Here are six popular breastfeeding positions used by moms. You’ll want to try a few different ones to find the best breastfeeding positions that work you and your baby.
Once you are comfortable with the different breastfeeding positions for your little one, you’ll find which options work best at different times during the day (or night!).
Lying Down (aka Side Lying)
A great breastfeeding position after c-section
In side-lying position you lay on your side with your head supported by a pillow. Place your baby on their side facing you so you’re belly to belly, with your baby’s mouth lined up with your nipple. (You’ll want to feed your little one from the breast closest to the surface you’re lying on.) This is a great breastfeeding position after c-sections, night time feeds, and women with larger breasts.
A great breastfeeding position for c-section and twins
For football hold you’ll want to sit upright on a couch, large chair, or against the headboard of your bed so that your back is comfortably supported. Place a pillow on the side you’ll be feeding from or both sides if you’re feeding twins. Lay your little one on top of the pillow with their feet tucked between your elbow and your side and their head pointing toward your feet. Make sure that the pillow is large enough to bring your baby’s head up to your breast height so you don’t have to hunch over. Support your baby’s head and neck with the arm on the side they are feeding by cradling their head in your palm with your pinky and thumb curving around toward their ears.
Football hold is a great breastfeeding position hold for c-section and twins; moms with larger breasts and flat or inverted nipples.
A great breastfeeding position for twins and smaller babies
For cross cradle hold, you’ll want to sit slightly reclined with a pillow or cushion on your lap. Place your little one on a pillow or cushion to raise them to nipple level. Bring your baby across the front of your body, tummy to tummy, and hold them in the crook of your arm opposite the breast you’re feeding from — left arm for right breast, right arm for left. Support the back of your little one’s head with your open hand. (Provide enough pressure to support their head, but make sure they can still move their head.) With the other hand, support your breast from the underside in a U-shaped hold. You’ll want to bring baby to your breast; try to avoid leaning forward or bending down to baby.
Cross cradle is a great breastfeeding position hold for twins, smaller babies, and latch recognition.
A great breastfeeding position for newborns
The cradle hold is often very popular with new moms, since it’s how we most often hold new babies and most people are comfortable with it. You’ll want to position your little one so they’re lying on the inside of your forearm, with their head in the corner of your inner elbow and upper arm. As with the cross-cradle hold, sit up straight — preferably in a chair with armrests. Cradle your baby in your arm, with their head resting comfortably in the crook of your elbow while they face your breast. Your hand will be used to support the length of your baby’s body, while baby’s ear, shoulder, and hip are in a straight line.
For extra support, you can use a pillow (nursing or regular pillow) on your lap so your little one is high enough to be level with your breast. You’ll want to bring baby to your breast; try to avoid leaning forward or bending down to baby.
Cradle hold is great since it works for all different breast sizes, and makes it easier to see if your baby is getting good latch.
Koala (aka upright hold)
A great breastfeeding position for reflux or moms with fast-flowing milk
During a koala feed, sit upright and position your baby so they are straddling the leg on the side of your body they’ll be feeding from. If your baby is smaller you can also use a small pillow or rolled up towel on top of your leg to boost them higher and bring their mouth in line with your nipple.
Koala hold works well for babies with reflux or moms with a forceful let-down because it better allows your little one to control the flow of milk and pace of the feed.
Laid back breastfeeding
A great breastfeeding position after c-section, for sleepy babies, and for moms with smaller breasts and forceful let-down
Laid back feeding has you sit in a reclined position supported by pillows, and your baby lays on your stomach with their head resting next to your breast. This position can be great for moms who have a forceful let-down, as it allows baby to better regulate milk flow.
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