Breastfeeding is something that you and your new bundle of joy will be learning together. You’re not meant to automatically know what to do, so trying different nursing positions is just about experimenting until you find something that works for you both.
So, we polled the women of Peanut and gathered 7 of the best breastfeeding positions that you can try with your little one.
Remember: There’s no right or wrong here.
As long as you and your baby are comfortable, and your baby is latching on with ease, you’re all good.
7 breastfeeding positions to try:
1. Laid-back breastfeeding
Also called the “reclined position” or “biological nursing”, laid-back breastfeeding is one of the best breastfeeding positions to try with a newborn.
You recline comfortably, propping yourself up with pillows, while your baby lies on their front on your chest.
From this position, your little one can use their instincts to explore the area, find your breast, and latch on, with you gently assisting as needed.
2. Cradle hold
This is one of the best-known breastfeeding holds.
You sit upright, ideally with your back supported, and hold your baby on their side, facing toward you, using the arm nearest to the breast that baby will be nursing from.
So their head is in the crook of your arm and your hand supports their bottom.
You can then bring their mouth to your breast and encourage them to latch on.
3. Cross-cradle hold
The cross-cradle is a variation on the classic cradle hold, which may provide more support for your baby as they feed.
Similarly, you sit upright and hold the baby on their side, but this time you use the arm on the opposite side to the breast that baby will be nursing from.
So, your hand supports your baby’s head as they lie, and you can use your other hand to support your breast.
4. Football hold
With the football hold (AKA the “underarm” or “clutch” hold), you are sitting up with your baby lying along your forearm and tucked down by your side, probably supported by a cushion.
This is a great breastfeeding position to try with preemies, after a C-section, or if you have large breasts.
And if you’ve been wondering how to breastfeed twins: here’s your answer.
Just tuck one under each arm and you’re good to go, supermama.
5. Side-lying position
Breastfeeding positions lying down are great for those night-time feeds, letting you get more rest while your little one suckles.
With the side-lying breastfeeding position, you and your baby both lie on your sides facing each other.
You may want to prop your baby up with a pillow or folded blanket to make sure they’re comfortably in reach of your breast.
6. Upright breastfeeding
When your baby is a little older and they can hold their head up on their own, you might want to experiment with upright breastfeeding positions.
Upright breastfeeding, sometimes called the “koala hold” (cute!), means you and your baby are both sitting up, with your little one straddling your thigh or held on your hip.
7. Breastfeeding in a sling
You might be looking for types of breastfeeding that will help you keep active, particularly if you have other children to run after.
If that’s you, why not have a go at breastfeeding in a sling?
This can take a little practice to get right, and generally works better with older babies, but the effort is well worth it if you want to nurse while you’re out and about.
Getting help with breastfeeding
We all know that breastfeeding isn’t as straightforward as it looks.
If you’re struggling - or your mind is full of unanswered questions - why not reach out to an experienced mama on Peanut, or join one of our lactation consultant groups?
Many women take some time to adjust to breastfeeding their little ones, and getting the right support can make all the difference.
🍼 You might like:
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Caffeine and Breastfeeding: What to Know
Your Breasts after Breastfeeding: What’s normal?
10 Foods to Increase Milk Supply
How Many Burp Cloths Do I Need?
Can You Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding?
A Guide to Breastfeeding While Pregnant
How to Stop Breastfeeding (When You’re Ready)