Natural breastfeeding using the laid back breastfeeding method also known as the Turtle Method position can stimulate your baby’s pressure points to nurse and heal your breasts while getting a deeper latch! It is also a safer way for your baby to breastfeed if you fall asleep while feeding your baby.
With the Turtle Method, newborn babies can stabilize themselves naturally. This means your baby can already instinctively control certain parts of their body, and will naturally help manipulate your breast to suit their own feeding behaviors. The Turtle Method position gives your baby control of your breast by flexing his or her hands and fingers and then moving them to sculpt your nipples. This position makes it more suitable for them to feed, and it also releases scar tissue in your breast which eliminates the need for pumping because of inverted or flat nipples.
When your baby is faced down on your stomach in the Turtle position, they are touching certain pressure points with their knees, pelvic area, and feet while also allowing gravity to pull them into your chest instead of gravity pulling your breasts downward. Plus, being on their belly counts as tummy time toward their essential development!
The Turtle Method allows your baby to breastfeed much better than when they are laying on their back breastfeeding in your arms because they won’t involuntarily reflex backward when you guide your baby’s head toward your chest with your hand. When your baby is laying on their back in your arms, it is a gravity-fighting position and there is a shallower latch… ouch!
In addition, being on their stomach while in Turtle position actually allows your baby to help release the fluids in your own body which you received from IVs and also from engorgement as your milk comes in. This is due to your baby’s body pressure pushing against you while you lay in a reclined position. With your baby facing down, their body helps through this reverse pressure technique to decrease the swelling and fluids in the breast and draw out the nipple for easier feeding.
In terms of safety, the Turtle Method allows your baby to be fully resting on your body without the requirement of your arms. You don’t have to worry about your baby’s safety. However, if you fall asleep while breastfeeding your baby in your arms as they lay on their back, your baby would have no support.
Quick Turtle Method Tips:
- Lay back or recline in a chair and place your baby on your tummy, diagonally across your body with their cheek on the upper part of your breast. You should be fully reclined. If your baby starts slipping, you’re not laying back far enough. The natural curves of your body will support your baby sans props, and gravity will assist in a deep latch while your baby receives skin-to-skin contact.
- When your baby’s pressure buttons are pushed, their coordination improves. This was identified at Prague School by Scientists as Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization or DNS. To activate your newborn’s internal GPS so that your baby knows where they are and what they need to do, they need to feel their entire front against you and touching you with their complete body. This full frontal contact activates their pressure buttons located on their wrists, ribs, inside of their knees, and tops and bottoms of their feet, stabilizing their spine, which gives them better control over their own movements, so they can feed more effectively.
- Lastly, adjust your breast.