Positioning for Success

Positioning can make a big difference when you’re just starting to breastfeed.

Many moms envision breastfeeding in the common “cross-cradle” position, but this can sometimes be difficult when your baby is really small. Try out different positions to find the best one for you and your newborn.

Common Positions

Cross-cradle: The classic breastfeeding position. Use pillows to support your baby and your elbows (if necessary).

Football hold: Hold your baby like a football, with his/her feet back toward your elbow and body nestled closely to your side.

Side-lying: You and your baby both lie on your sides, facing each other.

Laid-back: Promotes easier latching. You semi-recline; your baby lies on top of you, belly to belly.

Talk to a lactation consultant in the hospital to get some tips on what positions may work well for you and your baby. If you have difficulty once you’re back home, spend some time watching videos of different positions (see box below). Watching others can really help! Breastfeeding pillows can also make a big difference in making positions more comfy for you and your baby.

Remember, too, that positioning won’t be as difficult as your baby grows. As your baby gets less floppy and can start to hold his or her head up, you may be able to feed in many different ways.

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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