Breastfeeding: The Basics

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Breastfeeding Positions

Laid-Back Breastfeeding

(also called Natural Breastfeeding or Biological Nursing)

Find a bed or couch where you can lean back, semi-reclined and place baby on your chest tummy-to-tummy. Gravity will keep baby in position. This encourages natural breastfeeding instincts and gives baby more control over moving his or her head. This position helps to reduce latching problems.

laid back breastfeeding position

Side-Lying Position

This allows you to rest while your baby nurses and is good for mothers who have had a C-section. Lie on your side with your baby facing you. Pull baby close and guide his/her mouth to your nipple.

side lying breastfeeding position

Cradle Hold

This is a common position that is comfortable for most mothers. Hold your baby’s head on your forearm and his/her whole body facing you.

cradle hold breastfeeding position

Cross Cradle Hold


This is good for premature babies or babies who are having trouble latching on. Hold your baby along the opposite arm from the breast you are using. Support your baby’s head with the palm of your hand at the base of his/her head. Make sure that your hand is not putting pressure against the back of baby’s head. 

cross cradle hold breastfeeding position

Football Hold

This hold is good for mothers with large breasts or inverted nipples. Hold your baby at your side, lying on his/her back, with baby’s head at the level of your nipple. Support your baby’s head with the palm of your hand at the base of his/her head.

football hold breastfeeding position

To reduce the risk of SIDS, return baby to his/her crib when finished breastfeeding lying on his/her back. 

This post was last updated on July 20th, 2022 at 2:50 PM

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