Breastfeeding positions – what are the options?
You can place your baby in different positions for a feed. You can keep changing them over the course of breastfeeding. It is important to find a relaxed, comfortable position for yourself.
To get each feed off to the best possible start you should hold the baby so that:
- the ear, shoulder and hip are in line and the baby is facing towards you,
- the baby’s mouth is on a level with your nipple,
- the tip of the nose and the chin touch the breast throughout the feed,
- the baby’s upper and lower lips are pushed out,
- your arm is supported and your shoulders are relaxed.
Breastfeeding lying down
You and your baby lie on one side close together, so that your bellies are touching. This position is particularly good at night or if you want to rest while you feed during the day.
Belly-to-belly (intuitive breastfeeding)
You sit or lie half-upright with your upper body comfortably supported by cushions. The baby lies on her belly on your naked breast; she may be either naked or dressed.
Breastfeeding while sitting
The baby’s back rests on your forearm; your hand supports her head and her legs are stretched out towards your back. A breastfeeding pillow provides support so that you don’t need to use muscle power to hold your baby’s weight.
In this position it is easy for you to check and judge how the baby is sucking. This breastfeeding position is especially good for feeding twins or premature babies and is also useful after a Caesarean or when your baby has a cold.
Classic cradle hold
The baby lies on her side supported by your arm so that her whole body is facing towards you. Your hand supports her bottom.
Cross cradle hold
The baby lies on her side supported by your arm and her whole body is facing towards you. When you put her to your right breast you hold her with your left arm so that your forearm is supporting her and her head is resting on your hand.