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Laid Back Breastfeeding: How To Do, Benefits and Tips To Follow 

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Laid-back breastfeeding, natural breastfeeding position, or biological nurturing is a semi-reclined position to nurse a baby. Babies’ natural feeding reflexes are stimulated in this feeding position, and they try to latch correctly.

You may try various feeding positions to find the most convenient one for you and your baby. Laid-back nursing is an ideal feeding position for babies who face difficulties while latching. Read this post to know more about the tips, benefits, and methods of laid-back breastfeeding.

Benefits Of Laid-back Breastfeeding

Babies can express their instinctive feeding behavior in a laid-back feeding position since their mother’s body supports them. The benefits of laid-back breastfeeding could include the following (1).

  • Feeding reflexes of a baby are released during this position.
  • Learn breastfeeding together; this position helps newborns and mothers become comfortable with breastfeeding gradually.
  • It helps increase the production of nurturing hormones, such as oxytocin, in both mother and baby to enhance bonding.
  • Babies are well-supported on the mother’s body during laid-back feeding.
  • Gravity may also encourage a deeper, more comfortable latch in this position.
  • Wearing no clothing can increase skin-to-skin contact during this feeding position.
  • Mothers can keep the baby in a laid-back position beyond nursing, thus enhancing the bonding between mother and baby.

You may try and use a laid-back nursing position any time unless contraindicated by your lactation consultant or pediatrician.

Tips For Laid-back Breastfeeding

The following tips could help you breastfeed comfortably in a laid-back position and ensure a proper latch (2)(3).

  • Lean back from sitting position with back support.
  • Try to adjust the position until you are comfortable.
  • Keep the baby close to support their body.
  • Avoid keeping the baby on the incision site if you had a cesarean birth.
  • Adjust the baby’s position so that there is no pressure on their neck and back.
  • Try to wear comfortable clothing for nursing.
  • Babies move their heads from side to side with a wide mouth when they are ready to latch. Positioning the baby so that the mother’s nipple touches the space between their upper lip and nose will trigger the gape reflex, which will encourage a deep and comfortable latch.
  • Mothers who have oversupply may try this position.
  • If needed, support the baby with one hand and breast with another hand.

You can breastfeed in this position in each breastfeeding session.

How Does A Newborn Latch During Laid-back Breastfeeding?

This position enhances a baby’s ability to use their primitive feeding reflexes. The baby tries to wriggle, push their feet, and move their head side to side to reach nipples. It ultimately leads to improved reach and better latch to the breast, providing a comfortable nursing experience for both mother and infant.

Laid-back breastfeeding is the preferred breastfeeding position for many new mothers during the first few hours after birth. This feeding position also enhances skin contact, which facilitates better mother-child bonding.

Laid-back Breastfeeding After A Cesarean-section

Mothers who underwent C-section delivery can consider laid-back breastfeeding. It can be convenient after a cesarean section since mothers can sit in a comfortable position with back support (1).

You can continue to feed the baby at home in a laid-back position if you find upright feeding positions uncomfortable. If you have difficulties moving and placing your baby in the initial days, you may take the help of a nurse, partner, or family member. This semi-reclined position is quite helpful after C-section since it helps the mother avoid pressure on their belly while also letting the baby latch correctly.

How To Do Laid-back Breastfeeding In Public?

You may try the laid-back nursing position in public if you have access to a sofa or a deep chair. More comfortable variation of this position would be Koala hold, where the baby sits straddling the thighs of the mother and lays along her belly, latching onto the breast in a semi-seated position (and she usually will also recline herself as much as possible).

Many restaurants and coffee shops have seating suitable for reclined positions. However, make sure the chair or sofa is sturdy, and you are able to get into a laid-back position without straining yourself. Loose outdoor clothing or a nursing bra could make it easier for your baby to access the breast while breastfeeding.

The laid-back breastfeeding position could stimulate the natural feeding instinct in babies and make it easier for them to latch to the breasts. You may seek a lactation consultant’s help to learn about the correct way to do laid-back breastfeeding. Unless contraindicated, this position can be observed regularly since it provides convenience and comfort to both the mother and the baby.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. What is laid-back breastfeeding or biological nurturing?; NCT (National Childbirth Trust)
2. Lie Back and Relax! A Look at Laid-Back Breastfeeding; La Leche League USA
3. Positioning; La Leche League International

 

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Mary Miller

(MA, IBCLC, RLC, CLC, CPD, MCH)
Mary Miller received her degrees in Interpersonal Communications and Maternal Health and Lactation and founded the Breastfeeding Support Center of WNY in Buffalo, New York. She’s currently a doctoral candidate and is continuing specialized study and fieldwork in the field of human lactation and oral restrictions, including but not limited to tongue-tie, with a focus on public policy. Mary offers... more

Dr Bisny T. Joseph

Dr. Bisny T. Joseph is a Georgian Board-certified physician. She has completed her professional graduate degree as a medical doctor from Tbilisi State Medical University, Georgia. She has 3+ years of experience in various sectors of medical affairs as a physician, medical reviewer, medical writer, health coach, and Q&A expert. Her interest in digital medical education and patient education made... more