Breast-Feeding Positions - Topic Overview
Breast-feeding in the proper position will help your baby latch on
and breast-feed correctly and make your experience more enjoyable. Also, when
you are in a comfortable and relaxed position,
let-down occurs more easily.
You are more likely to drain all areas of your breast by changing
breast-feeding positions frequently. This helps to prevent blocked milk ducts.
Women who have had a
cesarean delivery may find that they are more
comfortable in a different position than those who delivered vaginally.
In any position:
- Do not bend over your baby when breast-feeding.
Bring the baby to you-not you to the baby. Bending over can lead to back and neck
- Keep your baby's body and head aligned straight. The
baby's head should be straight with the body, not turned to one side or tilted
up or down while breast-feeding.
- Use one or more pillows to support your arms
and the baby. This will help you and your baby be more comfortable during
There are several breast-feeding positions.
cradle (traditional) hold , you sit up with your back supported. One arm
supports your baby, with his or her head in the bend of your elbow and your
open hand supporting the baby's bottom. Your baby's abdomen lies against yours.
Your other hand can support the breast and guide it into your baby's
You may wish to put a pillow in your lap on which to rest your arm
at a comfortable level or use a stool to raise your feet.
The cradle hold is often considered the most common hold, but it does not
offer as much control as other holds. The cradle hold position usually
does work well after breast-feeding is well established.
cross-cradle hold is similar to the cradle hold, but
the hand positions are different. This position may give you more control in
moving the baby. Your baby's abdomen lies against yours. One hand is low on the
baby's head, behind the shoulders with fingers up and supporting the head. The
other hand (on the same side as the breast being used) supports the breast and
narrows it to help the baby form a good, deep latch on the areola. This type of
hold helps you guide your baby to the breast for a proper latch.
football hold , you sit on a bed or sofa. Your baby is tucked under your arm and lying along the side you
will be feeding on, with his or her chest facing your chest. The baby's head is
in your hand (on the same side as the breast being used), and the upper body is
supported by your arm or a pillow. With that
hand you can control the baby's head to bring the baby's mouth in quickly for a
deep latch. Your other hand reaches across to support and narrow your breast.
Use pillows to help support the baby.