Q&A: Common Breastfeeding Positions?
March 2, 2017
There is no “right” position for breastfeeding as long as you are comfortable and baby is feeding well. Feel free to experiment and use the position that works best for you. Here are some of the most common ways to hold your baby while breastfeeding.
Baby is placed against your abdomen so you’re belly-to-belly, with his head resting in the crook of your elbow. This position can make it tougher to see and control baby’s latch at first but is often very comfy once breastfeeding is well-established. Remember to make sure baby’s ear, shoulder, and hip are aligned and that she is snuggled close to your body.
This is similar to the cradle hold, except that mom supports baby with the opposite arm. Baby’s bum rests near your elbow, and your fingers support her head. This way, you can use the hand on the side that you are feeding to help offer your breast for latch-on. Some moms use this hold to start and switch to the cradle hold once baby has learned to latch properly.
Football Hold (or “clutch” hold)
For this one, you’ll hold baby at your side under your arm (instead of across your body). First, you’ll need a pillow (or two) to help raise baby to breast level and to support your arm. Start the football hold with baby facing you in a semi-seated position. Cup the base of his head in your hand, with your fingers behind his ears. (Holding his whole head can make him arch his back.) His legs should be angled upwards behind you (against the pillow or chair).
You and baby lie on your sides, facing one another. Place a pillow under your head and another behind your back. Once baby is nose-to-nipple, pull her feet in close to your body before latching. (Remember to help her achieve a deep latch by urging her to open wide with nipple-tickles and pressing her shoulders as she comes onto your breast.) You can either support baby in the crook of your bottom arm or let baby rest on the bed, using a rolled up towel or blanket to keep her in place.