6 Breastfeeding Positions worth a try


I wish I had been shown some of these breastfeeding positions before the birth of my daughter. It took me months to discover some of them were even possible!

It can be useful to know various breastfeeding positions, but it is by no means necessary to try them all during the first week. Changing position can be very useful to empty some parts of your breasts that are engorged. I once heard of a woman who could only feel better when she was breastfeeding “on top” of her baby, resting on her forearms. I would have never thought of that before hearing it! It does make sense, though, that depending on your breast angle, gravity will play its part and some parts of your breasts will empty more quickly than others.

Momzelle nursing clothes

Here are 6 breastfeeding positions worth a try:

1. The Football Hold: Look at the baby’s legs against the wall! This is a great position for breastfeeding twins, as the baby is not blocking the way to the other breast.

Breastfeeding position-football-hold
Football Hold Breastfeeding Position

2. The Reversed Cradle Hold: I find that this is a great starter position, as it allows you to really well position your breast.

Breastfeeding position: the reversed Madonna
Breastfeeding position: the reversed Madonna/Cradle hold

3. The Cradle Hold is a classic. You can start with the reverse cradle and switch to the cradle when you feel comfortable.

The Madonna Breastfeeding Position
The Cradle Hold Breastfeeding Position

4. Side-Lying down: THE breastfeeding position for everyone who had a c-section. The baby is not pressing on the rough spots and you can rest. It is also a nice position at night.

5. The saddle hold: I like this one, especially for older babies. At some point, they are tall enough to sit on your lap and nurse! Before they reach that height, you can put a cushion underneath their bums. This is worth a try.

cradle hold breastfeeding position
Cradle hold in a Momzelle nursing top

6. Lying on your back (the Australian hold), the baby breastfeeding face down on you: no one had told me that I could breastfeed this way and I was fighting with tons of pillows to get my baby to latch on with the side lying position (she was small and my breast was too high for her to reach it when I laid on my side). After a few months, I tried this position and I really wish I had tried it earlier. Being small-breasted, it just made more sense for me to nurse this way. No more need for any pillows!

The Australian Hold breastfeeding position (lying on your back)
The Australian Hold breastfeeding position (lying on your back)

Little pieces of advice:

  • For all positions, make yourself comfortable. Try not to bend towards your baby but to rather bring him up to your breast’s height.
  • When sitting down (in the Madona position), put the baby’s arm that is on your thigh around your waist.
  • When lying down on your side, bring the baby’s bottom against your abdomen so that he has a better latch.
  • In the “Australian” position, have your baby lie diagonally on your abdomen.

I’d love it if you could let me know what positions worked best for you and why. Was this post useful for you?

11 thoughts on “6 Breastfeeding Positions worth a try”

  1. Great basics! A veteran breastfeeder of 3 sons, I’ve found myself in all of those positions and have to say, lying down to nurse gave me more rest as a new mom than I ever would have had otherwise! The straddle is nice for toddlers and is also easily adaptable to nursing in a sling with the child in a hip carry.

    Don’t forget the crazy but helpful hovering-over-baby-on-all-fours, excellent for getting just the right angle if you’re trying to work out a plugged duct. Baby is on his back laying down, you hang over him at whatever angle you need.

  2. I have done all of these but wondered if I was “weird” for some of them, like saddle and Australian! One other helpful thing I’ve found is to make sure you have more than one style of nursing bra or wear a nursing tank or nightgown to sleep in instead so that the same parts of your breast aren’t always compressed by your bras!

    1. I would have never thought of changing nursing bras! Could it be that yours were too small? I do not think that you should feel compressed by your bras.

  3. i’ve tried all positions you’ve listed. #1-2 during his first few months. #3, 4 and 6 were always a favorite. sometimes i just wake up really early and he’s having breakfast already using #6. #5 while driving 😉

    there’s one more position – though it is my least favorite. nursing on all fours… i use this when i had plugged ducts before.

    1. OMG! I never thought of being on all fours! I’m on my 4th baby and when I had a clogged duct I pumped and pumped but maybe if I had known this position it would have cleared out sooner!! I’ll definitely keep this gem in mind!! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I have small breasts and inverted nipples. My baby initially was either too sleepy or too famished to get a good latch. At the hospital, I was shown #1 & 2. Neither felt comfortable and I went home engorged with sore, bleeding nipples and a prescription for a nipple ointment that had a pain reliever, an antibiotic, and an antifugal in it. It didn’t sound very healthy to me, so I pumped a lot in the first two weeks. In the third week, without studying other positions, I intuitively tried #4 and #6. Both work well for us. I also recommend a nipple shield if you are dealing with nipples that can easily be flattened out..:

  5. My kid is only two months old and I thought the saddle hold looked handy but when I sit them in my lap my nipples are at their navel. Are you supposed to hold the nipples up to their mouth? Is this hold only for small-chested nursing people?

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