Mother and Baby

The best positions to use when breastfeeding your baby

From the classic cradle hold to the rugby ball (stay with us…), there are plenty of breastfeeding positions to try until you find what works best for you and your baby. 

Once you’ve got going with breastfeeding, you will soon want to work out which position is right for you, especially if you’ve had a caesarean section or are nursing twins. Luckily, there are plenty to try out until you find the right one.

Whichever you choose, make sure you’re properly supported. You’re going to be breastfeeding for many hours a day – trust us, it’s worth getting comfy! 

The best breastfeeding positions:

Scroll through our gallery of photos showing you each breastfeeding position...  

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1) The underarm hold

The underarm or the rugby hold is one of the better options if you are recovering from a c section. It is an easier position as it keeps the baby's weight off of your abdomen. Support your baby’s head with an open hand, and face her towards your breast. 
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2) Laid-back

Breastfeeding in a laid-back position is often praised and known as 'biological nurturing'. It encourages your baby to use their reflexes as they are encouraged to find the breast. Lie back in a comfortable chair so it is supporting your neck and back, place your baby on his front on your body so their feet are on your thighs and their head is near your breasts. 
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3) Lying on your side

The lying-on-your-side breastfeeding position is recommended for a sleepy baby, you're tired or unwell, you've had a c section, or you have large breasts.
 
  • Lie down on a bed or on the floor with a pillow supporting your head.
  • Lie your baby next to you on its side facing you - their head should be towards your breasts.
  • Make sure your baby's mouth is lined up and you support their back. 
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4) Classic cradle hold

Same idea as the cross-cradle, but you face their body opposite the breast you will feed on. Sit up straight in a comfortable chair, make sure your baby's head alligns with the rest of their body and guide their mouth towards your breast. You can position them on a pillow to make it more comfortable while feeding. 
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5) Cross-cradle hold

The cross-cradle hold is one of the best positions to start with when breastfeeding. Sit up straight in a comfortable chair, bring your baby so they are across your body so her tummy is touching yours. Then, hold the body opposite the breast you're going to feed from, support their head, then guide their mouth to your breast. 

For mum-to-mum breastfeeding support, visit nct.org.uk or call 0300 330 0700 (between 8 am and midnight) to speak with a trained breastfeeding counsellor.

Now watch: 

Breastfeeding position and latch: a midwife shows how to breastfeed a newborn baby

Now read:

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