/DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Best Infant Feeding Positions to Improve Colic, Gas, and Reflux

Is it Possible to Improve Colic and Reflux by Changing Your Feeding Position?

For many babies with colic and reflux positioning is critical from the moment milk enters their mouths. The best positions for breastfeeding baby reflux are left-side lying or prone (on the tummy), with no pressure on the tummy, a straight spine, and as upright as possible.

If you are propping your baby up with pillows or even holding your reflux baby in your arms in a position with his head higher than his body, his spine needs to be completely straight. Imagine a garden hose with even the slightest kink in it. Water does not travel through the hose at the same rate or with the same ease. It is the same with milk.

This leaves you with several possibilities:

  • Use a feeding wedge. A feeding wedge made of supportive foam will allow you to consistently and easily position baby at angle of 30 – 45 degrees and will allow you to nurse from both breasts while your baby remains on his left side. You can do this by using the cradle hold (with your baby left side-lying) on your right breast and then shifting the breastfeeding wedge and your reflux baby to your left breast, in a modified football hold. The left side does require more practice. See our How-to-Guide for more information and photos.
  • Use firm pillows or towels to prop baby on a good incline in the cradle or football hold ON HIS SIDE. Be sure your reflux baby’s spine is completely straight.
  • Recline on a sofa or chair with your reflux baby lying on top and facing you.
  • Sit your baby upright on your lap facing you and straddling your waist but be sure the spine is completely supported and straight so there is no slumping or slouching which put pressure on your reflux baby’s tummy.
  • Occasionally nursing in a sling or baby carrier is recommended because they support the baby in an upright position, however, most slings and carriers put pressure on your reflux baby’s tummy and cause him to slump or slouch. Because of this I prefer the other options listed here.
  • I began using a feeding wedge when my first son was around 4 months of age. I was able to take him off his reflux medications entirely. His reflux became suddenly so manageable that we frequently forgot about it. When he was around 6 months of age we believed he had outgrown it. While on vacation without my Pollywog breastfeeding wedge when he was 10 months of age I used a bed pillow to nurse him while I sat on the floor with one knee raised and supporting the pillow on a 45 degree angle. Although he was upright, the pillow was not firm and his spine was not totally straight. He began refluxing all over again. I realized that he had not outgrown his reflux at all - we had simply learned to manage it!

    Use a Pollywog feeding wedge to reduce reflux in baby

    How is your positioning during feedings?

    Finally - a feeding pillow that puts your baby in the natural feeding position.

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