5 popular breastfeeding positions

How amazing is the female body? We spend nine months growing a brand new human and then produce their food. Making milk might come naturally, but the act of breastfeeding takes a little bit of know how and a lot of practice and patience.  

You rely on a great partnership between you and your baby, and those first attempts can be very haphazard and strange. Proper positioning during breastfeeding is essential in helping your gorgeous newborn latch the right way. Good positioning also prevents sore nipples and other breastfeeding issues. 

Trial and error is key. Keep going and try different positions to find out which ones work best for you and your baby. Soon you’ll be a pro!

5 popular breastfeeding positions to try

Cradle hold

This breastfeeding position is probably the most common. Lie your baby across your lap, facing you. Place your baby’s head on your forearm, making sure their nose is towards your nipple. Your hand should support the length of their body. Check to make sure your baby’s ear, shoulder and hips are in a straight line.

It might be hard if you have had a C-section because baby lies across your belly so try the football hold instead.

Side lay

This was my personal favorite, and my baby latched so well in this breastfeeding position. Also, if you have had a C-section, this is a good one to try.

Get comfortable on a firm enough surface, lay on your side with baby facing you, stomach to stomach. Make sure baby’s ear, shoulder and hips are in a straight line.

You can place a pillow behind you and a rolled up blanket behind your baby for support. Make sure there aren’t any access bedding or anything to suffocate baby. Put your arm under your pillow and use your free arm to support and guide your baby.

Laid back position

This can be helpful for moms who have smaller breasts or for newborns who have excess gas. 

Lean back somewhere comfortable and make sure you are supported well with pillows. Place your baby tummy to tummy rested in any direction, as long as the whole front of the body is against yours and baby can reach your breast. Position baby’s head so it rests in the bend of your elbow of the side you are breastfeeding on. 

Cross cradle hold

Place baby on your lap facing the breastfeeding breast. With your opposite hand, hold baby’s head making sure the palm of your hand is between their shoulder blades with your thumb behind one ear and your fingers behind the other.  Use the same hand you are breast feeding from to support your breast.

Football hold, or clutch hold

This breastfeeding position is great if you have had a C-section as there is no pressure on your stomach, and if you have twins as you can feed them at the same time.

Get in a comfortable seated position, use pillows along your side for support. Position your baby at your side, facing you with their legs tucked under your arm on the same side as the breastfeeding breast.  Your baby’s nose should be level with your nipple. Support baby’s head and neck with the palm of your hand and gently guide them to your nipple.

Breastfeeding positions to avoid

Do not hunch over baby

Bring baby to you, not your breast to your baby. Don’t hunch over, keep your back straight and comfortable so that baby’s latch will be best.

Don’t twist baby’s body

When baby’s head goes one way and his body goes another, it isn’t easy to swallow like this, so make sure baby is aligned well.

Don’t be too far away from baby

Make sure you are close to baby when you feed, so that there is no pulling on your nipple.

PRO TIP – Before you get comfortable to feed your baby, make sure you have some water and snacks within reach, those hunger pangs are real and it’s thirsty work!

DON’T FORGET – If you are having any problems at all with breastfeeding, seek help. La Leche League is a great resource for breastfeeding moms.