Breastfeeding Basics: Breastfeeding Positions

Breastfeeding is a natural act, but like every other skill or natural act it needs to be practiced in order to have the best experience. Breastfeeding optimally involves getting a good latch and good positioning.  The common position most women are familiar with is the cradle hold, however, there are different positions to try to ensure optimal breastfeeding, they include:

Cradle Hold Position

This position is the most popular. Mother sits comfortably in upright position using good body alignment. Use pillows for support( body pillows, or standard bed pillows). Lap pillow should help bring the baby up to breast level so the mother does not lean over the baby.

medela-advice-cradle-position-breastfeeding
Photo Credit: Medela.Ca

place baby on mother’s lap and turn baby’s entire body toward mother( baby in side-lying position). position baby’s body so that the baby’s nose lines up to the nipple. Maintain body in a horizontal alignment.

if feeding from the left breast,  mother cradle baby’s head near the crook of the left arm while supporting her baby’s body with her left forearm.

With mother’s free right hand, she can offer her left breast. This position is best for older babies who can latch on properly to the breast.

Cross-cradle Position

This Position is the opposite of the Cradle Hold. Mother sits comfortably in an upright position using good body alignment. Use pillows for support( body pillows, or standard bed pillows). Lap pillow should help bring the baby up to breast level so the mother does not lean over the baby.

Place baby on mother’s lap and turn baby’s entire body toward mother( baby in side-lying position). position baby’s body so that the baby’s nose lines up to the nipple. Maintain body in a horizontal alignment.

breastfeeding-positions-cross-cradle-hold
Photo Credit: Medela.Ca

To feed at left breast, mother supports baby’s head with her right hand at the nape of baby’s neck(allow the head to slightly lag back), mother’s right thumb by baby’s left ear, and right forefinger near baby’s right ear. With mother’s free left hand, she can offer her left breast.

This position is a good position for a newborn when having difficulties with latching on to the breast.

 

 

 

Football Hold Position

This position, think of how the ball is held in the game of American Football or Rugby and you won’t get it wrong.  The mother should sit comfortably and use pillows to raise baby’s body to breast level. If using a breastfeeding pillow and the pillow is in normal position on mother’s lap, change the position of pillow and place below the armpit region, to provide extended support for baby’s body resting along mother’s left side and near the back of the mother’s chair.

breastfeeding-positions-clutch
Photo Credit: Medela.Ca

If feeding at the left breast, place baby on the left side of mother’s body, heading baby into position feet first. Baby’s bottom should rest on the pillow near mother’s left elbow.

Turn baby slightly on her side so that she faces the breast.

The Mother’s left arm clutches baby’s body close to mother’s body. Baby’s body should feel securely tucked in under mother’s left arm.

The Mother support baby’s head with her left hand. With mothers free right hand, she can offer her breast,

-Good position for a mother with c-section takes away the pressure from the abdominal region if having difficulties latching your newborn to the breast this is a position to try.

 

Side-lying Position

This position as the name indicates involves the mother resting comfortably lying on her side. Use pillows to support head and back, and provide support for hips by placing a pillow between her bent knees.

positioning-sidelying
Photo Credit: http://www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca

Place baby in side-lying position next to mother’s body. Baby’s body should face mother’s body. Baby’s nose should line up to mother’s nipple. Place a roll behind baby’s back, if desired.

With mother’s free right hand, she can offer her left breast. After the baby is securely attached, mom can rest her right hand anywhere that is comfortable for her.

 

No one position suits all, find a position which is comfortable for you and your baby. Sharing excites me please share, like and drop a comment.

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