You may have heard of laid-back breastfeeding when talking to a medical professional, your family or friends, or through some research online. I recommend trying all breastfeeding positions, especially laid-back breastfeeding, with your little one at the beginning of your breastfeeding journey.
This relaxed style of breastfeeding is great for littles who are struggling to latch or for mamas who are struggling to feel relaxed and comfortable during feeds. This was one of my favorite ways to nurse my little guy and still is!
I want to teach you how you can try out laid-back breastfeeding. Plus, all the amazing benefits it can bring to you and your little one.
What is Laid-Back Breastfeeding?
Laid-back breastfeeding uses your baby’s natural instincts to help him/her latch onto your breast. It is also a great way to incorporate skin-on-skin bonding with you and your baby, as well as tummy time.
Laid-back breastfeeding allows you to lay back, relax, and breastfeed all at the same time. This breastfeeding method/ position uses gravity to snuggle the baby into your body and breastfeed.
How to Perform Laid-Back Breastfeeding
Below I have listed out some step-by-step instructions and tips you can use to help initiate laid-back breastfeeding with your infant. Remember that this a natural breastfeeding method, so you really can’t do anything “wrong.” Just go with what feels natural to you and your baby.
- Lie back as if you were laying back in a recliner or on your bed/ couch to watch TV. Make sure to support your head, shoulders, and back with pillows or a folded-up blanket.
- Put your baby on your stomach or your chest. You want your baby to be resting on top of your belly/chest.
- Let your baby rest their head on your chest near your breasts. Your baby’s natural instinct is to find your breast. They will use their cheeks and hands to find the breast and nipple. Fun fact: the reason your areolas darken during pregnancy is so they are easier for your baby to find!
- After your baby latches on, you can readjust to cradle him/her in your arms for the rest of the feeding.
Tips for Laid-Back Breastfeeding
- Relax and be patient while your baby is moving around and searching for your breasts. Don’t stress about your baby needing to find the breast right away. It may take your baby a minute or up to an hour. The younger your baby the longer it may take to latch.
- Help your baby by soothing them, talking to them, and making eye contact with them as they search around. Everyone loves a good pep talk!
- Adjust your position to help you get comfortable or to provide an easier position for your little one to lay on you.
- As breastfeeding and latching gets easier I encourage you to also try other breastfeeding positions!
If you are like me and are a visual learner, then here is a great YouTube video that demonstrates how to laid-back breastfeed.
The Benefits Laid-Back Breastfeeding
There are many benefits and perks to the laid-back nursing method. The most significant benefit is the ease it provides for infants who are having trouble latching in those first few days of life.
I always went over laid-back breastfeeding with my mamas in the introduction to breastfeeding class I would teach. It is a great position for first-time moms or first-time breastfeeding moms to know. First time breastfeeding moms should also check out my post where I answer the 3 most common questions asked about breastfeeding!
Laid-back nursing promotes a “natural latch.” Rather than us, as mamas, positioning babies into a latching position it allows babies to put them in a position that feels natural and comfortable to them.
Mamas also find it relaxing and helps them calm down while the baby latches. Your baby reads off your energy, so being stressed while breastfeeding won’t help your little one relax and get a good latch.
I found that breastfeeding positions felt uncomfortable (almost stiff and robotic-like) with my little one. It was so relaxing to lay back with him and let him do his own thing. You get the benefit of skin-to-skin bonding time with your baby too!
Let’s Wrap It Up
There are a number of breastfeeding positions you may hear or read about, but laid-back breastfeeding is really nature’s way to nurse. I highly encourage you to try out laid-back breastfeeding, especially if your baby is struggling to latch.
If you are having difficulty getting your little guy or gal to latch or latch correctly, then please seek breastfeeding support and help! You can reach out to a local lactation consultant, your local Le Leche League, or feel free to privately message me here.