Your hospital will likely teach you the basic cradle hold. But with some trial-and-error, you might find another breastfeeding position that works better for you and your baby. Here’s the break down on all the basic breastfeeding positions.
1. Cradle hold
Position your baby so that her head rests in the bend of your elbow of the arm on the side you’ll be breastfeeding, with the same hand supporting the rest of baby’s body. Hold your breast with your opposite hand and compress it very gently so that the nipple points toward baby’s nose.
2. Crossover hold
Hold your baby’s head with the hand opposite to the breast youâ€™ll be nursing from (i.e. if nursing from the right breast, hold the head with your left hand). Using your free hand, cup your breast as you would for the cradle hold.
3. Football hold
Your baby’s legs are tucked under your arm on the same side as the breast you’re nursing from.Â Hold your baby with that arm (on a pillow to lift him or her up), and use your other hand to cup your breast.
4. Side-lying position
A good position if you are nursing in the middle of the night. Lie on your side with a pillow under your head. Baby should face you, head in line with your nipple. Use your hand on the side you are not lying on to cup your breast if you need to. You may want to place a small pillow behind your baby’s back to hold her close.
5. Reclining hold
Also sometimes known as â laid-back nursing, in this position you lie back comfortably on a couch or bed with pillows propping your upper back, neck, and head.Â Place baby tummy down, lying vertically on your chest with the baby’s mouth just below your nipple. (The baby’s weight will be supported by your reclining body.) The idea with this nursing position is to take advantage of gravity and naturally let baby seek out your nipple, but you can also hold your breast and point the nipple toward baby to encourage latching.