I'm finally getting the nerve to try leaving the house with my new LO and toddler, and when DS has to nurse I end up making a beeline for the van (where I have a spare Boppy.) Once I tried to nurse him sitting on the floor in Once Upon a Child but it was SO hard to get comfy...DS cried, had a hard time latching, popped on and off, I was hunched over, it was generally awful. He gulped some milk and it was not relaxed and pleasant.
So...such a dumb question, I know. But how do I nurse without pillows? He doesn't like being held in a cradle position with his head on my elbow. I try to cross my leg to prop him up. It just seems like an awfully unstable balancing act.
Does anyone have any good illustrations or anything that can help me? I am so embarrassed to even be asking this, but I really would like to be free of the Boppy, and be able to sit under a tree and feed my baby, not hole up at home or in the van. Thanks!
ETA I missed the LLL meeting for this month, and I am hesitant enough to try to go anywhere with my 2yo and the baby alone...in case anyone is going to suggest LLL...*maybe* I will have the nerve to try that next month.
Mama to F(06/11/09) and baby boy C (06/09/11)
this may sound far fetched, so give me the benefit of the doubt :)
try to latch baby when you are standing up. seriously.
stand facing the bed mattress if you are scared, so there is a soft support right there. best to take off any thing that may get in the way the first time! then hold baby so he is upright (feet dangling towards the floor) and bring him towards your breast. if you catch him before he is ravenous he'll be more patient. Once he has latched on, then you can sit down. no pillows needed. or you can walk to the kitchen and get a snack. or chase your toddler! once you get used to latching while standing it will be easier to do it sitting..
also helps to remember that nursing babies need to be supported through their core (upper and lower back) but could not care less if their feet are dangling.
If he doesn't like his head resting on your arm you could try the football hold. That way his head is free because your hand should be under his neck and shoulders.
What about feeding in a carrier? I hadn't tried it at that age so no tips but, when I eventually did try it, I found it very easy in our Becco.
Also, he's only 2 months old? I found it hard to feed without a pillow at that age too. As he gets older it will be easier to rest him on your lap rather than having to hold him up to reach your breast.
My final tip is to put the pillow away at home. If you don't use it at all then it will be quicker and easier to find ways to do without it.
Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012
A variation on latching him while standing up, but you can try nursing him in a sling... it takes some practice and adjustment to get the sling to the right hight, but he might like it.
wife to DH, mom to 7/4/2011 and 11/6/13.
I have the same problem but I use a My Brest Friend twins plus pillow b/c I'm fat and have big breasts. My baby is 3mos but it's still a giant pain in the nethers to lug the pillow around AND try to feed him w/o it :( I've been in restaurants and placed him on the table (on top of the fabric of whatever sling I was wearing that day) and had some luck with that. Nursing him in a sling/carrier is usually a quick fix. He drinks enough to stave off hunger pangs but doesn't get a full meal. It's difficult b/c my breasts are so big I can only see his eyes and above when latching. Also I usually use the same side hand to hold my boob in place so he can get to my extremely small nipple.
The only nursing advice for big breasts I've found was on the Plus Size Pregnancy website but there's a scarcity of you tubes and advice on it.
My LLL leader is having her baby next month so we're not having meetings till October. So I met with the RN, CBE who runs the moms group at the local hospital and she suggested that I have to go against that " bring the baby to your breast" advice because he could be laying across my legs and still be "at" my breasts. I have to bring him down to where my nipple is.
I guess it's just trial and error but I hear you I want to be free of my big ol pillow too, useful as it was/is.
You say he doesn't like having his head in your elbow? Have you tried the cross-cradle hold? (Top left picture here.) I could never get the football hold to work but I found we got the cross-cradle going pretty easily. It does require some upper body strength, but I found that if I could lean back against a tree or the back of a chair or bench I could shift a lot of her weight onto my upper body, so that my hand was supporting just her head.
Nursing in the sling also worked. Her Dad was the stay at home parent and used to bottle nurse her in the sling at home, so she was used to that.
Definitely practice at home without the pillow. He's never going to come around if nursing outside the house is rare and different from what he is used to.
I know. It's so tough to practice and hear him cry. I really need to though. I also am having a lot of trouble with the sling. My comfy sling is wider than average, I think (original unpadded Maya with SBP shoulder) and the fabric gets twisted in the rings a lot and I can't seem to adjust it well, or get him comfy before he really CRIES.
I've had mild success nursing in the Pikkolo, but it's work...his body is more alert, less relaxed, and he doesn't nurse for nearly as long as he would laying on the pillow.
Mama to F(06/11/09) and baby boy C (06/09/11)
I had this same issue when my daughter was younger. For 4 months I was addicted to My Breastfriend. It was so ridiculous.
I overcame this issue by getting help from a breastfeeding counsellor - I actually saw her for a different reason, as I was having supply issues, but she helped me with positioning. The best advice she gave me was to lean back on a couch and get comfy. No need to sit up straight. Definitely no need to hunch over. If your baby is still little, maybe rest your arm on the arm of the couch or on some pillows, but you don't have to. I found the cradle hold worked when I leaned back, and trust me, it never worked before just like you say! You can also let your baby rest his body on your stomach (i.e. stomach to stomach with baby) so that you don't have to hold him. You'll have to lean back significantly for this one. But once you start experimenting with different methods at home, you'll find one suits you best and hopefully one that is not too crazy for a coffee shop. As your baby gets bigger, it definitely gets easier. My daughter is now 16 months and often nurses standing up while I sit on the couch.