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Latching Positions You Can Try

Just like anything new, breastfeeding takes a lot of practice.

It won’t be long before it feels like a natural thing to you.

In the meantime, here are some breastfeeding techniques for positioning your baby and helping your baby to latch on and start breastfeeding.

Food photo created by freepic.diller

1. Football hold

Mothers who had a caesarean birth often find that the football position is a good choice.

This position will protect your incision and provides greater support for your baby’s head and neck.

This also works well for mothers who have a very large breast, small babies or have more than one baby.

Babies held like a football are well supported and easily positioned.

The way to hold your baby:

  • Support your baby’s head by placing your thumb and fingers beneath your baby’s ears and around the back of your baby’s neck.
  • Tuck your baby under your arm and position them so that their chin, chest and knees are facing your breast.
  • Place a pillow next to you to help raise your baby higher.

2. Side-lying

This position is great for night time feedings and for mothers who had a caesarean birth.

The way to hold:

  • Place your baby on their side so that their chin, chest and knees facing your breast.
  • Support your baby’s head and back with your hand and arm.

3. Cross cradle

Supporting your baby’s head is easier when you use the cross-cradle position.

This position allows you to cover your baby across your chest.

The way to hold:

  • Support your baby’s head by placing your thumb and fingers beneath your baby’s ears and around the back of their neck.
  • Turn your baby on their side, so that their chin, chest and knees are facing your breast.
  • Wrap your baby across your chest.  If needed, use a pillow to support your baby at the level of your breast.

4. Cradle

This position is the most familiar for many moms.

Though it is commonly used, this position is the least effective because the mother has less control over their baby’s head.

The way to hold:

  • Place your baby’s head in the bend of your elbow.
  • Turn your baby on their side, so that their chin, chest and knees are facing your breast.
  • Support your baby’s back with your arm and his bottom with your hand.

Positioning Tips

Here are a few more tips for positioning your baby well so that your baby can achieve a good latch:

  1. Hold your baby skin-to-skin at least for the first hour after birth. If babies are given chances, babies will use their senses and reflexes to locate the breast, latch on and breastfeed!
  2. Make sure that your baby’s head, neck and back are well-supported.
  3. Imagine that you are facing your table to eat your meals and position your baby the same way. This position will allow your baby to get a mouthful of breast and a good latch.
  4. Mother will know that your baby is positioned well if you hear your baby is suckling, swallowing and breathing in an even pattern.
  5. Some mothers will experience pain during the first latch on to the breast. The pain should last only for a few seconds if your baby is positioned well. If the pain continues, remove your baby from the breast and try again.

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