Breastfeeding positions


Let’s look at these popular positions that are useful for the first few weeks.

The Crossover or Cradle Hold

If you are feeding with your right breast then hold the baby’s head with your left hand (and vice versa if you’re feeding the other way round).  Cup your baby’s head in your hands with your wrist between their shoulder blades.  With your other hand hold your breast in a U hold – that is underneath with fingers well away from the nipple area. Bring your baby to the breast and as their mouth opens guide them onto your breast.

The Crossover Hold

The Football Hold

This is a great position if you are expressing and also if you’ve had a caesarean as it means you don’t put any pressure on the scar.  Place the baby on the side you want to feed on and tuck him in under your arm.  If feeding on the right side then hold his head with your right hand and with your left hold your breast, keeping fingers well away from the nipple area.  Make sure that their head is at the same level as your nipple and tilted rather than chin to chest. Bring your baby to the breast and as their mouth opens guide them onto your breast. 

The Football Hold

The Laying Down hold

This is a lovely position especially in those first few days when you are still recovering.  Lay down and have someone put some pillows behind you for support and something (bed guard) behind the baby.  Place the baby on their side and you may need to rest their head on your arm to bring them to the right height for your nipple.  Then holding your breast as before guide your baby onto your nipple.

Laying Down Hold

Images courtesy of

This is a great video clip from Global Health Media about positioning when breastfeeding – who are well worth checking out for more great sources of information.