Looking to make the breastfeeding journey soothing and stress-free for both you and bub? It’s all about the position!
There are a number of different breastfeeding positions but which ones are best for mums with larger breasts, mums recovering from a c-section or mums with too much milk? And what about mums with smaller breasts or mums struggling with sleep deprivation?
Have a look at our breastfeeding position guide below, designed to help you determine the best breastfeeding position based on your breasts, your body and your baby.
Just starting out?
Try the cradle hold. It is the most common breastfeeding position and often easiest to master, especially in terms of establishing the correct latch. Position baby so his head rests in the bend of your elbow and his mouth is in line with your breasts.
You can also opt for the crossover hold. Bub is still in the laying down position across your chest, but you hold your baby’s head with the hand opposite to the breast you’ll be feeding from.
Try the back lying position. In this position, you are semi-reclined (with pillows propped up behind you), with your baby lying across your stomach or shoulder. This gives bub easy access to your breasts and allows you to simply sit back and relax once bub has latched on.
Have a bub with reflux?
The back lying position is also a good option when breastfeeding a baby with reflux. The semi-reclined position can help eliminate excess gas. Another one to try for babies with reflux is the koala hold (see below).
Try the koala hold. This provides an ‘uphill’ breastfeeding position so gravity can work against your flow of milk. Essentially it looks as if you are holding bub upright, but she is attached to the breast. Support your baby while she’s straddled across your knees in an upright position.
Try the clutch (or football) hold. Tuck bub’s legs under your arm on the same side of the breast you are nursing from and support your baby’s head with the same hand. This is also the recommended position for mums feeding twins simultaneously.
The clutch (or football) hold is also recommended for mums who have had a c-section. This position provides minimal pressure on your abdominal area.
Struggling to stay awake?
Try the side-lying hold. This position is perfect for night feeds, as it allows you to remain lying down on your side. Position your baby on his side as well and support him with one arm. You may need to guide bub to the breast to begin with, by grabbing your breast and touching your nipple to your baby’s lips.
Regardless of how you position bub, breastfeeding isn’t always a smooth process and can take weeks for you and bub to get into a good rhythm. Have a look at these 11 important things to know about breastfeeding.