Breastfeeding Lying on Your Back

I often worried about squashing my baby while I lay on my side to breastfeed, and my hips always got sore when he was a newborn as I'd be in the same position for so long.  Lying on your back to breastfeed is soooo much easier!  It's also great for mothers with a fast let down or fast flow.

Breastfeeding lying on your back is a great position for mothers who have a very fast let down reflex because gravity helps slow it down so your baby can cope with the amount of milk they're getting rather than choking or gagging (which can lead to breast refusal so it's worth helping your baby if they aren't coping with your fast flow!).

I also had a lot of trouble getting my first baby to latch on properly while I was lying on my side.  This position really helped me because I could get the latch right and then I could relax as well (a bit of having cake and eating it too)

It also helps take the pressure off your hips and shoulders so you aren't desperately waiting for your newborn to finish feeding so you can move. When I was breastfeeding lying on my side, particularly with a newborn who takes an hour to feed, I always got very uncomfortable lying on that same side for so long (you would know if this was going to be a problem because it would have been painful during pregnancy also).  My babies often fell asleep, but not very deeply too, so then I'd be stuck there hoping I wouldn't wake them up (looking back at it that seems a bit silly in some ways as I wasn't sleeping! Oh well, at least I was resting)

Breastfeeding lying down can be very useful for mothers who have had damage to their perineum which is uncomfortable to sit on.  For me with both my boys I had second degree tears.  It meant I was quite uncomfortable sitting down for 2 weeks with my second and around 4 weeks with my first little guy.  Lying down was a necessity to help me cope with the huge amount of breastfeeding I was doing.

It can also be nice if you have a caesarian scar which is a bit painful after sitting too long (but you'll need someone to help you get into this position as you won't be able to sit up and latch then lay down without using your abdominal muscles).

The down side to using this breastfeeding position is that it can be a bit messy. Using a towel underneath you can help.

To use this position:

  • Start sitting up
  • Attach your baby in the cradle hold
  • Use your free arm to help lower yourself onto the bed so you don't pull on your abdominal muscles too much

It can also be used with the football hold if you find that more comfortable. This is usually only useful if you have small breasts. To do this:

  • Start lying down
  • Sit your baby next to your breast
  • Allow your baby to lean on you, supporting their upper back with your hand or a pillow

Back to Breastfeeding Positions

Learn more about:

Breastfeeding with Your Baby's Legs Over Your Shoulder

The Saddle Position

Breastfeeding Lying on Your Back

The Cradle and Cross Cradle Hold

The Football/Underarm Position

Breastfeeding Lying on Your Side

Discreet Public Breastfeeding in the Carrier

Back to Breastfeeding Babies home page


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