Noreen Stonor Drexel Birthing Center
Newport Hospital

Proper Positions

There is no particular position for breastfeeding that is best for every mother and baby. Knowing your options will help you choose which position works best for you.

Cradle hold

The cradle hold is commonly used. Hold your baby in your lap, placing her on a pillow for better support and to position her level to your breast. Her nose should line up with your nipple. Support her neck, spine and buttocks by extending your forearm down her back. Your baby's lower arm can be tucked under your arm.

newborn infant
There is no particular position for breastfeeding that is best for every mother and baby.

Cross-cradle hold

Slightly different from the cradle hold, the cross-cradle hold switches the use of your arms. Use the arm opposite the breast you are feeding from to support the baby. If you are feeding from your right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby. Use your fingers to loosely support the base of baby's neck, and use the palm of your hand to support baby's shoulders and back. Placing a pillow on your lap will help support the baby and raise the baby to the level of your nipple.

Football or clutch-hold

It's easy to remember how to hold the baby for this position - you actually tuck the baby under your arm like a football. Use a pillow behind your back and along the side you are nursing on. Hold your baby's head in your hand, and use your forearm to support baby's upper back. Your baby should be turned in toward you.

Side-lying hold

The side-lying hold is especially good for women who have had a Cesarean section as it does not put pressure on the abdomen. Lying on your side, face your baby toward you and pull him close to you. Place pillows behind your back, under your head and between your legs for comfort, and use either your forearm or a rolled towel to support your baby's back.

The latch-on