How to hold your baby while breastfeeding

Mother breastfeeding baby
CLASSIC CRADLE HOLD: It is important for your baby’s head to be aligned with the rest of her body instead of turned off to the side.

Successful breastfeeding takes practice and proper positioning. After you experiment with different breastfeeding positions, you’ll arrive at what’s most comfortable for both of you. Here are several positions to try:

Cradle hold

  • Sit upright and place your baby on her side across your lap, facing you.
  • Support your baby’s head, back, and bottom with your arm, then move her face near your breast.

Football hold

This position is most helpful if you’ve had a caesarean delivery, have large breasts, or if you are breastfeeding twins.

  • Tuck your baby under your arm.
  • Hold her head and neck in your hand.
  • Let her feet extend toward your back.
  • Use a pillow to support your arm, and use your free hand to direct your baby’s mouth to your breast.

Side-lying position

Many hospitals suggest this position if you’ve had a caesarean delivery.

  • Lie on your side with your baby on her side, facing you.
  • Position your baby’s head at your lower breast.
  • When she’s attached to your breast, use your lower arm to support your head.