The Laid-back breastfeeding position is as old as the human race itself but was recently reintroduced into modern society by midwife Suzanne Colson, Ph.D., as biological nurturing.
Did you know that a baby can crawl to the breast and latch themselves, a few minutes after birth? Watch the breast crawl video here.
In hospitals mothers are still, in most areas, taught to sit up and hold their babies in a cradle hold. But what if there was a more natural, easier way to learn to breastfeed your baby?
The laid-back nursing position, also known as the reclining breastfeeding position is more skin-to-skin friendly than other breastfeeding positions since the whole front of your baby will be flat against you. Your hands are also free in this position to caress your new-born baby.
In this position, you are at your most comfortable, with your back, neck, head, and shoulders supported. Your baby’s body will be supported because he/she will be fully supported by your body.
During the first hour after birth, your baby may start drooling, licking or making sucking movements. He/she will then begin to lift their head a little, rooting for the breast and nipple. You can help your baby to the breast, or support your baby while he/she finds their own way to the nipple. Your baby will find their way via smell and touch. When your baby gets to the nipple, he/she will start opening their mouth and can latch by themselves.
What are the Advantages of Biological Nursing Positions?
Unlike most breastfeeding positions, there are no instructions to follow!
- Your baby’s body is fully supported, and so is yours.
- You move your baby until you are comfortable.
- Gravity helps you, by pushing his/her head against your breast.
- The benefits of skin-to-skin contact are vast, and in this position, you can have your baby’s body flat against yours with nothing in-between.
- Your baby will feel secure. It is a form of kangaroo care.
- You will have one or both hands-free to caress your baby.
- You can sleep and relax while breastfeeding. Learn more about co-sleeping here.
- When taking advantage of biological nurturing breastfeeding positions, the chances of sore, painful nipples are decreased.
- Useful for if a mother has a fast letdown. Breastfeed your baby in an upright or semi-reclined position will ensure that your baby's airway stays open.
- This position will help to expel excess gas in your baby. Leaving you with a less gassy, happier baby.
Eventually, you and your baby will start to breastfeed in all kinds of strange positions. It does get easier!
Other good reading sources for latching and positioning
- Breastfeeding made simple by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett
- The latch, by Dr. Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman
- Mother-Baby Experiences of Nurturing, by Suzanne Colson
Baby-led Breastfeeding, by Christina Smillie (DVD)
- Biological Nurturing: Laid-back Breastfeeding, by Suzanne Colson (DVD)
- Follow Me, Mum, by Rebecca Glover (DVD)
- Laid-back breastfeeding Kellymom
Laid-back Breastfeeding Video
The womanly art of breastfeeding, 8th edition, Chapter 4, Latching and attaching, laid-back breastfeeding.