In this post, we’ll discuss laid-back breastfeeding and the benefits to using this position even in the weeks and months following birth.
What is Laid-Back Breastfeeding?
Laid-back breastfeeding, also known as biological nursing, involves feeding as you lie back in a semi-reclined position. It’s a comfortable position for both you and your baby, and one that you’re likely to use straight after birth.
Laid-back breastfeeding does not involve lying flat on your back. You should be upright enough to be able to easily make eye contact with your baby.
How To Do Laid-Back Breastfeeding
Lie back on a comfortable sofa or bed, using cushions or pillows to support your neck and shoulders. Once you’re comfortable, place your baby on your front, either on their belly or to one side. While supporting your baby, guide them towards your breast and let them latch on.
If you’ve had a c-section, you can position them across you, away from your incision.
The Benefits of Laid-Back Breastfeeding
Laid-back breastfeeding is particularly beneficial in the first few days and weeks of breastfeeding, as it can help your baby get to grips with their natural feeding reflexes. Hold your baby close and they may start pushing with their feet as they move their head to side to side. These are their feeding reflexes kicking in, and the laid-back breastfeeding position makes it easier for them to find your breast.
At the same time, this relaxed position can encourage your body to produce oxytocin, the hormone that encourages your breasts to “let down” the milk. So in those early days of your baby’s life, the laid-back breastfeeding position can help you both learn the process together.
Finally, the intimacy of the laid-back position helps you bond with your baby. You can comfortably spend extended lengths in this position, even when you’re not nursing. So it’s a highly effective way to get to know your baby in the first few weeks of their life – and for them to get to know you.
How Long Can You Breastfeed in the Laid-Back Position?
Because this position’s so comfortable, you should be able to maintain it for as long as your baby needs to feed. You should make constant contact with your baby, but don’t put any pressure on their back or beck. They’ll relax into your body as you relax into the position.
What is Tummy Time?
Tummy time involves placing a baby on their stomach, to allow them to develop their neck muscles. In time, this will help them build up the strength necessary for them to roll, sit up, and crawl.
Does Laid-Back Breastfeeding Count as Tummy Time?
The laid-back breastfeeding position absolutely counts as tummy time! In fact, it’s a particularly effective way to keep babies comfortable while they develop. Not all babies enjoy tummy time, but all babies enjoy nursing. Gently supporting your baby in position and allowing them to use their natural reflexes to find your nipple will help in their long-term development.
Further Support With Breastfeeding
You’ll find plenty of resources about breastfeeding in our Real Parenting blog:
- How to prepare for breastfeeding – pregnancy and post-partum.
- What is the let-down reflex when breastfeeding?
- How to combine breastfeeding and pumping.
- How to break the breastfeeding sleep association.
We also have a range of sustainable baby products. This includes reusable breast pads that will help you stay clean and dry while you’re nursing, and reusable nappies that are as good for your baby as they are for the planet.