There are four popular positions used by moms when breastfeeding. Find the one that works best for you and your baby.
Once you are comfortable with different positions, you’ll find which options work best at different times during the day (or night!).
- Lying Down (also known as Side Lying)
Mom and baby are both lying down, tummy to tummy. Mom has arm above baby’s head and tucked under her own head. Her other hand wraps around baby to pull them close. Feed baby from the breast closest to the surface you’re lying on.
This position is ideal for the baby who needs to feed in a more upright position (to account for gassiness, reflux, or spitting up). It is also helpful for a mom who has an overactive let-down because it gives baby more control of the breastmilk flow.
Hold baby at one side, with your elbows bent and your hand gently supporting back of baby’s head. Your baby's back will rest on your forearm. You can use a pillow (regular or nursing pillow) on your lap to help bring baby closer to your breast. Ideally you’ll be sitting in a rigid backed chair with broad, low arms to support your upper arm.
- Cross Cradle
Sit up straight and bring baby across the front of your body, tummy to tummy. Hold baby in crook of the arm opposite the breast you're feeding from — left arm for right breast, right arm for left. Support the back of baby's head with your open hand. Provide enough pressure to support baby’s head, but make sure baby can still move their head. With the other hand, support your breast from the underside in a U-shaped hold. Bring baby to the breast; don't bend over or lean forward.
A classic breastfeeding position where baby is lying on the inside of your forearm, head in the corner of your inner elbow and upper arm. As with the cross-cradle hold, sit up straight — preferably in a chair with armrests. Cradle your baby in an arm, with your baby's head resting comfortably in the crook of your elbow while he or she faces your breast. For extra support, you can use a pillow (nursing or regular pillow) on your lap so baby is high enough to be level with your breast. Bring baby to your breast; don’t lean forward or bend down to baby.