Positioning help...

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.hilary.'s picture
Joined: 01/31/10
Posts: 1505
Positioning help...

I know this is probably a question better asked in person, and I am planning to find our local LLL and go to a meeting soon. But until then, I am really frustrated and need help!

So, I was stuck in bed for a good couple weeks after birth due to anemia and bad tears that needed to heal. My LO and I are pretty good at side-lying nursing because of that. But now we are really struggling with any other position and it is so frustrating. I am finally able to be up and about and the last place I want to be is in bed unless I am sleeping!!

I really just want to be able to comfortably nurse on the couch in front of the TV! But I can't seem to get a comfortable and effective latch. I am getting tension migraines in my neck and upper back from poor positioning and my LO is frustrated and hungry again very shortly after a nursing session on the couch, unlike a lying down session where she finishes content and goes to sleep. I am trying to use a pillow (My Brest Friend, sort of like a Boppy I think) but I need to stuff pillows UNDER the nursing pillow to bring her up high enough, and it's awkward. Then I need pillows behind me otherwise I end up hunched over her. I just want to ditch the pillows because I have about four and its impossible to get them all situated when I'm by myself and she is screaming for food Sad

Is there a simple position that I can do on the couch without pillows and without killing my arms? Is there a good website with lots of pictures or a video? I checked kellymom already. Any help would be appreciated...sorry this turned into a big long vent before my question Sad I am so frustrated I broke down crying about it today Sad

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

My advice is to make yourself comfortable as possible first. THEN fit the baby to you and how you're comfortable. You being comfortable will help your milk let down and will keep your LO more calm too. The couch was not my most comfortable place at first at all. I preferred to be in a chair with armrests that helped keep my nursing pillow higher up. Be sure that you're not leaning over at all - that gets uncomfortable fast! You want to bring the baby to you in your comfortable position. It's okay to use multiple pillows too. And I think it's okay if she wants to eat soon afterwards. She needs to "learn" the new position just like you and it will get better.
Have you tried the football hold yet? I know some people say that worked out better for them. The cradle hold is NOT the easiest hold ever with newborns!

Kayla1981's picture
Joined: 01/04/07
Posts: 1529

As I was reading I was already thinking to suggest the My Brest Friend nursing pillow and then lots of other pillows for support. Of course then I continued reading. However, when I went to seen an LC, she was able to make me so comfortable while nursing. She had me in a chair with arms, she put a stool under my feet b/c I have short legs, she put one or two pillows under the brest friend pillow and then one behind my back. It may seem like a lot of trouble but it felt so good to be supported from every direction. Maybe the couch is your problem. I found I had to use lots of pillows behind me b/c I had a tendency to sink back and then you are in an awkward position, trying to hold yourself upright. Maybe even a pillow under your rear for support could help? Or, avoid the couch all together for now. I think a chair with arms would be great until you find that things are getting easier.

I also think the football hold would be a great position to try.

Just make sure when you are nursing that your baby is level with your nipple. If you don't get a good latch then stop and try again. You can use your nipple to touch her mouth and as soon as she opens wide, don't be shy about latching her on. Make sure to push her on from her upper back/shoulders and not her head or neck. Some babies will resist and actually push back.

Despite nursing being a completely natural thing, it does take some learning on both sides. It can be frustrating at first but just know that it really does get easier. Soon it will just be second nature for both of you. I think finding support is an EXCELLENT idea too! I cannot say enough about how important it is to have people who will support your BFing relationship with your daughter. I found the LC's at the hospital I delivered at to be the best source of support for me, as well as a few women in my family who were very pro BFing as well.

VCoates's picture
Joined: 05/22/07
Posts: 1055

I don't have much more to add then PP. Just keep trying. And just like anything else, it'll take some getting used to.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I sit on my bed with my legs crossed and a pillow. Trystan lays there and enjoys! I never liked the Boppy...

kmm123's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 1839

I second or third chair vs couch Smile I actually don't use any pillows but I have pretty big boobs (sigh that I'll want to get lifted someday lol) and a big baby. So sitting in the recliner with baby in the crook of my arm and my elbow resting on the arm of the chair puts his mouth at nipple level.

It may also be that side lying with you is just a bit more relaxing so sleeping comes more easily. Rory doesn't really nurse to sleep much which drives me crazy b/c my first always did. Side lying in bed is really the only time he'll nurse and go to sleep.

.hilary.'s picture
Joined: 01/31/10
Posts: 1505

Thanks everyone! I ditched the nursing pillow, took over DH's chair and moved him to the couch (lol) and then I just stuff a throw pillow under my arm that is supporting her head...that brings her about to nipple level. It's till not perfect or as good as side lying, but going better! Smile

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

I'm glad to hear it's going better. I hope things continue to improve. Smile