Myth or Fact: Lying Down To Breastfeed Causes Ear Infection In Babies


Bringing a new life into this world is a journey filled with wonder, joy, and a touch of apprehension. As an expecting or already-mom, you are undoubtedly seeking the best for your little one. One of the most precious gifts you can give your baby is the nourishment and comfort of breastfeeding. 



In this article, we'll explore the importance of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months, delve into the various breastfeeding positions, and demystify a common concern - the link between lying down to breastfeed and ear infections in babies.



Importance of exclusively breastfeeding for babies under 6 months


The benefits of breastfeeding are many, providing essential nutrients and antibodies crucial for your baby's growth and immune system. They include:


  1. Brain development

The nutrients in breast milk, such as DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), play a crucial role in brain development. This can have long-lasting positive effects on your child's cognitive abilities.



  1. Digestive health

Breast milk is easily digestible, reducing the likelihood of digestive issues like constipation or diarrheoa. This helps ensure that your baby receives optimal nourishment.



  1. Emotional bonding

Breastfeeding fosters a strong emotional bond between you and your baby. Physical closeness, eye contact, and skin-to-skin contact promote a sense of security and attachment.



Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months not only fosters a strong mother-baby bond but also shields your little one from infections, allergies, and even chronic diseases later in life.



Types of breastfeeding positions


  1. Cradle Hold

This classic position sees you cradling your baby in your arms, offering a cozy and secure feeding experience. Your baby's head rests in the crook of your arm, ensuring a close connection and enabling eye contact.


  1. Cross-Cradle Hold

Similar to the cradle hold, but here, you use the opposite arm to support your baby's head. This position allows for more control, making it ideal for newborns or those with latch difficulties.


  1. Football Hold

This position involves tucking your baby under your arm like a football, ensuring their body aligns with your side. It's an excellent choice after a C-section, as it minimizes pressure on the abdomen.


  1. Side-Lying Position

When it's time for a more relaxed feeding session, lying down with your baby can be wonderfully comfortable. Your body snuggles close, and gravity helps with milk flow.



Myth or Fact: lying down to breastfeed causes ear infections in babies

You might come across the belief that breastfeeding your baby while lying down can lead to ear infections. However, research has shown that this is not accurate. Regardless of the feeding position you choose, breastfeeding helps reduce the likelihood of ear infections.


This misconception stems from a misunderstanding, where information about bottle-feeding has been incorrectly applied to breastfeeding. It is well-supported by evidence that if a baby is fed formula from a bottle while lying flat, the formula can enter the eustachian tubes and middle ear, potentially causing an infection. 


Nevertheless, there are two crucial distinctions when it comes to breastfeeding: 


  1. Breastmilk and formula are fundamentally different, as breastmilk discourages bacterial growth while formula promotes it. 
  4. Breastfeeding and bottle feeding are distinct processes. Milk doesn't accumulate in the mouth during nursing, as it might with bottle feeding.

It's worth noting that in most breastfeeding positions, the baby is already in a lying-down position, regardless of whether the mother is lying down or not. So, feel free to recline while nursing your baby. Feel comfortable getting your much-needed rest while tending to your little one.



Embracing the journey of motherhood is a remarkable adventure filled with learning, love, and cherished moments. Exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months is a gift that sets the stage for a healthy, thriving future. 



Remember, how you choose to breastfeed, whether cradled in your arms or nestled side by side, is a personal choice that should cater to your and your baby's comfort.



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


  • Can I breastfeed my baby while lying down?

Lying down to breastfeed is a beautiful option, especially for nighttime feeds. Elevate your baby’s head for a comfortable and relaxed feeding experience.


  • Which breastfeeding position is the best?

The "best" position largely depends on you and your baby's comfort. Experiment with different positions to find what works best for both of you. The cradle, cross-cradle, football, and side-lying positions offer unique benefits, so trust your instincts and enjoy this special bonding time.



In this journey, trust yourself, and remember, you are giving your baby the best start in life with every tender moment spent nourishing them. Happy breastfeeding!

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