomfort.
7- What is the relation between side-lying nursing position and ear infection?
It is one of breastfeeding myths that nursing at side lying position would increase the risk of ear infection or otitis media. There is no such thing when it comes to breastfeeding in any position.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding for 3 months reduces the risk of ear infection by 50%.
And for 6 months, breastfeeding drops the risk of ear, throat infections by 63%.
The reason is clear and obvious your breast milk is an immune system booster and has marvelous protecting effects against hundreds of microorganisms.
On the opposite side, formula-fed babies have 70% increase of ear infection risk. The ear infection is popular and common in the case of bottle-fed babies, especially the exclusively fed ones
So, the side-lying position may be not suitable for formula fed babies due to the type of milk rather than the position.
Side lying nursing position disadvantages
Normally, your baby tends to spit up during the early weeks after feeding. But it is not something bad or causes any pain for your little baby.
On the other hand, if your baby is diagnosed with GERD “Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease” there is a problem when he is side or down lying.
GERD is the return of milk or foods back up into the esophagus of your newborn causing the hurt burn pain, which:
- Makes your baby vomits forcefully
- The hurt burn makes your baby refuses to nurse
- Your baby is not gaining weight properly
This regurge is due to the immaturity “dilatation” of the sphincter between stomach and esophagus.
Like in football nursing position, the side lying position, stomach content of your newborn is liable to return back through the esophagus more than the upright position.
Check the next illustration to make it crystal clear for your regarding acid reflux and side lying nursing.