Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Top 10 Nursing Positions / Situations

Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Natural Parenting Top 10 Lists

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared Top 10 lists on a wide variety of aspects of attachment parenting and natural living. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


I do so love my nursing relationships. Ronni nursed until he was 3½ years old. I absolutely followed his lead on weaning. March marks 1½ years for Sasha, so far! Our nursing relationship is still going strong. She nurses several times during the day as well as during the night. (I also nursed my first child 6 months.) With 5½ years of breastfeeding experience, I would like to share with you my Top 10 Nursing Positions / Situations in no particular order.

Newborn Sasha snuggled to breastNewborn Sasha, snuggled up to my breast

  1. The most common position for me is with Sasha on top of the Boppy cushion in my lap. I prefer to sit "tailor style" for support under the Boppy, but am not supposed to because of my knees. I'm doing well enough now (after recovering from surgery) that I do sit this way to nurse more and more often. I also prefer to be belly to belly with Sasha, but she often decides to lay on her back with her head turned toward me. Yes, I've seen it written not to do this, but it works for us.

  2. I love to nurse in a side-lying position! I could not tell you how many times Sasha nurses in the night because I don't wake up into full consciousness. I only wake enough to get us situated. If it weren't for Sasha scooting up in her sleep, she could probably find my breast without either of us waking at all! I always have to move her down. Also, I prefer to nurse from the "top breast." It is just more comfortable for me.

    Nursing in BedSide-Lying Nursing in Bed @ 16 months

  3. I get blocked milk ducts. Nursing with your baby's chin pointing toward the effected duct is the best way I've found to fix the problem! Heat and pressure can also help, so I usually mash on the lump while nursing. My blocked milk ducts usually happen on the top section of my breast (where her chin most rarely points). I lie Sasha on her back on the floor, then lean over and dangle my breast over her, into her mouth. I seem to recall this was slightly easier on the bed with Ronni. I need to try there with Sasha next time.

  4. It makes me giggle when I am on my back and Sasha lays over me to nurse from the breast on the other side. This most often happens during morning play time in bed (so giggling abounds anyway). It is an oddly comfortable position, though I can't imagine doing it for long.

  5. When Ronni was 3 years old, he would walk up to me sitting on the couch and latch on for just a few seconds. It was as though he was just making sure my breasts were still there for him. At that age, sitting on the couch was the perfect height for him to nurse standing up!

  6. We all know that warm baths can be relaxing. When Ronni was a baby, he would almost invariably doze in the tub. Nursing him to sleep in the tub made an easy job of bathing! I would wash one half of him (even his hair), then switch breasts and wash the other half. I even used to trim his fingernails in the tub because he was too wiggly elsewhere.

  7. When my babies were still infants, I liked to occasionally nurse them using the football hold. In case you're not familiar, this is where the baby's butt is against the chair back and you hold them like a football tucked into your arm. This position hasn't been so doable for me nursing toddlers.

  8. For some reason I love it when Sasha is straddled over one leg and cradled in the opposite arm. I think this position makes for less weight I have to support. It is good weight distribution and very comfortable.

    Sasha nursing sitting upNursing Sitting Upright @ 14 months

  9. Sasha's new favorite seems to be nursing in the shower. This can definitely be a tricky place to nurse, but we manage. I sometimes have to rest a foot on a higher ledge of the tub to support her bottom so that I can wash her while she nurses. Nursing is one way to soothe a child (or for them to soothe themselves, if you think about it), so if she gets upset about water in her face or even if she is just sleepy, the breast is available to her - no matter where we are. We've been nursing during our showers a lot lately.

  10. While this list is in no particular order, this last one is my newest and most exciting nursing position with Sasha. While I easily nursed Ronni in a ring sling as an infant (and no one was the wiser), I have had a harder time getting comfortable wearing Sasha. I do like my Mei Tai, but it has taken some practice. Nursing in the Mei Tai has been too much to add to the equation. She just seems too high. The other night, though, I was trying to cook dinner and Sasha insisted I hold her. (Yes, despite warnings, I carefully cook while holding or wearing my daughter. She loves to help me cook!) As I was getting us situated, she asked to nurse. Oh. Um. Well... I tried wearing her down low on one side. I got her low enough that she could reach my breast! It felt a little awkward, but all wearing positions have been awkward at first with Sasha. It really worked for us!

I realize I did not, specifically, mention nursing in public as a favorite location. I don't guess it really is my favorite because at home I just go topless, while in public I have to be a little more conscious of what is showing. I will, however, nurse wherever when the need arises. I just recently nursed Sasha while grocery shopping (slightly outside my husband's comfort zone). I didn't have a blanket or anything. Honestly my belly showed and my breast didn't. She slept through much of the shopping. I found this to be way more exhausting than just carrying her through the store upright!
Sasha Nursing in PublicNursing at a local Recreation Center
@ 1½ months
Back to the subject at hand, these are our most used nursing situations. What is your favorite way to nurse your children?


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon March 8 with all the carnival links.)

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