Breastfeeding your baby has its perks. There’s no doubt that nursing your baby can provide so many benefits for both of you. There can be a few setbacks, however. A common difficulty can occur with the instance of infant gas.
Babies pass gas frequently, and most don’t have any problem doing so. But for some babies, excessive gas can be quite uncomfortable and will make them fussy. We don’t have to tell you that a fussy baby is unpleasant for everyone.
A good place to start troubleshooting methods of relief is to adjust the way you feed your baby. Improper breastfeeding could be the main culprit resulting in a gassy baby.
Luckily, there are breastfeeding positions to reduce gas!
1. The Football Hold
This breastfeeding position might be one of the first ones you learn on your breastfeeding journey. It’s easy to perform and allows your baby to sit up while they eat, effectively reducing air intake.
Also called the “clutch” hold, this position is performed exactly the way it sounds. You tuck your baby under your arm like a football.
You’ll be supporting your baby’s back and legs with your arm and holding their head with your hand. A pillow underneath your arm can help you hold their weight.
When your baby has better support of their neck, you can try the upright breastfeeding position to reduce gas.
You both will be sitting up for this position, aiding in digestion and easing gas and reflux. Plus, upright positioning helps babies slow down a little bit while they drink.
This one is sometimes called the “koala” hold because it resembles how a koala mother holds her baby. You sit up and your baby straddles your leg, facing you.
This position can be particularly difficult for newborns because a 90° angle makes it hard for them to support their weight. You and your newborn would probably feel more comfortable in an inclined position like the similar football hold.
3. Laid Back
If you’re inclined at a 45° angle, the laid-back position may be a good choice for reducing gas. This position is very relaxing for you and your baby, and it adds a little pressure to their tummies. The gentle compression on their abdomen helps them release gas more efficiently.
You can lay back comfortably at an angle and place your baby on your stomach. They will be laying face down, straddling your body, and holding your breast around their arms.
The laid-back position allows for some convenient tummy time and skin-to-skin contact, too! This is extremely comforting for your baby and lets them explore their full range of motion.
4. Cradle or Cross-Cradle
The cradle and cross-cradle hold are both great for reducing gas. This is a side-lying position that is likely one of the most convenient ways to breastfeed.
The cradle hold is done by cradling your baby in your arm and letting them easily eat from your breast. The cross-cradle is nearly the same, except your baby will be lying across your body to reach the breast opposite to your cradling arm.
These positions facilitate an easier way to watch your baby’s latching technique. You can also make sure they are semi-upright to make their digestion go more smoothly.
Other Important Factors
When you’ve found the best position for you and your baby, you might check on some other circumstances. For example, their latch is equally as important as breastfeeding positions to reduce gas.
Make sure your baby is latched correctly in your new gas-diminishing breastfeeding position. If they’re not latched on the right way, they could be swallowing more air than milk.
Listen for clicking, gasping, or irregular sucking while they eat. These are all tell-tale signs that their latch isn’t as precise as it needs to be.
If your baby is taking in air as they eat, it’s a good idea to help them release the pressure as often as possible. Every few minutes or so, take a minute to pat your baby on the back or bounce them on your knee to help them burp.
A comfortable environment, believe it or not, will help ease the symptoms of gas. Excessive stimulation might be too much for a baby and will cause them to become even more uncomfortable.
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If you think a fussy baby is no fun, imagine how they feel! You both will get the hang of new feeding tricks and techniques in no time. Soon enough, you both will be cozy and enjoy bonding and cuddling without any extra stress or pain.