Monday, November 23, 2015

Laid-back breastfeeding

I've been breastfeeding for over 9 years straight, sometimes with both a baby and a toddler. I've nursed through 3 pregnancies. I read about breastfeeding voraciously. And yet... until recently I hardly knew anything about laid-back breastfeeding or "biological nurturing."
It's blowing my mind!

Nursing was never difficult for me; I didn't struggle with with nipple pain or latch problems or supply issues. But I remember the exhaustion of sitting up in a bed or chair in the middle of the night, holding my newborns in a cross-cradle hold, and wishing so desperately to lie down and rest. I rejoiced when we figured out how to nurse lying down. It took Zari (and me!) longer to figure out than my last three children.

Although nursing itself wasn't painful, sitting was, especially after I had Zari. I had a 2nd-degree tear requiring some stitches, and it was terribly painful to sit for several weeks. But I was stuck doing this:

Remember this Breastfeeding 101 video I made with Dio? I'm sitting up straight in a chair, holding him in a cross-cradle position. He has a great latch and I am reasonably comfortable...but it could have been a lot easier if I'd laid him across my belly instead of fighting his batting arms and resisting gravity.

To think I could have avoided exhaustion, pain, and unnecessary effort if I had known more about laid-back breastfeeding! I remember reading about it, but until I saw it in action, it didn't really click.

So here is my gift to all you pregnant or nursing mamas: information about laid-back breastfeeding that I have found most useful.

1. Nancy Morbacher, IBCLC, FILCA, explains the science and how-to's of laid-back breastfeeding. Article originally published in Holistic Parenting magazine, Issue 9 (May/June 2015) and republished at

2. Dr. Suzanne Colson's website Biological Nurturing has some fantastic resources, including a video that explains the basics and an article answering common questions.

3. Nancy Morbacher's YouTube channel is FANTASTIC! Watch them all!

4. Natural Breastfeeding How-To's (Prezi presentation with lots of videos)

Ivy doing some laid-back breastfeeding today


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