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Thread: Any tricks on getting baby to do a side-lying latch?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Any tricks on getting baby to do a side-lying latch?

    I have a 6 week old preemie, adjusted age 39 weeks, and we have been co-sleeping since she came home from the hospital about 5 weeks ago. I have been nursing her at the side of the bed when she wakes because she is having a hard time with latching in the side-lying position. She will latch temporarily, then unlatch and cry out of frustration, which is why we are both getting up-up at night.

    I nurse with a shield because she is just barely 7 pounds, has a very tiny mouth, and I have pretty flat nipples. Since she nurses during the day occasionally without the shield, I even tried removing it, thinking it might be a positional hindrance, but she didn't get close to a good latch.

    Anyone have any good tips? I would love to be getting more rest at night and I think would be the way to do it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: Any tricks on getting baby to do a side-lying latch?

    I don't have experience with your circumstances, but I found this website extremely useful for learning how to nurse side lying:

    Edited to add: I also have recently discovered how to nurse lyng flat on my back, baby at 90 degrees across my chest, this is awesome because I can actually get some sleep on my back, after months of being on my side. Kind of like liad back nursing, which i could never get to work becuase my boobs are too big for baby to reach if hes lying in the Same direction as me. You might try that variation.
    Last edited by @llli*auderey; April 11th, 2012 at 08:08 AM.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Any tricks on getting baby to do a side-lying latch?

    to start, lay on your side in the bed. You can prop a large pillow behind you if you like for comfort. Have baby lay next to you with baby's nose at or just below where your 'lower' nipple naturally lies. Pull baby into you with your upper "top" arm, maybe pulling her bottom in more to allow a head tilt at the breast to facilitate latch. Use your lower arm to either cradle your own head or babies head or hold your breast as needed/prefered. Adjust baby up and down your body as needed.

    Some moms use a blanket to pull baby/hold baby into them. Put a light, breathable blanket under your body, and pull it up and around baby's body and anchor it with your top arm. Make sure babies head is not covered, of course. A small firm pillow behind baby's back may help as well.

    If you plan to fall asleep in a sidelying position or in any position with baby in the bed I suggest you please carefully research bedsharing safety measures.

    Sometimes sidelying does not work well until baby is a bit bigger. As pp suggests, an alternative that allows you to lie down while nursing are laid back positions with baby on top. laid back positioning also facilitates a good latch. With laid back you can be in any amount of a recline, from very slightly reclined to very reclined, according to the research on laid back, mom being totally flat on the back is not comfortable or safe/effective with a very young baby. (It may be fine with older babies, the research is on young babies) See http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf and http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/

    Different nursing position ideas and tips http://www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; April 11th, 2012 at 08:52 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Re: Any tricks on getting baby to do a side-lying latch?

    My son side-nurses best when he is laying on his side as well. It became easier once he learned to roll to his side. Prior to that I just had to be awake and propped up on my elbow so I could help him nurse.
    BF'g my son since birth, May '11. I proudly practice peaceful/attached parenting

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