Narrator: When it comes to breastfeeding, it’s important to find a position that works best for you and your baby. This can sometimes take a bit of experimenting. Here are some common positions. The most common breastfeeding positions are the cradle and cross-cradle holds. For all breastfeeding positions, bring your baby in close chest-to- chest. Avoid contact with your baby’s head as he needs it to be free to be able to attach well.
Onscreen tip: Cradle hold
Narrator: For the cradle hold, sit somewhere comfortable, such as in a chair with pillows behind you for support. Bring your baby across the front of your body. Hold your baby along your forearm, left arm for left breast, right arm for right. Your baby’s head rests in the crook of your arm.
Onscreen tip: Cross-cradle hold
Narrator: For the cross-cradle hold, sit somewhere comfortable, such as in a chair with pillows behind you for support. Bring your baby across the front of your body. Hold your baby in close along your forearm, left arm for right breast, right arm for left. Support your baby’s neck and shoulder blades with your hand and wrist.
Onscreen tip: Underarm or football hold
Narrator: For the underarm or football hold, hold your baby at your side, under the arm, with your elbow bent. Support your baby’s back along your forearm and support his neck and shoulder blades with your hand and wrist. It can help to rest your baby’s body on the arm of a chair or with a pillow. This breastfeeding position is popular with mums of twins and mums who have had a caesarean since it holds the baby’s body well away from her caesarean wound.
Onscreen tip: Lying down position
Narrator: You can also lie down on your side to breastfeed. A lying position might be a good choice for when you feel like resting. Lie down on your side and bring your baby in close with him facing towards your lower-most breast, supporting him with one hand behind his neck and shoulder blades.
Onscreen tip: Semi-reclined or laid-back position
Narrator: In the semi-reclined or laid-back position, your baby can be placed on your chest facing you and pillows can be placed behind you for support. A semi-reclined position can help if you have a fast flow.
It is also a great position for when you let your baby find your breasts using his instincts, as it lets gravity help your baby move towards a breast. For more help on how to do this, please see our baby-led attachment video: https://raisingchildren.net.au/newborns/breastfeeding-bottle-feeding/breastfeeding-videos/baby-led-attachment.
Whether you use some sort of pillow or not is really up to what works for you and your baby. Mothers who are breastfeeding twins often find a pillow helpful. If using a pillow, take care not to raise your baby higher or lower than the natural fall of your breasts. If you’d like some help with breastfeeding, breastfeeding techniques, or breastfeeding attachment, support services are available.
Onscreen tip: Help with breastfeeding
Narrator: Your child and family health nurse, GP or the Australian Breastfeeding Association can support you with breastfeeding your baby. They can also help you find a lactation consultant. This is a health professional with specialist knowledge of breastfeeding.