We are so used to seeing babies on their backs - while being held, while feeding and while laying down to sleep. And, consistent with this position, many parents are taught positions like the cradle and football holds - both of which place a baby on their back, or below a parent - both of which make the baby feel like they are falling away from the person they most want to be next to. And, often the parent winds up uncomfortably leaning over the baby in order to hold them in place.
These positions, while commonly taught, are usually very challenging and uncomfortable, especially if you do not have supportive pillows for both you and your baby. Instead, we recommend trying the “training wheels” of breastfeeding - Laid Back Nursing. It’s very comfortable for you and your baby and no special pillows are needed. The parent finds a comfortable position to sit in so that the baby can rest on top of them tummy down. When a baby is tummy down, they are resting on top of their parent (and not falling away), have more head and hand control, and can tap into all of their newborn feeding instincts and reflexes.
Here are some excellent resources for Laid Back feeding:
A beautiful video by Global Health Media called “Breastfeeding in the First Hours”. It shows newborns babies doing the breast crawl - self-latching after being placed tummy down on top of their mothers. Any baby can do this in the first few weeks/months, and sometimes a baby that didn’t get a chance to do this at birth can “re-set” and improve their nursing skills!
A wonderful article with the eye-opening title "Many Moms Have Been Taught to Breastfeed Incorrectly"