Can your baby breastfeed while you are lying in bed? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 92 Old 08-01-2011, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering if any of you have learned to breastfeed your baby while you are lying in bed? If so, how old was your baby when you were able to do this? And more importantly, how did you get started doing it? Anybody with fairly large breasts successful at this? I have a 3-week old, and we can't nurse without me sitting up completely straight with a nursing pillow in my lap and me holding my breast in a C-hold. 

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#2 of 92 Old 08-01-2011, 04:52 PM
 
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I think it was probably about 5-6 weeks when we got the hang of side lying nursing. We started on the couch, with a latch in place from a football hold, and then I would just kind shift around until she was lying next to me and still latched on. Within a week she was nursing at night in the bed with me. It makes sleeping soooo much easier.

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#3 of 92 Old 08-01-2011, 04:53 PM
 
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I don't really know how to explain how to nurse in bed other than to lay down on your side and give it a try.   My son was a couple of weeks old when we started doing this.  Just wanted to point out though that it can be harder to get the latch right in this position, so you might want to wait just a little bit before trying.  Also, the position can be a little bit hard on some babies ears (more likely to get ear infections in this position) and for babies with reflux (which is why we had to stop doing it).  That said, I would have killed to be able to nurse laying down during those exhausting first months.  I hope some other mamas can give you some more practical "how to" advice.  I have relatively small breasts and not sure if this made it easier. 

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#4 of 92 Old 08-01-2011, 06:15 PM
 
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I nursed my DS side-lying from day 1. I have large breasts, but for a variety of reasons it needed to happen - and we got pretty good at it by day 3.

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#5 of 92 Old 08-01-2011, 06:28 PM
 
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I have large breasts & I was (am) able to successfully bf while lying down in bed.  I do not remember exactly when it was for either child, but I can certainly tell you that it was not by three weeks!  It was a couple/few months with dd1 and quicker than that with dd2.  Until then, I did have to sit up & use a Boppy to nurse, even during the night.  IME, baby needs more experience at the breast to master this technique.  Once you do, though, it's splendid :)


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#6 of 92 Old 08-01-2011, 10:00 PM
 
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DS1 was 2-3 months old. DS2 did in the hospital as a newborn.

 

Just keep trying, as PP said, your baby needs to be pretty good at latching and you need to be comfy for it to work.


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#7 of 92 Old 08-01-2011, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. My baby is unfortunately having lots of trouble nursing. One of the problems is that she is not a very efficient eater, so when she does want to eat, it can take an hour, and sometimes she's still hungry at the end. So I'm getting really exhausted. We have been to a lactation consultant several times and are trying to work on all the issues, but we are still struggling. I'm just trying to find a way to get some rest.

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#8 of 92 Old 08-01-2011, 11:22 PM
 
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Her lower body will be closer to you than her head. I find that side lying is easier with larger breasts - you don't have to prop the babe up to the height of the nipple.get a good latch while you are lying facing eachother and pull her butt in towards you. That's what we do. We had some bfing issues and didn't get this till week 3 I think.

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#9 of 92 Old 08-02-2011, 01:03 AM
 
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Definitely not by 3 weeks. I am a 10H and I can do it comfortably now but it was probably about 6 weeks before I even tried.

 

For me, good back support is very important so I almost always have a pillow behind my back. My best tip is get yourself really comfortable before you even think about trying to attach your babe. Nothing worse than finally getting them all settled and feeding and then having to move!


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#10 of 92 Old 08-02-2011, 01:31 AM
 
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I have been able to nurse my little one lying down from about 2 weeks. However I do have to use my hands for support. With both of us lying on our side facing each other I use one hand under the baby's head to support her head and one under the breast to help her latch. IIt works most of the time but occasionally I still have to get up to nurse her upright. Good luck!

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#11 of 92 Old 08-02-2011, 06:15 AM
 
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Oh I wouldn't be alive if I couldn't side-lie nurse.  It's the only way I get any sleep!  Just keep trying until you both figure it out.


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#12 of 92 Old 08-02-2011, 07:39 AM
 
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Yep, in fact nursing lying down is about the only way we nurse these days. I have to remember to mix it up every now and then so she stays used to other positions in case I cannot lie down, such as when we are out.

 

I think it is easier for me because I have F cup boobs. I just lay on my side and my nips are in the perfect position for latching.

 

Keep trying. I think at first I had to grab my boob and point the nipple at her mouth, but now she knows to root and grab it herself.

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#13 of 92 Old 08-02-2011, 01:45 PM
 
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Nusing lying down is awesome--- I remember turning on the lights at 2 am and needing to be propped up by pillows to get a good latch. Eventually the baby just latched well no matter what position I was in! Side lying was awesome.  Just keep trying, it'll work out eventually.


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#14 of 92 Old 08-02-2011, 03:16 PM
 
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Nursing side-lying was a little difficult for us to figure out at first, as I have ginormous boobs. However, I'm pretty sure she nurses all night long now, which is fine, except that she can only get to one side unless I physically move her to the middle of the bed. Then no one can get any sleep. She's only three months old though, so we still have time to learn a better way!

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#15 of 92 Old 08-02-2011, 04:10 PM
 
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Ah thank you for posting this question, all the moms I've ever asked said "Oh of course you can breastfeed lying down" but no one mentioned that most likely I wouldn't be able to do it until later, or it may be hard to get 'right'..Now I know for the next time around that it's harder to do than I thought.


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#16 of 92 Old 08-03-2011, 04:28 PM
 
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with my first, she was about 2-2.5 month old when we figured it out, with my second we did when he was hours old. I have yet to talk to mom who could early on with her first. 


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#17 of 92 Old 08-03-2011, 06:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post

Definitely not by 3 weeks. I am a 10H and I can do it comfortably now but it was probably about 6 weeks before I even tried.

 

For me, good back support is very important so I almost always have a pillow behind my back. My best tip is get yourself really comfortable before you even think about trying to attach your babe. Nothing worse than finally getting them all settled and feeding and then having to move!


I agree. I wouldn't let the midwife and doula leave until they taught this new mom how to nurse while lying down. It is possible to nurse lying from the baby's first night. The pills tucked under my back really propped me at the right angle. Dd just curls up into me. The weird thing is now that we are slowly transitioning her to a crib, I forgot how to get comfortable on my own! Ha ha!
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#18 of 92 Old 08-03-2011, 10:31 PM
 
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I have nursed my sons from day 1 while lying down.  The first couple of months I would use a pillow to prop against their backs to keep them positioned properly(so their ear, shoulder, and hip were all aligned).  Then by 3 months or so, they could lay on their sides without the pillow against their backs.  Sometimes it takes a few minutes to get the right distance away so you can stretch out your breast enough so it isn't covering their nose(I have large breasts)...and I would position their feet and bottom closer than their head so their knees were at my belly. 

Keep trying, and change sides so that the breast the baby is nursing from is always the one on the bed.


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#19 of 92 Old 08-04-2011, 07:37 AM
 
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Well I couldn't lay on my side anyway until about a week post partum because it felt like my guts were falling out, not sure if that was because of C section or just my muscles all stretched out. It was a while before I had the nerve to even try side laying.

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#20 of 92 Old 08-04-2011, 12:46 PM
 
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I had a c-section so I started off with the 'football hold' which in the end made it so easy to nurse lying on my side once I had recovered a bit.

Although I was lucky to have a son that could breastfeed like an ace from minute one.

Once I could I simply lay on one side, made sure my son was lying in the right relationship to my boob (height, like did he need to be on a pillow?  did my breast need to be higher?, and adjusted the angle) and made him latch.  It just worked for us.

I wish you good luck!

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#21 of 92 Old 08-04-2011, 01:51 PM
 
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I was probably into the 3rd or 4th week before I figured out how to do it. For the first few weeks we had him in a co-sleeper thingy between us in bed, and it sucked because my back hurt really bad sitting up in bed (plus I needed to sit on one of those doughnut cushions due to a giant healing perineal tear), so every time he was hungry I'd have to lift him out of his bed, get up and go over to a chair and get all propped up on my pillows- then he'd fall asleep nursing and then wake when I tried to put him back down...and then I'd end up going downstairs with him so as not to wake DH while he was fussing...and then he'd fall asleep in my lap again only to wake AGAIN when I tried to put him back in bed...and on & on.

 

DH kept telling me to "just nurse him lying down, that's what you're supposed to do!" and I was like HOW??! I would try and it just seemed so awkward! We have no LLL chapter here, and having people describe it to me on the phone was no help. I think it was in one of Ina May Gaskin's books where I finally saw a picture and description that helped. At first I had to prop up on my elbow a little while he latched on, and then slide down slowly to a full lying position, but now it's super easy! Also when he was real small I felt like I had to hold my boob away from his face to keep blocking his nose- but with practice (and him getting bigger) it's no longer a problem. Also from Ina May, learned that by backing up a little and rolling toward him with my knee up more to keep me from rolling all the way, I can dip the upper boob down for him so he can alternate boobs w/out me having to roll over & switch sides- which is nice for nights he's extra thrash-y- so he doesn't have to be between me & Dh and pummel him awake! (or when DH is extra tired and I'm worried about him not being as alert to the little guy's location). However- that position is kinda uncomfortable as I'm then squashing the boob I'm leaning over on- but it's good to have the option.

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#22 of 92 Old 08-04-2011, 04:13 PM
 
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I found it easiest when the baby is already at least 3 wks old. I have small breasts and with my first baby my friend kept telling me to do side lying position and i was like "how? my boobs dont reach her, im serious" she just couldn't believe me, but finally i figured it out somehow. Nursing in general is very personal in that its definitely not one size fits all. You'll find your own positions that work best for you in time. Just stick with it!

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#23 of 92 Old 08-04-2011, 06:01 PM
 
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Mine are size F and I have always had a rough start with getting comfortable while feeding. I am on baby #2 and I never got the hang of side lying with my daughter. It took me about 3-5 weeks this time around. It definitely takes some maneuvering and getting used to but once you've got it, you've got it. I started out feeding him with the top breast while we were both on our sides and I had to lay almost flat on top of the other one in order to get him latched on correctly, after a week or two I started getting sore and worried about clogged ducts so I wouldn't recommend doing that for too long. I finally was able to get into a comfortable position with feeding him from the bottom one by starting out sitting up, making sure he had a good latch, then laying both of us down at the same time. My bottom arm will be in a triangle shape close to my head.

I know with my first I was on edge all the time, she would nurse for AT LEAST an hour about ever hour or two and because I also had a problem with oversupply/OALD nursing was almost unbearable unless I was sitting straight up an exact way~ with the exact same pillow~ on the exact same couch. It was exhausting and eventually took a toll on our breastfeeding relationship, so I was determined this time to get comfortable while I fed no matter what it took. I found one website very helpful;

http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html

http://www.llli.org/docs/0000000000000001WAB/WAB_Tear_sheet_Toolkit/01_laid_back_breastfeeding.pdf

and although I don't position myself the same way as they describe it helped me to learn how to get myself comfortable while nursing and it has made ALL the difference in the world. I am able to sleep not only at night when I'm side lying but if I'm extra tired, also during the day because I'm in a comfortable enough position to where I can just lay my head back or to the side and nap until he's done. I would suggest just experimenting with putting your body into different positions until you find one that really works for you. I've found sitting relaxed on the couch I can put him into an almost diagonal cradle hold where hes in a sitting position facing me, while I curl my legs up to his back. Once he's on correctly my legs are enough support for him so that my hands are free and I've been using this position since he was just a week or two old (still supporting him with my hands at that time) so it is possible.

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

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#24 of 92 Old 08-04-2011, 06:52 PM
 
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It'll happen!  And when it does, you can learn to shift your body back a little bit and give your babe the top breast so you don't have to roll over baby (or pick baby up and roll over).  And then your sleeps will improve drastically again.  :)  We started nursing laying down all the time probably around 2-3 months and then nursing lying down-but-from-both-breasts-without-rolling-over around 4-5 months.


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#25 of 92 Old 08-04-2011, 07:59 PM
 
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with my second child, i was doing it as soon as he was born. like, within hours.

i would suggest that you take a "nursing vacation" where you just stay in bed with baby and nurse for as long as you can -- all day if you can do it.

he/she will get the hang of it.


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#26 of 92 Old 08-04-2011, 08:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mediocrewitch View PostAt first I had to prop up on my elbow a little while he latched on, and then slide down slowly to a full lying position, but now it's super easy! Also when he was real small I felt like I had to hold my boob away from his face to keep blocking his nose- but with practice (and him getting bigger) it's no longer a problem. Also from Ina May, learned that by backing up a little and rolling toward him with my knee up more to keep me from rolling all the way, I can dip the upper boob down for him so he can alternate boobs w/out me having to roll over & switch sides- which is nice for nights he's extra thrash-y- so he doesn't have to be between me & Dh and pummel him awake!


All of this.  Plus with baby #1 somebody gave me a nursing positioning pillow with a light in it like this, which was super amazingly great at the time.  Nice soft light so you can see what you're doing without waking baby or DH.  Solves the thrashing issue too. 

 


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#27 of 92 Old 08-04-2011, 10:56 PM
 
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nursing from both breasts on one side worked for my first, but with my second, the top one makes him gag because of the angle and gravity that makes it flow way too fast for him (if you have "over abundant" supply like me sometimes it may be an issue, like LLL says "its like trying to drink out of a hose on your back!")  I was able to do it with my first but then again I had a big problem with recurring clogged ducts and mastitis and this time haven't had it at all...

 


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#28 of 92 Old 08-04-2011, 11:15 PM
 
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it took a while for us but now its a our favorite thing. i still hold my boob most of the time, my babes are lazy with thier latch and ill fall out otherwise. 

 

 

also i can now feed both breast from either side, i nice trick, bottom ones is a bit harder, but there is times when strangely it is easier. so dont assume which boob is best on a certain side till you test out both!

 

also be aware of what shape you hold your boob in, i noticed at first that i was flatting it perpendicular to their mouth, so no wonder it was hard to get on, a side effect of having my arm at a differnt angle, once i fixed that it was better, and yeah i pull thier bodies way in like another poster mentioned


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#29 of 92 Old 08-05-2011, 12:20 AM
 
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It took a while for dd and I to get the hang of it.. couple months maybe? Not sure :/ sooo long ago! We practiced when wide awake during the day occasionally, way easier than sleepy and in the dark. For some reason it was particularly difficult for her to latch that way. Can't fathom why. It did help if I propped myself up on one elbow to get her latched, then eased myself down. Had to be slow and careful easing myself down so she didn't lose her latch. It definitely took persistence to get it down, but it sure was heaven once I could just sleep topless and let her help herself at night.. ahh...

 

For ds, goodness, that child had NO PROBLEM nursing regardless of position, from day 1. He wanted it, and he'd take it wherever and however he could get it! Right after the birth we went upstairs to bed and he didn't want to let go for an hour or so. I don't know if he was just a natural born "perfect nurser" or if it was ME being more experienced so it was more second nature to me, or simply because my nipples were nicely broken in and easy to grab onto thanks to the tandeming toddler? newborn dd was a very efficient nurser, fast gainer, it would take her a minute or two to get latched on even sitting upright in a nice comfy position, in a well lit room. I assumed this was par for the newborn course. Then ds came along and hoooly crap, that boy could NURSE! Side lying in bed, pitch dark, less than 24 hours old? No problem, he grabbed right on about as easily as the toddler would. Sure got lucky with him. 


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#30 of 92 Old 08-05-2011, 06:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marissamom View Post

with my first, she was about 2-2.5 month old when we figured it out, with my second we did when he was hours old. I have yet to talk to mom who could early on with her first. 



I just had my 1st babe on Tues night and we've been doing it since day 1.  He was really fussy the first couple of nights and it was the only way I felt safe to doze.  It wasn't perfect at first being new at everything but we got by and I got some much needed rest (after 22 hrs of labor, I needed it.)


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