Nursing Positions

I can’t get comfortable holding my baby while breastfeeding. Are there other ways to hold my baby while feeding?

It can take time for you and your baby to get comfortable. Be patient! What is comfortable for you might not be comfortable for your baby and vice versa. And what works for another mother might not work for you. Certain positions may work better when your baby is newborn, but as they grow, another position may be more comfortable.


Cradle Hold: 


Cradle hold feels the most natural for mothers and is the most popular breastfeeding position.  This position places the baby in the crook of the elbow, much like holding a baby doll.  It can work for some mothers, but because it’s hard for babies to get a deep latch in this position, it is not recommended for newborns. Cradle hold is best for 2-3 month old infants, who have some neck control.  Newborns need help holding their head so a supportive position might be a better option. 


Cross-Cradle Hold:


Cross-cradle hold is similar to cradle hold except that you are placing one arm across the baby’s back while supporting the baby's head and the other hand can support your breast. If cradle hold is comfortable but latching isn’t going quite right, give cross-cradle a try.


Football Hold:


The football hold is another popular breastfeeding position. With this hold, your baby is able to sit upright at your side. This position can be supported with pillows and is helpful if your baby has gas issues or needs a deeper latch. Mothers that have a cesarean section appreciate this position because the baby does not rest on their incision.


Laid-Back Position: 


A laid-back position takes practice but once you learn it, you may find yourself doing it often! This position is similar to what you might experience during those first magical moments of skin to skin with baby after birth. With this position, you will be lying flat on your back while your baby is lying across your stomach looking more upward at the breast. If your baby has latch trouble or issues with milk flowing too forcefully, use this position! This position works with gravity to soften the breast as well as draw the baby’s tongue forward to help them get a deeper latch. If a baby tends to be “flooded” by milk during letdown, this position allows them to take in milk as needed. Be sure to practice safe sleep: visit this page for more information on safe sleep


Side-Lying Position:


Odds are you will find yourself trying out this position many times during your breastfeeding journey. This position is useful when the baby needs to concentrate on feeding or seems to be more active. This position can also help change the breast shape if a clogged duct is developing. Maybe you and the baby need a rest? Give this position a try, but always follow safe sleep guidelines. Visit this page for more information on safe sleep.



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