How to breastfeed lying down

Posted on May 31st, 2016

Breastfeeding while lying down helps you to rest, especially if you have just given birth. Follow these 10 easy steps on how to breastfeed lying down.

Breastfeed lying down

It’s often difficult for moms to figure out how to comfortably lie down and feed their baby. With that in mind, Sister Lilian gives advice on how to breastfeed lying down.

 Step 1

Dress comfortably in a front-opening top or nursing T-shirt. Change your baby before feeding him.

Step 2

Lie on your side. Choose the one that feels most natural. The mattress or surface should preferably be quite firm, but still comfortable.

Step 3

Place a pillow between your legs at the knees, with your upper leg pulled up and bent forward at the knee. A pillow, a rolled blanket or a handy partner in the small of your back will provide reassuring support, especially in the early stages of mastering this position.

Step 4

Rest your head on two plump but not overly firm pillows. These should be fitted into the rounded hollow between your head and shoulder. Your shoulder shouldn’t rest on the pillows, but rather the pillows on your shoulder. This step is quite important.

Step 5

The upper part of your bottom arm should stretch out at 90 degrees to your body. When you position your baby, bend this arm at the elbow to cradle him or simply keep it outstretched or hold a book to read while your baby feeds.

Step 6

Your baby should lie on his side, facing you, with his head fitted in below your outstretched arm, not positioned on top of your arm. This too is vital to the success of this position.

Step 7

Your baby’s head should now be in such a position that his mouth can easily latch on to the lower breast without discomfort – his little mouth directly opposite your nipple and areola. You should use the hand of your upper arm to help latch and position baby. It is very seldom necessary to hold the breast tissue away from baby’s nose and mostly this arm will simply cradle baby from the top.

Step 8

You should have a rolled up baby blanket at hand and place this behind baby’s back to prevent baby rolling out of the side-lying position, consequently pulling at your nipple with pain or cracking resulting. Let your baby feed as long as he wants to from this side.

Step 9

Once baby seems done on the lower breast, place him against your hip while you remain lying down and pat his back to help burping.

Step 10

Turn onto your other side and feed baby from the other breast. Both you and your baby will probably nap during the feed. Be sure not to over-dress your baby and ensure that the blankets don’t cover his head, should this position be used while sleeping at night.

Click here for more breastfeeding positions.

Xanet Scheepers

About Xanet Scheepers

Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day.