Read time: 5 minutes
From cradling your baby or tucking them under your arm, to lying on your side, it’s important to find a breastfeeding position that suits you both. If you feel uncomfortable, reposition your baby at any time. This can help reduce any pain from engorged breasts, and help you make a success of feeding.
All mum’s bodies are different and so one position might work well for you but would not work for someone else1.
Lying down is a great position for early breastfeeding and helps the baby to show initial reflexes which can help to have successful breastfeeding2.
Feeding in an upright feeding positions, such as the koala hold, can be useful in reducing reflux in your baby4.
Best breastfeeding position for newborns
There are no best breastfeeding positions for your newborn, as all mum’s bodies are different and so one position might work well for you but would not work for someone else1. When it comes to breastfeeding, finding a position that’s comfortable for you and your baby can make a real difference. Watch this short step-by-step guide from Aptaclub, showing three of the best breastfeeding positions you can try.
- This feed involves you sitting relaxed and supported laying back slightly, with your baby laying on your stomach, being able to crawl towards the breast and feed1.
- This is a great position for early breastfeeding and helps the baby to show initial reflexes which can help to have successful breastfeeding2.
Lying on your side
- This feed involves you lying on your side, and your baby lying next to you and feeding while you are facing each other.
- This is useful if you have had a caesarean birth, as it can relive the pressure on your stomach3.
- This feed involves your baby lying supported in line with your arm, with their feet behind you and resting on the back of your seat.
- This is also useful if you have had a caesarean birth, as it can relive the pressure on your stomach3.
- This feed involves your baby facing you with you supporting their head, neck and shoulders.
- This is useful for breastfeeding in public as it is easy to support the infant in any seated position.
- This feed involves your baby sitting on your lap, with their legs either side of your thigh and sitting upright to feed.
- This is useful if you are shy to breastfeed in public as it is more discrete. This also helps if your baby is older and can support their own head, otherwise it is important to ensure you are supporting the baby’s head throughout feeding4.
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Best breastfeeding position for reflux
If your baby is having problems with reflux it can be helpful to feed in an upright position. So the koala hold can be useful in reducing reflux episodes in your baby4. Always consult a healthcare professional if you are concerned that your baby has a feeding issue.
- Colson, S. Maternal breastfeeding positions: Have we got it right? (2). The Practising Midwife, 2005;8(11):29-32.
- Colson, S., Meek, J. and Hawdon, J. Early Hum Dev, 2008;84(7):441-449.
- Puapornpong, P., et al. Breastfeed Med, 2017;12(4):233-237.
- Thomson, S. J Hum Lact, 2013;29(2):147-149.
Last reviewed: 18th August 2020
Reviewed by Nutricia’s Medical and Scientific Affairs Team
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