1. Newborns
  2. Breastfeeding & bottle-feeding
  3. How to breastfeed

Breastfeeding positions: in pictures

0-3 months

Breastfeeding positions for comfort and attachment

When you’re learning to breastfeed, it’s best to start with baby-led attachment. While sitting, lean back and get comfy, with pillows for support. Lie baby between your breasts, skin to skin, supported by your arms. Baby will move towards one breast and start feeding.

If you’ve had a caesarean, you can still do baby-led attachment. Encourage baby to lie more to one side of you, supported on pillows but angled away from your wound. Keep baby’s feet supported.

You can also do mother-led attachment. Sit in a chair with good back support and armrests, or pillows to prop up your arms. Rest your feet on a footstool to keep them flat. If you’re comfortable and baby is attached correctly, breastfeeding is easier.

Breastfeeding positions to try

Once you’re going well with breastfeeding, you can try different breastfeeding positions. This is the classic front hold or cradle position, often used with mother-led attachment.

Here’s the underarm position or football hold. Tuck your baby close to your body. You can feed twins together in this position. It can also help if you have sore nipples.

The lying down position is good for night feeds and afternoon rests. Be careful you don’t go to sleep with baby in this position.

More options and ideas for breastfeeding

In the first weeks, it can be easier to feed twins separately. But soon you can try feeding them together in the twin hold. Some mums feed separately, others together, and most do a mix.

If you want to breastfeed when you’re out, you could practise first at mothers’ group, or with friends and family. It’s your legal right to feed your baby in any place at any time.

If you feel self-conscious about breastfeeding in public, try using a scarf or cloth to cover your baby when feeding. Some babies might not like being covered.

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Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.

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