4 Common Breastfeeding Positions

Breastfeeding positions used by every mom! Breastfeeding can be difficult or awkward at first. You’ll need to experiment with different positions until you are comfortable.  Below we will go over the four most common breastfeeding positions used by every mom.

  • Quick tip 1! Rotate positions, get comfortable with all of them. Think about it, if every time you are using the cross cradle hold on side of your nipple is being used over and over again (same with the ducts!). If you rotate with a different positions each time you are less likely to have engorgement (more rotate, different ducts being drained) and nipple irritation
  • Quick tip 2! If you are going to nurse in a chair, nurse in one that has arms to help support you while you feed
  • Quick tip 3! A boppy or nursing buddy is also useful when breastfeeding

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breastfeeding positions, four common breastfeeding positions

Cross Cradle

Cross Cradle hold is perfect for early breastfeeding. Lets break this down step by step

  • Bring your baby across the front of your body making sure you are tummy to tummy
  • Hold your baby in the crook of the arm opposite the breast you’re feeding from — left arm for right breast, right arm for left
  • Support the back of the baby’s neck with your open hand
  • With the other hand, support your breast from the underside in a U-shaped hold. Remember not to lean into your baby, bring your baby to you!

Cradle Hold

You may think this hold and the cross cradle hold are the same. In this hold you support your baby’s head in the crook of your arm, rather than your hand.

  • Like the cross cradle, bring your baby across the front of your body, tummy to tummy
  • Your baby’s head should rest in the crook of your arm, while the other supports your breast. You may find the C-shape hold helps in this one.
  • For extra support use a boppy or nursing pillow (links)

Football Hold

Football hold is perfect for mom’s who delivered by c-section, have twins, or have large breasts

  • Hold your baby beside you, with your elbow bent
  • With your open hand, support your baby’s head and face your bay towards your breast. With your other hand support your breast using a c-shaped hold (link)
  • Your baby’s back will rest on your forearm
  • Using a boppy (link) or nursing pillow to help support you while you feed


Side lying is perfect if you are tired, but able to stay awake. Make sure once you are done feeding you place your baby to sleep in his or her crib.

  • Lie on your side and face your baby toward your breast, supporting the baby with one hand
  • With the other hand use the v-shaped (link) hold and touch your nipple against your baby’s lips
  • Once the baby latches on, use one arm to support your own head and the other to help support the baby and bring him or her close

Phew! There we go. The four most common breastfeeding positions every mom should know. What I find helpful is my boppy, everyone needs one! There are so many options out there, the traditional boppy as well as a bigger firmer one for more support. Check them out!

Check out these other posts on breastfeeding!

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