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Breastfeeding positions

Finding a good breastfeeding position can take a little time and practice.

For successful breastfeeding, the position should be comfortable and pain-free.

Your breastfeeding position may change over time as your baby grows. There are several different breastfeeding positions that you can try.

Baby's position

Positions to try

Below your breast

Across your body

Cross cradle hold
Works well for young babies, when you are first learning how to breastfeed.

Football hold
Works well for small babies, for women with large breasts or after a caesarean birth.

Cradle hold
Most familiar position but it is best used when you are more experienced with breastfeeding.

Side-lying hold
Takes practice but can be a comfortable position for you and your baby.

Other information

As soon as possible after birth, hold your baby against you skin-to-skin.

Skin-to-skin contact:

  • Helps your baby adjust to life outside the womb.
  • Helps your baby breathe normally after birth.
  • Keeps your baby warm.
  • Helps to soothe, comfort and calm your baby, with the sound of your breathing and heartbeat, and the warmth and smell of your skin.
  • Helps you and your baby relax.
  • Helps you and your baby get to know each other.
  • Helps mom make breast milk by encouraging baby to feed often and well.
  • Holding your baby skin-to-skin when they have painful procedure such as blood tests and vaccinations is comforting to your baby.

This is something mom and partner can both enjoy doing with your baby.

To hold your baby skin-to-skin, your baby only needs to wear a diaper and is held in an upright position on your chest.

Watch skin-to-skin contact right after birth

Source: Reprinted with permission by Nancy Mohrbacher (Illustrations by Allan Moon)