Five helpful tips to remember when using the football hold, also known as the clutch hold. Learn how to rock the football hold like a pro!
What is the football hold for breastfeeding?
The football hold, also known as the clutch hold, is a breastfeeding position that provides an alternative to traditional positions like the cradle hold or cross-cradle hold. This position can be particularly helpful for mothers who’ve had a cesarean birth, those with large breasts, or those nursing a small or premature baby. It can also be beneficial when breastfeeding twins.
How is baby positioned in the football hold?
In the football hold, the baby is positioned alongside the mother’s body, with their legs and feet tucked under the mother’s arm (on the same side as the breast being used for feeding). The baby’s head is supported by the mother’s hand, while the baby’s body rests on a pillow or the mother’s forearm.
5 Tips to get the perfect latch with the football hold
Tip #1: Support is key
Make sure you’re seated comfortably, with your back well-supported by pillows or cushions. You’ll want to maintain a proper posture to avoid straining your back, neck, or shoulders during the feeding.
Tip #2: Tuck ’em in
Position your baby on their side, tucked under your arm on the same side as the breast you’ll be feeding from. Your baby’s legs and feet should be tucked behind you, with their body parallel to yours. This is where the name “football hold” comes from – it’s like holding a football tucked under your arm!
Tip #3: Align and latch
Ensure your baby’s head is aligned with your nipple, and their body is facing your breast. Support your baby’s neck and shoulders with your hand, and use your other hand to support your breast. Gently guide your baby to latch onto your breast, making sure they take a deep latch with both the nipple and surrounding areola.
Tip #4: Use pillows for extra support
Place a pillow or two on your lap to help support your baby’s body and maintain the correct height during the feeding. This will help keep your baby at the right level and make it easier for them to latch properly, while also reducing strain on your arms and shoulders.
Tip #5: Be patient and flexible
It may take some time for both you and your baby to get comfortable with the football hold. Practice, patience, and some adjustments will help you find the perfect position that works best for both of you. And remember, it’s always great to have multiple breastfeeding positions in your toolkit to accommodate your and your baby’s changing needs.
Benefits of the football hold
The football hold offers several advantages, such as better visibility of the baby’s latch, more control over their head and neck, and reduced pressure on the mother’s abdomen (especially after a cesarean birth).
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