Proper Lactation Techniques to Encourage Proper Breastfeeding

It has been said that the bond between a mother and child is unique and one of the most striking parts of this relationship is the bond of breastfeeding. Some people love it, others hate it, but you can’t deny the advantages of breastfeeding both physically and psychologically.

Indeed, breastmilk contains several unique properties which make it the ideal source of nutrition for infants. Most infants can survive for the first six months of their lives on breastmilk alone! It provides them with all the energy, nutrients, and antibodies they need. Best of all, the composition of breastmilk changes as your child grows older to fit their new dietary needs.

However, to most mothers breastfeeding is no easy task. To be done safely and conveniently for both the mother and child there are some important lactation techniques and tips that she should know.

Type of Lactation Techniques

Lactation techniques (also referred to as breastfeeding techniques) refer to the way a mother can position her infant against her body to encourage proper attachment and suckling. Different lactation techniques may work better than others, depending on certain circumstances. Let's take a look at some popular lactation techniques and where they may prove to be useful:

1. Cradle hold: This is the most common breastfeeding position. Usually, it is difficult for new mothers to adopt this position at first but once the baby is adapted to this position, it is a comfortable and easy way to breastfeed.

2. Cross-cradle hold: This position makes it possible for the mother to view her nipple and her baby’s mouth. Because the mother has good control of the baby's head, she can control the head to a good latch. This position is also useful for preterm babies, twins, and babies that find it difficult to latch well.

3. Football hold/clutch hold: This is the best position for nursing twins, and also women who had a C-section as the baby doesn't lie on the abdomen of the mother. Nursing mothers that have large breast or flat/inverted nipples finds this position useful too.

4. Laid-back position/reclining position: This position is particularly important for preterm babies, twins, and babies who find it difficult to latch on to the mother’s nipples.

5. Side-lying position: This is commonly used during bedtime when the mother is weak and tired. Mothers who had a C-section also find this useful.

6. Rugby ball hold/underarm/clutch hold: This is another helpful early nursing position because it supports the baby well while giving the nursing mother enough control and a good view of the baby's face. Being tucked in closely alongside your body will help the infant feel safe as well. Mothers who had a C-section, twins, a premature baby, and those who have larger breasts may also prefer this position.

7. Upright breastfeeding/Koala hold: This technique is mainly carried out if the mother can give her baby plenty of support, and it’s also a convenient way to feed an older baby who can sit unassisted. The upright or koala hold is often the most comfortable breastfeeding position for babies who suffer from gastric reflux or ear infections (who often prefer to be upright as their sense of balance is interrupted), and it can also work