Breastfeeding Positions & Locations

Although breastfeeding is a natural way to nourish your baby, it’s a way of feeding that both you and your baby must learn together. It takes time, patience and practice.

Start slowly and calmly

It may take awhile to find out what works best for you and your baby. Success takes practice and proper positioning.

How to hold your baby while breastfeeding
After you experiment with different breastfeeding positions, you’ll arrive at what’s most comfortable for both of you. You might like to change positions to help adequate and uniform draining of each breast. Here are some positions to try:

Cradle hold

  1. Sit upright and place your baby on their side across your lap, facing you.
  2. Support your baby’s head, back, and bottom with your arm, and then move their face near your breast.
  3. Brush their mouth or cheek with your nipple.
  4. When your baby begins to suck, make sure they take enough of your nipple and areola in their mouth to properly latch on.

Football hold
This position is most helpful if you’ve had a cesarean delivery, have large breasts, or if you are breastfeeding twins.

  1. Tuck your baby under your arm. (Picture the way a football player tucks a ball under their arm.)
  2. Hold their head and neck in your hand. Let their feet extend toward your back.
  3. Use a pillow to support your arm, and use your free hand to direct your baby’s mouth to your breast.

Side-lying position
This is a particularly useful position after a cesarean delivery or if you are sore after delivery.

  1. Lie on your side with your baby on her side, facing you.
  2. Position your baby’s head at your lower breast.
  3. When their attached to your breast, use your lower arm to support your head.
  4. Ensure you don’t fall asleep feeding in this position.

Breast feeding in public

Your baby will most likely be more settled, and older babies will be less distracted, when feeding in a quiet place. Breastfeeding your baby is a normal and natural thing to do and it is your legal right to be able to feed your baby when and where ever you feel necessary. Most mothers work out where and how they can feed their babies when they are out, so that they are comfortable. If you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious when breastfeeding in public, drape a light muslin wrap over your shoulder so it covers your breast and baby.