If you’re a new breastfeeding mom, you may feel overwhelmed when it comes to what the best breastfeeding positions are, the benefits each has, and what is best for you and your little one.
There are many different positions that each have their own pros and cons. If you’re looking for new ways to feed your baby or positions that might help if you have sensitive breasts or clogged milk ducts, then keep reading!
Greater Than has provided a list of different positions you can try breastfeeding from and their benefits. If you are experiencing trouble with latching, clogged ducts, or mastitis, then keep reading for more information on dangle-feeding and other breastfeeding positions!
What Are Clogged Milk Ducts?
Clogged milk ducts obstruct milk flow in a part of your breast. This can be either at your nipple or further back in the ductal system. Clogged milk ducts typically happen when your breast is not completely emptied during feedings.
There are various ways to unclog milk ducts. However, it can make breastfeeding difficult. Many mothers recommend dangle-feeding as the best position to help unclog ducts since it requires your baby’s help.
This can typically happen within the first six to eight weeks after birth but can happen at any time during breastfeeding.
What Is Mastitis?
Mastitis is an infection in your breast that can cause redness and swelling. This happens when milk is trapped in the breast, resulting from clogged milk ducts.
Some breast infections go away on their own, but it’s essential to check in with your doctor or lactation consultant.
What Is Dangle-Feeding?
Dangle-feeding is when you place your baby flat on their back, on either your lap or on a blanket or comfortable solid surface, and dangle your breasts over them to nurse.
Typically, you crouch over all fours over your baby, while you dangle your nipple in their mouth. But you also can do it sitting, kneeling up over your baby on a bed or sofa, or almost lying down but propped up with your arms. Using cushions and pillows is a good way to support yourself.
Dangle-feeding most likely isn’t the breastfeeding position you want to do regularly, but it might help to mix it up once in a while.
What Are the Benefits of Dangle-Feeding Your Baby?
There are several benefits to dangle-feeding your baby when you breastfeed. Although it’s not a common position, it’s typically best for mothers who need to switch positions up or have a condition that makes breastfeeding harder.
Helps Alleviate Clogged Ducts
Many breastfeeding moms find this position to be helpful when they have an uncomfortable clogged milk duct. Although there’s no scientific evidence to back this up, many mothers find this position helps alleviate clogged ducts for short periods of time.
Dangle-feeding helps alleviate clogged milk ducts because it allows the gravity of milk to flow toward the nipple with help from your baby’s sucking.
This position also helps if you have conditions like mastitis and your breasts feel sensitive to touch and want to avoid them getting squashed. If your breasts are hard or swollen, dangle-feeding can help to remove breast milk and soften your breasts.
Learning How To Latch
Some moms also find this helpful when their baby struggles to latch onto their breasts to feed. Although the position can only be done for short periods of time, it helps give your baby a sense of how to latch properly.
Dangle-feeding can be a better tool than your pump when it comes to getting rid of your clogged duct. That is because your baby has better sucking skills, so with the combination of gravity, your breasts undergo a strong force that can pull your breast milk down.
Dangle-Feeding and Breast Massages
This technique is essential to help you alleviate discomfort and unclog your milk ducts. Breast massages can help soften your breast tissue and loosen your breast milk. By incorporating breast massages into your daily routine, you will make dangle-feeding more effective.
What Are Other Breastfeeding Positions?
Although dangle-feeding has various benefits, it’s not an often common position since it can’t be held for long periods of time. If you’re looking for other breastfeeding positions to try besides the cradle hold, Greater Than has some ideas for you!
This position is similar to the cradle hold, but your arms switch roles, so your body lies along your opposite forearm. This breastfeeding position helps to support your baby around his neck and shoulder to allow them to tilt their head prior to latch.
A Cross-cradle hold is helpful if you have a newborn or smaller baby with latch problems. Your baby is fully supported on your opposite arm, so you have more control over their positioning. Your free hand can shape your breast if you need to do express feeding.
Rugby Ball Hold
In this position, you sit with your baby resting along your forearm, with his body tucked alongside your side. Their feet are towards the chair, pillow, or whatever you’re sitting on.
This is a helpful position for newborns and early nursing since it supports your baby well. It also gives you plenty of control, and you can see their faces. Since your baby remains tucked closely to your body, your baby feels safe as well.
In this position, you and your baby both lie on your sides next to each other, belly-to-belly. This breastfeeding position is often used for night feedings or breastfeeding in bed or on the sofa.
This is for relaxed feedings and can be more comfortable since you’re side-lying rather than sitting. Many mothers who had cesareans or stitches find this to be a more comfortable position as well.
What Is the Best Breastfeeding Position?
If you’re experiencing clogged ducts or mastitis, you may benefit best from the dangle-feeding position. Although it’s not a common position, it can provide you some relief and unlodge milk from a plugged duct.
Any breastfeeding position that you and your baby find comfortable and work efficiently is all that matters. There is no “wrong” way to breastfeed, except for any position that harms you or your little one or compromises both of your safety.
Make Greater Than Part of YOur Dangle-Feeding Journey
At Greater Than, we want to help you find the best breastfeeding position for you and your little one. Although we have only listed a couple of ideas to get you started if you find yourself needing something different than the typical cradle hold, we hope to alleviate some of the anxiety you may be feeling.