Positions for Breastfeeding

There are many ways to hold your baby for breastfeeding. The best position is one that is comfortable for you and your baby. Many women like to create a breastfeeding area in their home. It may be helpful to have extra pillows available. If you use a chair you may want to use a footstool or large book to elevate your feet. Unwrap your baby and place her against your bare skin. Keep a light blanket handy to cover yourselves if you find it chilly. Lean back a bit and bring your baby close to you. Relax!

Cradle Hold

One of the most frequently used breastfeeding positions is the cradle hold. Place your baby across your stomach, tummy to tummy. Her body should be in a straight line from ear to hip, with her legs tucked to your side. You may want to place a pillow under your baby for added support. Have your baby at breast level, with her head in the crook of your arm. Her mouth should be directly in front of your nipple. Using a C-hold with your thumb on top of your breast and four fingers gently supporting your breast, touch your baby's lips with your nipple. When she opens her mouth widely, bring her closer to your breast.

Clutch or Football Hold

This position often works well for mothers who had C-sections, mothers with large breasts, smaller babies, mothers with flat nipples, or baby's having difficulty latching on. While sitting in bed or on a chair place a pillow along your side. Lie your baby beside you. Cradle her head in your palm and support her back with your forearm. After your baby latches onto your breast ease back and relax.

Side lying

This position is terrific for nighttime feedings.

Support your head and back with pillows. You may want to place a pillow between your bent knees. Lie your baby on her side facing you, with her head nestled in the crook of your lower arm, tummy to tummy. You may choose to place a rolled receiving blanket behind her to keep her from rolling back. Have her breastfeed on the lower breast first. Then, you can lean further over to allow her to nurse from the other breast, or cuddle her on your chest, and roll to the other side while supporting her head.

Additional Information

View free video downloads on various holds and positions.