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Breastfeeding Positions: Finding What Works Best for You

Breastfeeding Positions: Finding What Works Best for You

As a new mother, the thought of breastfeeding your little one can be both exciting and intimidating. One important aspect of breastfeeding is finding the right position that works best for you and your baby. In this article, we will discuss various breastfeeding positions to help you find the one that suits you and your baby the most.

Cradle Hold

The cradle hold is the most common breastfeeding position that new mothers tend to use. It involves holding the baby in your arms while positioning his or her head towards your breast. Place your baby’s head in the crook of your arm while your other arm supports your breast. Use a nursing pillow for additional support and comfort.

Football Hold

The football hold is another popular breastfeeding position. This position is ideal for mothers who have had a C-section or have larger breasts. To do the football hold, hold your baby under your arm like a football, tucking their feet under your opposite arm. Use a nursing pillow to lift your baby’s head up to your breast.

Side-Lying Hold

The side-lying hold is a great position for nighttime feedings when you are feeling tired. Lie on your side with your baby facing you, and your nipple in front of his or her mouth. Use a rolled-up towel or pillow to support your back and a breastfeeding pillow to support your baby’s head.

Laid-Back Hold

The laid-back hold is also known as the biological nurturing position. This position is great for mothers who have had a difficult time finding a comfortable position to breastfeed in. To do the laid-back hold, lie back on a bed or couch, and place your baby on your chest. Allow your baby to find your nipple on their own.

Cross-Cradle Hold

The cross-cradle hold is a great position for mothers who are having difficulty latching their baby onto their breast. To do this position, support your baby in your arm opposite to the breast you are feeding from. Use your other hand to support your breast as you guide your baby to your nipple.

Tips for Successful Breastfeeding Positions

1. Comfort is key. Choose a position that feels comfortable for both you and your baby.

2. Use a nursing pillow or rolled-up towel to support your baby and take pressure off your arms.

3. Take breaks as needed. Breastfeeding can be a time-consuming process. Take a break to rest, stretch, or switch positions.

4. Pay attention to your baby’s cues. If your baby is fussy or uncomfortable, try a different position.

5. Keep your baby’s head and body in a straight line. This will help with their latch and ease the flow of milk.

6. Experiment with different positions to find what works best for you and your baby.


Breastfeeding can be a rewarding experience for both you and your baby, but it can also take time and practice to find the right position. Experiment with various positions until you find one that allows you and your baby to feel comfortable and relaxed. Remember to listen to your baby’s cues and take breaks as needed. With patience and persistence, you will find the perfect breastfeeding position that works best for you.

Breastfeeding Positions FAQ

Q: What are the best breastfeeding positions for newborns?

A: The best breastfeeding positions for newborns are the cradle hold, the cross-cradle hold, and the football hold.

Q: What is the cradle hold position?

A: The cradle hold position is when the baby lies on their side in your arms with their head resting on your elbow.

Q: What is the cross-cradle hold position?

A: The cross-cradle hold position is when you hold the baby in the opposite arm to the breast they will be feeding on, with their head supported by your hand.

Q: What is the football hold position?

A: The football hold position is when you tuck the baby under your arm like a football with their head supported by your hand and their body facing towards your side.

Q: How do I know which position to use?

A: Try out different positions and see which one feels most comfortable for you and your baby. You may find that you need to use different positions at different times of day or for different reasons.

Q: Can I use a breastfeeding pillow?

A: Yes, a breastfeeding pillow can provide extra support and help you find a comfortable position.

Q: Should I alternate breasts during feedings?

A: Yes, it is important to offer both breasts during a feeding session to ensure that your baby gets enough milk and to stimulate milk production.

Q: How often should I breastfeed my baby?

A: You should breastfeed your baby whenever they show signs of hunger, which may be as often as every 2-3 hours in the early weeks.

Q: How do I know if my baby is getting enough milk?

A: Signs that your baby is getting enough milk include regular wet and dirty diapers, weight gain, and contentment after feedings.

Q: Is it normal for breastfeeding to be uncomfortable?

A: Some discomfort in the early weeks is normal as your body adjusts to breastfeeding, but it should not be painful. If you experience pain or your nipples become cracked or bleeding, consult a lactation consultant or healthcare provider for help.

Q: Can I breastfeed in public?

A: Yes, breastfeeding in public is legal and protected by law in many countries. If you are uncomfortable breastfeeding in public, consider using a nursing cover or finding a private space to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding Positions and Support: Related Products

  • Boppy Nursing Pillow

    This versatile pillow can be used to support the baby during different breastfeeding positions, making it easier for the mother to find comfortable and effective ways to nurse. It can also be used for tummy time and as a support for the baby as he or she learns to sit up. The pillow is machine washable and comes with a removable slipcover in different designs and colors.

  • Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Packs

    These packs can be used hot or cold to provide relief for engorgement, sore nipples, mastitis, and other breastfeeding discomforts. They fit comfortably around the breast and can be used while nursing or pumping. The packs are reusable, BPA-free, and come with a soft cover to protect the skin.

  • Breastmilk Storage Bags

    Breastmilk storage bags are essential for mothers who need to express and store breastmilk for their babies. They allow for easy labeling and organization, and prevent leaks and spills. Some brands come with a self-standing design and a pour spout for easy pouring into bottles. Make sure to choose bags that are BPA-free, pre-sterilized, and can hold a sufficient amount of milk.

  • Milkmakers Lactation Cookies

    These cookies are formulated with natural ingredients that are believed to support lactation, such as oats, flaxseed, and brewer’s yeast. They come in different flavors and can be a tasty and convenient way to boost milk supply and nutrition. However, it’s important to note that a balanced diet and proper hydration are the main factors that affect milk production.

  • Nursing Bras

    Nursing bras are designed to provide comfort and support for breastfeeding mothers. They have special openings or flaps that allow easy access to the breasts without compromising the fit. Some nursing bras also have adjustable straps and band, and removable pads for leak protection. Make sure to choose a bra that fits well and is made of breathable and soft material.

  • Breast Pump

    A breast pump can be a valuable tool for mothers who need to express milk regularly, or for those who want to build up a milk stash for later use. There are different types of breast pumps, such as manual, electric, and hands-free, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Make sure to choose a pump that suits your needs, budget, and lifestyle, and to follow the proper cleaning and sterilization procedures.

  • Nursing Cover

    A nursing cover can provide privacy and comfort for mothers who prefer to breastfeed in public or in the presence of other people. They come in different styles and designs, such as apron, scarf, or poncho, and are usually made of lightweight and breathable fabric. Make sure to choose a cover that is easy to use and clean, and that provides enough coverage without obstructing the view of the baby.

  • Breastfeeding Books

    Breastfeeding books can be a valuable source of information and support for mothers who want to learn more about the benefits, challenges, and techniques of breastfeeding. They can help dispel myths and misconceptions, provide tips and advice, and reassure mothers that they are not alone in their journey. Some popular titles include “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” by La Leche League International, “Breastfeeding Made Simple” by Nancy Mohrbacher, and “Milk Boss 101” by Meghan Hensley.

  • Breastfeeding App

    A breastfeeding app can help mothers track their nursing sessions, diaper changes, and milk supply, as well as provide access to resources and communities for support and advice. Some apps also have features such as reminders, timers, and log-sharing with healthcare providers. Make sure to choose an app that is user-friendly, reliable, and respects your privacy and security.

  • Nursing Necklace

    A nursing necklace can provide entertainment and distraction for the baby during nursing sessions, as well as serve as a teething toy and sensory stimulator. They come in different styles and materials, such as wood, silicone, or fabric, and are usually designed to be safe and durable for infants. Make sure to choose a necklace that is easy to clean and does not pose a choking hazard.

  • Pros & Cons: Breastfeeding Positions – Finding What Works Best for You


    • Comfort: Finding the right breastfeeding position can provide a comfortable and relaxing feeding experience for both mother and baby. A comfortable position can lead to longer and more successful breastfeeding sessions.
    • Efficiency: Certain breastfeeding positions, such as the football hold or side-lying position, can allow for better milk flow and can help the baby to properly latch and feed.
    • Bonding: Holding a baby close during breastfeeding can promote bonding between mother and baby. The skin-to-skin contact that breastfeeding provides can also stimulate the release of hormones that promote bonding.
    • Convenience: Finding a comfortable and efficient breastfeeding position can make breastfeeding on-the-go easier and more convenient for mothers who need to feed their babies outside of the home.
    • Relief: Certain breastfeeding positions, such as the laid-back position or upright position with support, can provide relief to mothers who experience discomfort or pain during breastfeeding.


    • Difficulty: Finding the right breastfeeding position can be difficult and may require trial and error. Some positions, such as the cross-cradle hold, can be more challenging for new mothers to master.
    • Discomfort: Some breastfeeding positions may be uncomfortable for the mother, causing back or neck pain or discomfort due to the baby’s positioning.
    • Distraction: Certain breastfeeding positions, such as the cradle hold, can allow the baby to become easily distracted or overstimulated, leading to shorter feeding sessions or unsatisfied feedings.
    • Accessibility: Some breastfeeding positions may not be accessible or feasible for all mothers, such as those who have had a cesarean delivery or who have physical limitations.
    • Adjustment: As the baby grows and develops, the breastfeeding position may need to be adjusted to accommodate their changing needs. This can lead to the need for re-learning certain positions throughout the breastfeeding journey.

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