Many unexpected things can come up during lactation. You can hit bumps early on, a few weeks in, or even months or years into your breastfeeding experience. In addition to breastfeeding issues which require education and support, sometimes maternal illness can occur. Sometimes an illness, incision, or soreness will make it tough for you to sit upright or even turn comfortably. If you find yourself saying, “My baby and I are healthy and I’ll just stay away from any surgeries while breastfeeding,” keep in mind – most women who experience sudden illness or have surgery aren’t planning on it! To relay a personal experience, I had 3 unexpected surgeries while breastfeeding my daughter. It’s nice to be equipped with ways to continue breastfeeding in the face of unexpected obstacles. Today I wanted to share a breastfeeding position that may come in handy if you find yourself recovering from something while breastfeeding.
The Elevator position allows you to breastfeed on both breasts without having to roll over to change positions. For this Mama, she started out breastfeeding in this sidelying position on her left breast. When baby was done on the left side, we placed a pillow beneath baby. The pillow acted as an elevator, allowing baby to access the second side (in this case right breast) without having to change positions or roll over.
Same principles apply as in any breastfeeding position we use – make sure baby is tummy-to-tummy with you with no space in between. You can place a body pillow behind your back for comfort and support. You can also place a roll behind baby’s back to help keep them facing you. Here, we are using a thin muslin blanket rolled up.
Ofcourse I hope you never find yourself with an illness, injury, surgery, or recovery anytime — let alone when you are breastfeeding. But life happens! Having as much knowledge and support as possible will increase your chances of getting through whatever comes your way.
Many more great tips like this in my breastfeeding classes. My video classes are available anytime – they never expire, can be watched over and over, and you can learn in the comfort of your own home! Anytime after 12 weeks in pregnancy is a great time to start preparing and they also come with a notes outline. My in-person classes are held in Highland, UT – upcoming dates are 12/10, 1/16, 2/20, and 3/12 and 4/9. Will travel for groups of 10 or more! First priority for my limited home/hospital visits is given to those that attend the classes. Email me to arrange personal consultations.
Thanks for stopping by,
Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC