There are many different positions in which you can feed your baby. Lucky for all of us, there is a great variety to choose from, so if one doesn’t work out, you can always try another. After all, no breastfeeding experience is alike. It’s unique as every mom is to her baby. We’re here to help you through it all.
This post will cover the essential concepts to keep in mind as you figure out the most common breastfeeding positions and then delve into what breastfeeding positions work for you.
Most Common Breastfeeding Positions
There are several breastfeeding positions that are tried and true, making them the most common breastfeeding positions:
- Laid-back (biological nurturing)
The cross-cradle position is formed when the opposite arm as the breast you are feeding with supports and holds baby, while the same hand as the breast is used to hold the breast.
Cross-cradle is the easiest position to start with as you and your baby learn to breastfeed. Cross-cradle provides the most maneuverability and control of both breast and baby.
To create the cradle position, take the same arm as breast you are feeding with to support and hold the baby. The opposite arm can reach beneath the baby for added support or reach the opposite arm as breast to hold the breast for baby.
This is the most common breastfeeding position and likely the one you imagine when you think of a woman breastfeeding an infant.
To form a football hold, baby is tucked under your arm like a football. Baby’s body threads under the same arm as the breast you are feeding with, making it, so baby’s legs extend toward mom’s back.
This position works especially well for moms who have abdominal tenderness or have had a cesarean section since a football hold doesn’t place any pressure on the abdomen. This position also works well for moms with large breasts because mom can use her hand to help support the breast.
The side-lying position is formed when both mom and baby are lying on their sides facing each other.
The side-lying position is great for relaxing while breastfeeding, especially for those early morning feedings where you aren’t quite ready to get out of bed yet. Side-lying is also great for co-sleeping mamas to breastfeed through the night.
Laid-Back/Biological Nurturing Hold
To form the laid-back position, mom lies back at about a 45° angle with baby parallel on mom’s chest.
Many mothers find this position to be incredibly comfortable, especially when considering the rigor that motherhood demands.
4 Key Concepts
No matter what position you decide to feed baby in, here are some key things to focus on:
- Line baby up – Baby’s ear, shoulder, and hip are in line.
- Face one another – Baby’s head is not turned.
- Provide freedom to move – You are not forcing baby to the breast.
- Make it comfy – Always bring baby to the breast, not breast to the baby. Feeding can take a while, and you want to be comfortable, not stuck hunched over.
As mentioned before, there are many different feeding positions to choose from when feeding babies. We are confident in your ability to find success with breastfeeding.