Positioning your baby for breastfeeding


Description

Be patient with yourself as you learn to breastfeed. Know that breastfeeding takes practice. Give yourself 2 to 3 weeks to get the hang of it.

Learn how to position your baby to breastfeed. Know how to hold your baby in different positions so your nipples do not get sore and so you empty your breasts of milk.

Alternative Names

Breastfeeding positions; Bonding with your baby

Breastfeeding Positions

You will be more comfortable nursing if you know how to position your baby on your breast. Find a position that works well for you and your baby. Learn about breastfeeding:

Types of Breastfeeding Positions

CRADLE HOLD

This hold works best for full-term babies. Some new mothers have trouble guiding the baby's mouth to their breast in this hold. If you have had a cesarean birth (C-section), your baby may put too much pressure on your stomach in this hold.

Here's how to do the cradle hold:

FOOTBALL HOLD

Use the football hold if you had a C-section. This hold is good for babies that have trouble latching on because you can guide their head. Women with large breasts or flat nipples also like the football hold.

SIDE LYING POSITION

Use this position if you had a C-section or a hard delivery that makes it hard for you to sit up. You can use this position when you are lying in bed.

Take Care of Your Nipples

Your nipples naturally make a lubricant to prevent drying, cracking, or infections. In order to keep your nipples healthy:

References

Dieterich CM, Felice JP, O'Sullivan E, Rasmussen KM. Breastfeeding and health outcomes for the mother-infant dyad. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2013;60(1):31-48. PMID: 23178059 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23178059.

Feldman-Winter L. Evidence-based interventions to support breastfeeding. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2013;60(1):169-187. PMID: 23178064 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23178064.

Holmes AV. Establishing successful breastfeeding in the newborn period. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2013;60(1):147-168. PMID: 23178063 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23178063.

Newton ER. Lactation and breastfeeding. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, et al, eds. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 24.

Valentine CJ, Wagner CL. Nutritional management of the breastfeeding dyad. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2013;60(1):261-274. PMID: 23178069 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23178069.


Review Date: 11/11/2016
Reviewed By: Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com
 
A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.