Feeding your baby while doing yoga upside down. Yes, it’s possible and it’s normal. Just about anything is possible. Here’s a way to breastfeed your baby that should be comfortable for you.
Most new parents know about the “C-hold” also known as the “Football Hold’. Have you heard that term, the football hold? I never describe a position that way because babies are not footballs. When you are holding a football in a ‘clutch’ that tucks the baby’s head down. The baby can’t tilt it’s head back, open wide and latch on. That is why the ‘football hold’ can lead to frustration.
I recommend an approach that seems similar. The difference is that it allows the baby’s head to tilt back. My colleague Jan calls it the ‘Under the Wing’ hold. Consider the image of tucking your baby under your wing, rather than clutching them tightly.
This is how the ‘Under the Wing’ position is set up:
1. Sit at the edge of the couch/bed so you have plenty of space behind you. Your baby’s feet can wrap behind you.
2. With your baby on your arm, hold him/her against your side. His/her belly is touching your side (a variation of belly to belly.) Position your baby’s nose in front of your nipple. (That’s why it helps to have space behind your back for their little feet.)
3. See that the head, shoulder and hip are in a line. No need to latch right away.
4. Support the baby’s neck and shoulders (not the back of the head) with your hand.
5. The baby will tilt its head back to open wide. The nipple will be right there, in front of its nose. Let the baby find it and latch on. Okay.
With the baby held against your side, you can easily lean back… there’s plenty of room behind you. How about a pillow under your arm? Maybe someone can arrange cushions for your comfort. Eventually, you’ll have this set up and ready for whenever.
Another difference is that you needn’t stay sitting up in a rigid position or curl your head down to watch the latch. This should be more comfortable.
How does that feel? There are as many ways to feed as there are babies in the world. What matters is if it’s comfortable…then it’s possible and it’s normal.