c. Breastfeeding Positions


There are several breastfeeding positions. Follow these suggestions for each position.

  • Your back and arms must be well supported. A pillow behind your back and under your arms will help.
  • The baby's body and head are raised up to your breast. Place a pillow under the baby.
  • The baby's chest must face and touch your chest. Place the baby on his/her side except for the football position.
  • For the football position, place the baby on his\her back or slightly turned towards the breast.
  • Your baby's nose must face the nipple. Bring the baby towards you instead of leaning forward or pushing your nipple into the baby's mouth.

Remember that it is important to change breastfeeding positions and to offer both breasts at every feeding.

The following pictures illustrate the main breastfeeding positions.

Alternate Arm Cradle Hold

This position works well, if you are learning to breastfeed:

  • The heel of your hand supports baby’s shoulders
  • The hand that holds the breast is on the same side the baby is nursing


Football Hold

This position works well:

  • If you are learning to breastfeed
  • If you have a small baby
  • If you have large breasts
  • If you had a Caesarean birth
  • If you are nursing both twins at the same time
  • Flex baby’s legs up behind your arm
  • Baby’s mouth is well under breast before you start


Cradle Hold

This position works well:

  • After you are comfortable with breastfeeding
  • Baby’s head rests on your forearm
  • Baby’s nostrils are in front of your nipple before you start to latch


Side-Lying Hold

This position works well:

  • If you find it too painful to sit
  • If you want to rest when you breastfeed
  • If you had a Caesarean birth
  • You and baby lie on your sides facing each other
  • Your hand is across baby’s shoulder blades
  • Bring baby towards your abdomen
  • Wait for the baby to extend his head with a wide mouth and latch without assistance