Breastfeeding can harm the body, especially the lower back. below, Sarah Fulop-Furlano, IBCLC lactation consultant at Dignity Health Medical Group — Dominican shares tips for proper breastfeeding positions to protect your back and help you and baby feel as comfortable as possible.
Tips for protecting your back
- Sit with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Having a nursing chair can be helpful for this, especially if the chair or sofa you are sitting on does not allow your feet to touch the ground. If you don’t have a nursing chair, you can use any footstool to accomplish this. Placing a pillow behind your back can also help keep your back and knees in the right position.
- Bring your baby up to your level. Make sure you carry your baby on your breast instead of bending over to bring your breast to the baby. A combination of bed and sofa pillows or a nursing pillow can help achieve this.
- Try lying on your side with your lower arm extended overhead to support your back as you lie down. A thin pillow may be comfortable under your head as it will support your neck and head. Placing a pillow between the knees in this position, as well as a pillow behind the back, supports the entire body, allowing you to fully relax. In this position, the baby should lie on the bed facing you with his nose at the level of your nipple.
- Lie belly to belly with the baby. This is another position that helps reduce tension in the lower back. Use pillows to support your arms and head while lying down. You’ll want to play around with different types of pillows until you find the perfect combination for your body. Just like in side lying, your body should feel completely relaxed and free of tension or tension.
- Change your eating position from time to time. And no matter how cute your baby is, don’t forget to change your gaze during the feeding session. Looking down at the baby throughout the feeding session can strain the neck and lead to slouching, straining the neck and back.
A lactation consultant is a certified health professional specializing in breastfeeding. They help parents and babies with issues such as milk supply and breastfeeding positions. For more breastfeeding tips and resources, find a Dignity Health lactation consultant near you with our doctor finder.