The Best Breastfeeding Positions
Posted on February 28 2020
Wonderfully natural, profoundly human, and beautiful to the core - breastfeeding is a baby-bonding experience like no other. It can be challenging; especially in the beginning, however, these different breastfeeding positions will hopefully give you some options when choosing the position that feels good for you and your baby.
Remember, there is no ‘right’ position for nursing, and you may go with one style that works best for you at the beginning of your breastfeeding journey and then try another for a while – do whatever works and whatever sets you both up for success!
Cradle Hold (the most common position)
For the Cradle hold, lay your baby across your lap and turned into your body. Support them by cradling their head and shoulder in the nook of the same arm as your nursing breast.
Laid-back Breastfeeding (also called ‘biological nurturing’)
You are semi-reclined in this position - baby lies on their front, on your chest, with their head facing up, feet facing down. This allows a more relaxed position for mom and more active participation from baby.
In this position, you lie with your baby placed parallel to your body. This position is good for the last nighttime feed as it is so relaxing. However, be sure to not fall asleep yourself, as this poses a suffocation risk to your baby.
Upright Football Hold
In the upright football hold, you nurse your baby while you are both in an upright position and baby’s legs are straddled across one leg of your lap. Hold baby close to your body.
In the football hold, simply place baby to the side of your body that you intend to nurse on -head to the front, feet towards the back. Cradle their head in your hand on the side of the nursing breast to raise them up to a comfortable nursing position. This will feel like you are holding a football under your arm (hence the name!). You will also feel more comfortable and have more success with a nursing pillow for this position.
When you have double the joy, you can also nurse both of your babies at the same time. The easiest way to do this is to adopt the football hold for each of the babies. It is imperative that you have help to position one baby first - making sure they are latched on correctly, then have your partner position the next baby on the other side in the same position.
While you may need or want to switch between different positions depending on the circumstances, it is also fine to stick to one favorite position. However, if you are experiencing signs that your baby is not latching well, such as sore nipples or if breastfeeding has become painful for you, then changing your nursing position might be a solution.
You may find it worthwhile to seek help and advice from a lactation consultant or breastfeeding counselor.