There are four standard “holds” — which one suits you and baby best?

What breastfeeding position is best for you?


“…Avoid backache by bringing your baby to your nipple, instead of bending towards her.”

Breastfeeding your little bundle during those early weeks may be one of the most “bonding” activities you’ll ever experience with bubba. Although it’s a natural way for a woman to nourish her child, it takes time to perfect — just like everything else. Try practising any of these positions if you plan to prolong your nursing journey.

Find a cosy spot at home and get comfortable, using several pillows for your back and prop up your legs, if needed. You can avoid backache by bringing your baby to your nipple, instead of bending towards her. At the end of the day, you’ll want to find something that works for the both of you, even if it means tweaking these positions to suit your needs.

1) The Cradle Hold (classic)


To position your baby correctly, hold her sideways such that her face, stomach and knees face you. Ensure that both your tummies are touching each other’s and her nose is in line with your nipple. If you’re feeding from the left breast, rest her head on the crook of your left elbow, extend your forearm to support her neck and back, and tuck her lower arm under your left arm. Make sure she is lying horizontally or at a slight angle, then secure her knees across your belly or just below your right breast.

Recommended For

Full-term babies who were delivered vaginally. However, some women prefer using this hold when their babies have stronger necks (around a month old), as it’s hard to guide the baby to the nipple before that.

2) The Football Hold

In this position, also commonly known as the underarm, rugby or clutch hold, you need to tuck your baby under your arm with her feet pointing behind you. As you nurse from your left breast, tuck her under your left arm and let your forearm support her body and neck. Rest your arm on a pillow for comfort, and your palms under her head for support.

Recommended For

Women who’ve had C-sections, so that baby doesn’t press on the stomach. Also good for premature babies, twins who feed simultaneously, or women with large breasts.

3) The Cross-Over Hold

Very similar to the cradle hold, the only difference is that you use the opposite arm to support your baby’s head — instead of using the same arm — from the breast you’re feeding from. So, if you’re offering your left breast, use your right forearm to secure your sweetie’s back, putting your thumb behind one ear and fingers behind the other. Rotate her body such that her face, body and knees face you, and allow her head to tilt back, so that her chin presses against your breast and her nose is free.

Recommended For

Small babies, or those who have problems latching on.

4) The Side-Lying Position

Lie on your side (your knees can be bent or straight), and place a pillow behind you for support. Pull your baby closer to you such that her face, body and knees face you, and position your lower arm under her head for support. Alternatively, you can curl your top arm behind and under her head, while your lower arm is under your own head. If your little one is too small to comfortably be in line with your breast, use a flat pillow or blanket, so that she can nurse.

Recommended For

Women who are recovering from a C-section, for night or long feeds, or simply for those who want a little rest. Also good for babies who have problems latching on.

5) The Straddle Position

Sit on a chair, lean back and hold your baby upright with her legs on either side of your thigh. Ensure that she’s facing you with her belly touching yours, and support the base of her neck with your palms as you draw her close.

Recommended For

Babies who have problems keeping their milk down, and mothers who have a fast milk flow.

Photo: INGimage


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