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The best breastfeeding positions to avoid back pain

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Breastfeeding is a beautiful, natural way to feed and bond with your baby, but for some mums it can also mean back pain!

In a recent Facebook Live, Mifwife Tylah told TMB TV that it’s common for women to experience back pain while breastfeeding.

“A lot of women will get six weeks down the track and be like, why am I in constant pain?” she says.

Watch the full interview below:

We hold a lot of tension in our neck, shoulders and back when feeding babies, so it’s important to pay attention to posture to keep the pain and discomfort to a minimum. 

Here are two breastfeeding positions that Tylah recommends.

Laid-back breastfeeding

“So the best position we normally say is called biological nurturing, or laid-back breastfeeding,” says Tylah.

“Essentially you’re in bed and you’re on about a 90 degree angle, and you let baby attach and feed like that.

“That way you’re not hunching over, and you’re not pushing your breast to baby.”

Side-lying breastfeeding

You can also try a position called side-lying.

“Side-lying is where you’re lying in bed and the baby’s lying next to you – that’s also a good one for the back because you’re not putting any strain on it,” says Tylah. 

How to breastfeed safely while lying down

As well as helping with back pain, The Australian Breastfeeding Association says learning to breastfeed while lying down can also help mums get more rest (unfortunately not sleep – just some much-needed rest!). Here’s are their tips for doing it safely.

Tips for side-lying breastfeeding:

  1. Place your baby in the middle of a large bed. 
  2. Lie down next to them with your arm above their head (your head can be on a pillow but nowhere near the baby’s head).
  3. Slide your baby so that their nose is in line with your nipple and pull them in close. You may need to use a pillow to prop against their bottom if they can’t stay in this position unassisted. 
  4. Using your other arm, guide the nipple into baby’s mouth or let them attach on their own. 

Read more about breastfeeding while lying down here.

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