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Thread: Breastfeeding laying down??

  1. #1

    Default Breastfeeding laying down??

    I have heard that some mothers breastfeed during the night in a "laying down" position. Is this safe? Is it difficult for the baby to swallow in this position? Is there any danger besides the obvious danger of sleeping with your infant? What are the advantages/disadvantages? My baby is a week old and I am a first time breastfeeder. TIA for any advice!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding laying down??

    It's not unsafe, and it's much better (IMHO) than falling asleep in a chair and possibly dropping the baby. But it will take some practice at first to get things all going smoothly, just like with breastfeeding in general. It took me a while to get the hang of this, but now I can sleep all night long, and I just roll to the side when he's hungry, and around maybe 8 or 10 weeks, he figured out how to latch on his own, which makes it a million times easier! (For instance, I am even typing with both hands while side-lying nursing the baby right now. :P It also takes a while to get the hang of how to use both sides doing this. I think I've heard of people rolling over with the baby on their stomach, but I just leave the baby in the place he's in and move myself onto the other side of him, or else just keep both of us in the same place, and try to use the top breast. (By leaning over 3/4 of the way onto my stomach.) A good way to get started on this is by trying it on a blanket on the floor during the day, so that you're not quite as worried about all the issues of bedsharing, since you're fully awake and there's nothing to fall off of, etc.
    If you are concerned about bedsharing in general, I know other people on here know some links to very helpful sites with checklists. But the basics are to make sure your baby isn't going to roll anywhere like off the edge or into a crack (don't have your mattress far from the headboard or pushed against the wall with a space between. And as in cribs, don't let your baby sleep with soft fluffy things around their face. You can have your blanket come up to, say, your waist or so, and then put it under the baby's legs, and wear a shirt that's easy to nurse from. When I was worried about me rolling onto the baby, I used to sleep with him in the crook of my arm, but at a certain point that started becoming kinda uncomfortable, but it allowed me to get to the mental place of not worrying about it (I sleep incredibly soundly). And of course, do not have your baby in your bed with you if you're under the influence of anything that would make you sleep less naturally (alcohol, benadryl, etc).

    I'll try to find the links if I can, but my internet is being fickle.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding laying down??

    Agree with pp!

    Just wanted to add that I love side laying. It took a LOT of practice for us but once DS and I got it, it has been life saver!
    Married to the best husband ever since Nov 2009
    DS born 1/7/12 at 36 wks after PROM and Gestational diabetes happy and healthy ~

    Taking it one day at a time.

    Currently and !!!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding laying down??

    There is no "obvious danger" of sleeping with your infant. Co-sleeping as long as the mother is not using drugs or alcohol is very safe. That said Sidelye nursing takes time to master. And usually the baby has to "grow into it." I could not do it very effectively with my newborn because I literally could not see him over my boobs. We didn't get it really mastered until about 4months. But it is definitely worth practicing for!

    Way too lazy for formula

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding laying down??

    I'm super paranoid about suffocation and our bed is not very safe for co-sleeping (very soft mattress and no matter how much I work at it I can't get the sheets tight, among other things), so I don't feed lying down at night, it's just too tempting to fall asleep. That said, despite being REALLY hard to get that position right at first, now that he's older and bigger, it's much easier. I also find it easier to do it at a slight incline, using a pillow for his upper body and wedging myself into a slightly inclined position. It's still very easy to doze off in this position, though, so if I start to nod off I adjust and move any pillows or blankets just in case. I love this position for when I get home from work and he's headed into naptime

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding laying down??

    with the PPs. Co-sleeping is safe when done safely. This article is a good resource for safe co-sleeping practices: http://babyparenting.about.com/od/sl.../a/cosleep.htm. And if you don't feel safe sharing a sleep surface with your baby, you can always use a sidecar crib- this company makes them: http://www.armsreach.com/

    A lot of the confusion about co-sleeping comes from the fact that many people who co-sleep do so in very unsafe ways. They co-sleep on sofas and armchairs, which have gaps that are tailor-made for suffocation. They smoke. They drink or take drugs. They bottle-feed instead of breastfeeding. They use lots of fuffy bedding. They co-sleep when they have a condition which should preclude co-sleeping. They sleep on water beds. And when a baby in one of those co-sleeping situations suffocates, the statisticians code it as a co-sleeping death. So all the safe co-sleepers out there get tarred with that brush!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding laying down??

    We didn't master side-lying until DS was 4mo because he seemed to struggle a lot with latching on unless I directed my nipple right in front of his mouth (he would root with his eyes closed). I still co-slept with him but I sat up to feed him in the night as he required a cross-cradle hold. It was more disruptive to my sleep than staying lying down but less disruptive than having to get out of bed.

    When we finally did get used to it I found the key was rotating my body in such a way that my breast was in the correct position. I used a body pillow behind my back to help with this.

    ETA: regarding the safety, the hardest thing for me to change was getting rid of my heavy blankets. I LOVE big blankets, but they are not safe while co-sleeping, so I had to dress heavily on top, usually a long sleeve zip up top with a nursing tank, and pull my blanket only up to my waist.
    Last edited by @llli*sassypants; March 15th, 2012 at 07:01 AM.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    April 2014

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding laying down??

    PP's

    My daughter is now 7 weeks, I'm also a first time breastfeeding Mama even though she is my third. At the beginning I couldn't lay down to feed her. I was finally able to feed her if she was propped up on my arm or a pillow between 1-2 weeks, now I am able to lay her down flat and feed her so we can sleep peacefully. I've co-slept with all three of my girls, against "everyone's" opinions, and have never had a problem. I have one spot that I usually keep her in, so I nurse from the opposite side before bed and when we wake up, unless otherwise needed. My only concern is the possibility of ear infections, I'm going to look into it tonight.
    Mother of 3 beautiful girls, and expecting baby number 4 in July

    Elisabeth ~ 9/25/07
    Eliana ~ 1/08/09
    Elivia ~ 1/22/12 ~ EBF

    with all 3 still

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding laying down??

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sugarfoot289 View Post
    . My only concern is the possibility of ear infections, I'm going to look into it tonight.
    Don't sweat it, the connection between side-lying nursing and ear infections is a myth.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding laying down??

    sidelying was my first priority to learn and we got it down in the first week - and for at least the first four months, it was by far the easiest position. i have really big boobs (K cups) and managing them with the newborn sitting up was just a huge difficulty. from the very beginning he learned to eat lying flat on his back with his head turned sideways - my nipple reached all the way to his face that way. very helpful to have someone at hand to shove a rolled up towel or wedge pillow behind you, until you get good at doing it yourself (and eventually, not needing it to balance, i've found). there's an excellent tutorial here: http://www.mother-2-mother.com/tut-layingdown.htm. i've found it's all about my body's "yaw" - i would lay down on my side, then angle my body back and forth til the nipple was in the right place. i can position my legs differently (crossed, angled, etc) to hold my upper body balanced.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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