8 Breastfeeding Positions to Make Nursing Easier on Mom

Jeanne Sager | Oct 23, 2013 Baby
8 Breastfeeding Positions to Make Nursing Easier on Mom

breastfeeding momWhat is the right way to breastfeed a baby? Before I gave birth, it was the number one question on my mind (OK so maybe it was number two after: does every woman REALLY poop during delivery, but you get my point!). But the more women I asked, the more answers I got. Different answers.

Every mom I talked to had a different way to hold her baby while nursing, a different breastfeeding "style" so to speak. So which one was right? All of them. Every darn one of them. 

How you breastfeed a baby, it turns out, doesn't matter all that much. What does matter is that mom and baby are both comfortable and the little one is getting to eat. The real trick is finding what works for you.

So ... what breastfeeding style will work for you?

More from The Stir: 6 Things You Can Do While Breastfeeding

We've got a crash course in breastfeeding positions to help you figure it out!

Think your baby is ready for #7? What is your favorite position for breastfeeding baby?



Image via HELEN MCARDLE/Science Photo Library/Corbis

  • Breastfeeding Positions for Every Type of Mom


    Image via HELEN MCARDLE/Science Photo Library/Corbis

  • Cross-Cradle Hold


    Image via Jennie Woodcock/Reflections Photolibrary/CORBIS

    A cross-cradle hold gives Mom lots of control, as the baby rests in the arm opposite of the breast baby is suckling from, and her head is in Mom's hand. Popular with brand new moms with newborns, a pillow can help prop the baby up to give Mom's arm a little rest when you're using the cross-cradle hold.

  • Football Hold


    Image via Mothering Touch/Flickr


    Ever carried a football in the crook of your arm? Then you know just how to handle the football hold. Baby's legs and arms are tucked alongside Mom's body, under her armpit, while she uses her hand to hold baby's little head at the breast. This is a great hold for moms who have had a C-section as it keeps the baby's body away from her incision.

  • Cradle Hold


    Image via HELEN MCARDLE/Science Photo Library/Corbis

    The cradle hold is popular with moms whose babies have begun to get some control of their neck muscles, enabling mom to give their head a little more freedom. Baby is cradled in the arm on the side of the breast he is feeding from, generally lying on his side with his mouth level with Mom's nipple. The head and shoulder will lean against Mom's arm.

  • Side-Lying


    Image via Larry Williams/Corbis

    For babies who are nursing through the night, side-lying breastfeeding is a trick moms will want to master as you can give your head a rest while they're nursing. Just as the name describes, this position involves Mom and baby both lying on their side!

  • Tandem


    Image via DARREN WHITESIDE/Reuters/Corbis

    Got twins? You'll want to learn to tandem breastfeed! Two babies, two breasts, one mealtime!

  • No Hands!


    Image via Diane French-Lynch/Corbis

    Once a baby is experienced at latching on and starts to develop their little muscles, Mom doesn't have to do nearly as much work. Many moms can just sit back and let baby do the work after they're latched on.

  • In the Sling


    Image via Ocean/Corbis


    Many breastfeeding moms are also babywearing moms because they can feed on the go. The sling does much of the cradling work for you, freeing up your hands to do other things.


  • Mom on Top


    Image via Mothering Touch/Flickr

    Not a breastfeeding position most moms will use for a long time (your arms will get tired!), but when you're perched above the baby, gravity helps the milk ducts to be fully drained.


More Slideshows