Laid-Back /Natural Breastfeeding

30 minutes old

One day old

2 weeks old

6 weeks old

Biological Nurturing and Laid-Back/Natural Breastfeeding

While breastfeeding initiation rates continue to rise; early breastfeeding cessation rates at 3 through 12 months remain stagnant and well below the AAP, Healthy People 202o, World Health Organization and UNICEF recommendation of exclusive breast-feeding/breastmilk for the first 6 months and continued breastfeeding for at least 12 to 24 months.

Mothers are often encouraged to swaddle their babies from birth and to keep them in the bedside box unless they are actively feeding. This practice assumes that the continuity of maternal nutrition ends at birth ~ like it does with formula feeding, which it does not. Immediate swaddling also accentuates the discontinuity of postnatal transition, as mothers are physically separated from their babies even when they are in the same room.

New research provides evidence that an approach to breastfeeding that proponents have termed "biological nurturing®" stimulates natural reflexive behaviors in newborn and mother alike. These synchronized reflexes seem to support both effective, pain free latch and ingestion of milk". (Early Human Development, S. Colson, S. D., Meek, J. H., & Hawdon, J. M. (2008).

When mothers and babies start off breastfeeding using biological nurturing and laid-back/natural breastfeeding positions from the start, babies easily adapt to more traditional upright positions and are able to maintain good latch and milk transfer. Mothers benefit by feeling more empowered, confident and competent.





So, what is this Biological Nurturing thing anyway?

It is ~

  • Mother-baby positions and interactions that release essential hormones and innate (instinctive) feeding behaviors

  • A method that does not have to be “taught”

  • Mother-baby innate behaviors that aid latch and sustain milk transfer

  • An aid in the metabolic adaptation of the baby

  • More than 'just' "skin-to skin contact" at the time of birth

  • Can be as simple as "hanging out" with your baby

Using biological nurturing, mothers neither sit upright nor do they lie on their sides or flat on their back. To start, mother is relaxed and fully supported in a laid-back or semi-reclined position that she finds comfortable and sustainable. Then she places her baby on top of her body so that her baby’s head is somewhere near or on her breast.

In other words, the mother makes her breast available. The baby will be on his/her tummy at the same incline as the mother. In this position, a baby’s innate, primitive feeding reflexes (PNR) will be stimulated and assisted by gravity.

Biological nurturing is a non-prescriptive, easy to do method for mothers and babies that easily evolve into breastfeeding. There is nothing for the mother to “learn” or remember because most mothers don’t “attach” the baby to the breast. If given the opportunity, most babies self attach and self-attachment has been shown to work better in reducing the incidence of sore - damaged nipples.

All this can rapidly build confidence in the mother. A confident, empowered mother that finds enjoyment in breastfeeding will breastfeed longer.

Biological nurturing encourages and allows mothers and babies to do what they instinctively know how to do - in comfortable, sustainable positions that enhance and promote hormonal bonding, attachment and ease of breastfeeding.

Biological nurturing introduces the concept of nurturing and enjoyment. Supporting mothering behaviors that increase pleasure in breastfeeding will help extend breastfeeding duration and improve long term health in both mother and baby.