Skip to Content

Breastfeeding Positions

You can choose and/or alternate from the following positions.  No matter what position you choose, your baby's face and chest should be turned to face your breast and body.  Good positioning is key to preventing nursing problems.

Football Hold

Place 1-2 pillows vertically behind you.  Place enough pillows at your side to support your arm and baby's body at breast level.  Position the baby at your side with the buttocks tucked in under the bend of your arm.  Support his lower head and neck with your hand and his back with your lower arm.  Football hold is ideal in the early stages of nursing for the cesarean mom, the small or preterm baby and for the mother with large breasts.

Cross-Cuddle Hold

Position the baby on his side facing you as in the cradle-hold but hold him with the opposite arm so that your hand can support the back of his head and neck.  Hold the breast with your free hand in the "c" hold.  After he has latched on, you may want to switch your arms back to the cradle hold.  The cross-cuddle hold and the football hold positions give excellent control of the baby's head when  bringing the baby to your breast.

Cradle Hold

Place a pillow in your lap.  Turn your baby on his side so that his whole body is turned in facing yours.  His head will be in the bend of your arm and his lower arm will be around your body.

Side Lying Position

Mother and baby lie on their sides, facing each other.  Baby's head should be level with the breast.  Place a pillow under your head and neck and behind your back to add support and comfort.  Place a rolled receiving blanket or towel behind the baby to keep him from rolling onto his back.  This position is ideal for night nursing.

Your baby's ear, shoulder and hip should be in a straight line.