Breastfeeding Positions

There are many positions you can take to feed your baby, and as you get more sure of yourself and confident with feeding you can adapt any of the below until you are both comfortable.

Cradle hold – this is the most common position used by mums. The baby's head is supported inside the crook of your elbow and their back is on your arm. They are then lifted to the breast. It is definitely worth buying a nursing pillow to make it easier on your arms, especially with longer feeding times.

 

 

 

Opposite arm cradle hold – this is another common position, often used on younger breastfeeding babies to help guide them with latching on. Use the arm opposite to the breast you will be feeding from and support the back of the baby on your forearm and their head in your hand. The other hand is used to cup and position the breast into the baby's mouth.

 


 Rugby ball hold – this position is useful for those who have had a caesarean or surgery as it does not put any pressure on your stomach. The baby is held underarm with their head supported in your hand and body on your on forearm.

Lying down – when you are a bit more experienced and your baby is older and better able to support themselves you can feed lying down with your baby on top of you, but for younger babies it is easier to lie on your side with your baby facing you and also on their side. This is a good opportunity for both of you to rest.  You can also do this position with a pillow underneath your baby to lift them to your breast.
 

 

 

Side-Lying cradle - an easier and more relaxing take on the normal cradle hold.  

 

 

Reverse lying down - as above, but with baby lying the other way.

 

 

 

 


Baby sitting
– this position is better left till baby is a little bit older and can hold their neck up. With you sitting down place your baby facing you on your knee, and you can move them to the breast. It helps to support their neck and head with your hand.


Baby standing – as above, but with toddlers. When your baby can walk they will feed in any and all positions and will amaze you with their nurse in gymnastics. It's not uncommon for a toddler to walk up to you, feed standing and then come off again after a minute or two.


In sling – convenient for feeding whilst out or whilst trying to move around the house. Try different slings out to make sure you buy a comfy one that enable you to undo your clothing and your baby to feed.

 

 

With twins there are a number of positions you can take.  Below are a few examples that are most commonly used.  In the early days it is most definitely worth getting a twin or v-shaped breastfeeding pillow which will support your babies without you straining yourself trying to do so.  You may find with twins that each baby prefers a different breast and this can help with routine and establishing a good milk supply.  It may also be necessary for someone to help you with one twin so that you do not disturb the other one.