A study of 40 mothers breastfeeding in different positions found that babies’ natural reflexes kicked in more easily when the mothers were lying down. The position seemed to trigger primitive reflexes usually seen in young mammals, the Royal College of Nursing conference heard.
Many women struggle with breastfeeding and give up after a few weeks.
Dr Suzanne Colson, senior midwifery lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, advises women on a technique called biological nurturing where the mother lies down and lets the baby lie on its tummy on top of her. When mothers were lying flat or semi-reclined, babies could find the breast easier and in many cases attach themselves and feed whilst asleep
Mothers who breastfed lying down seemed to have more success and, although the majority of women in the study had initially reported problems with breastfeeding, after using the technique all the women continued breastfeeding.