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Types of Breastfeeding
Can’t seem to get comfy during feedings? You’re not alone! Luckily, there are dozens of positions to help you stay sane (and ones that will even encourage your baby to latch and eat).
Some of the most popular types of breastfeeding positions include:
- Reclined feeding
- Upright feeding
- Side-lying feeding
- Cradle hold feeding
- Sling feeding
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Most moms and moms-to-be have no problems discovering the benefits of breastfeeding. They’re all over the internet.
In the past few decades, the push for moms to breastfeed over bottle-feed with formula has been huge. And while the decision to breastfeed or bottle-feed lies with mom and dad alone, there are a large number of benefits to breast over bottle.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that there is plenty of evidence suggesting that breastfeeding can protect baby from a wide variety of diseases, including:
- Hodgkin's disease
- Late-onset sepsis
- Necrotizing enterocolitis
- Otitis media
- Respiratory tract infection
- Urinary tract infection
In addition to all the benefits breastfeeding offers to baby, the AAP argues that there’s also plenty of benefits for mom, too, including:
- Less postpartum bleeding
- Decreased blood loss
- Increased shedding of baby weight
- Lowered risk of some cancers
Some doctors, pediatricians, and psychologists agree that breastfeeding can create a bond between mom and baby — and even help babies learn how to maintain eye contact and discover social cues that will set up the child for its entire life.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Breastfeeding?
While most doctors agree that breastfeeding is best for moms and babies, the decision on how to feed your baby is a super personal one — and the only one that you can answer.
Breastfeeding has plenty of benefits. It’s hard to ignore the connection researchers make between breastfeeding and the prevention of cancers, diseases, and obesity. Yet like anything, it isn’t perfect (and again, it’s not for everyone).
Some of the disadvantages of breastfeeding may outweigh the benefits for many women. Ultimately, there are plenty of healthy, happy adults that were never breastfed.
Just some of the reasons that moms might choose to only breastfeed from time-to-time (or even skip it altogether include):
- Breast tenderness or pain
- Unsure if pros outweigh the cons
- Frustration over inability to latch
- Mom can’t be physically present
- Loss of autonomy over the body
- No support or coaching materials available
- Too many breastfeeding issues
When it comes to breastfeeding, only you know your body and your baby. Do what works best for you, and don’t worry if breastfeeding isn’t for you.
Top Breastfeeding Issues
Breastfeeding isn’t perfect. It can be uncomfortable, even painful. You need to do it often at inopportune times (often in the middle of the night), and moms can’t simply outsource this task to someone else.
Sometimes it’s easier to turn to formula or bottle feeding — and often, it’s just plain necessary.
Some of the top issues that moms deal with when breastfeeding include:
- Clogged duct
- Dry nipples
- Engorged nipples
- Low milk supply
- Problems latching
- Sleepy baby
Some of the breastfeeding issues on this list are inconvenient but easier to fix. Dry nipples can crack, bleed, and hurt. Yet, the dryness can often be cured with ointments, and it doesn’t last forever.
Other issues, liked clogged ducts, can be extremely painful and usually require professional help. Low milk supplies may mean that mom needs to supplement with formula.
Latching problems can be so frustrating that moms might want to stop breastfeeding altogether. Babies often fall asleep during breastfeeding, but if your baby falls asleep too quickly, it may not get enough nutrients.
Issues such as thrush and mastitis are health issues that aren’t necessarily related to breastfeeding directly — but can make breastfeeding feel somewhat impossible sometimes.
Luckily, there are plenty of products on the market to make breastfeeding a little easier — including pumps and accessories.
Most women experience difficulties with breastfeeding at some point. Getting little ones to latch and worrying about your milk production is enough to make any new parent stressed.
While plenty of moms have their own tips and advice for breastfeeding, sometimes it’s just best to turn to the professionals.
If you need to help breastfeeding go a little more smoothly, we recommend:
- Opting for an easy-to-use online retailer like Aeroflow or Willow Pump
- Hiring a lactation consultant to help baby to latch faster
- Using pumped milk for when you’re too tired or stressed to breastfeed
Breast pumps aren’t just for when breastfeeding isn’t going so well, either. Some pumps are easy to transport and can be used easily when you need to pump on the go (like in the office or at a social event).
Breastfeeding Pumps, Products, and Accessories
There are breastfeeding pumps for just about every mom’s needs these days. There are two basic styles of pumps: manual and electric. Many moms love manual pumps because they are quiet, compact, and transportable.
Electric pumps are ideal for pumping milk in larger quantities. Some electric pumps are considered ‘hospital-grade’, which means they can pump milk at a stronger rate.
With pumps come a long list of accessories, including bottles, shields, valves, and membranes. Breast shields come in a wide variety of sizes; choose the size that corresponds to your nipple — not your breast size.
While breastfeeding isn’t as cut-and-dry as some moms hope it to be, it can be made easier with the right help and products. If you’re a mom-to-be or a new mom, remember that every person is different, and your choice to breastfeed is yours — and yours alone.