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What are the most commonly used breastfeeding positions?

Are you a new mom looking for breastfeeding tips? We hope information on the six most common breastfeeding positions help:

  • Cradle hold. Sit in a comfortable chair and cradle your baby’s head in the crook of your arm on the same side as the breast you’ll be nursing from. Your baby’s body should be facing yours, and their nose should be in line with your nipple. 
  • Cross-cradle hold. Similar to the cradle hold, but you use the opposite arm to support your baby’s head. This position gives you more control and is helpful for newborns who need extra support. 
  • Football hold. Sit in a chair and position your baby beside you, with their legs tucked under your arm on the same side as the breast you’ll be nursing from. Support your baby’s head with your hand and bring them to your breast. This position is useful if you had a cesarean birth or if you have large breasts. 
  • Side-lying position. Lie on your side with a pillow behind your back for support. Place your baby facing you, with their body facing yours. Align their nose with your nipple and bring them close to latch. This position is convenient for night feedings and when you want to rest. 
  • Laid-back position (biological nurturing). Lie back comfortably with your upper body slightly elevated. Let your baby rest on your chest, allowing them to find their way to your breast. This position uses gravity to assist with latching and can be helpful for newborns. 
  • Reclining position. Lie back on a recliner or bed in a partially reclined position. Support your baby’s head with one hand and bring them to your breast. This position can be useful if you have a fast let-down or if you’re experiencing nipple soreness. 

More tips

Experiment with different positions to find what works best for you and your baby. It’s important to prioritize comfort and proper latch in any position you choose. If you’re having difficulty finding the right position or experiencing discomfort, consider seeking guidance from a lactation consultant or a breastfeeding support group.

To learn more about what to expect while breastfeeding, explore resources from La Leche League.

PowerMom Connect

The PowerMom platform invites pregnant people to collect and contribute important pregnancy-related health information through app-based surveys and wearable sensors. PowerMom Connect is a new, paid sub-study within the PowerMom platform. It is focused on supporting mothers during the postpartum period.

If you have any questions, the PowerMom team is here to help. You can reach us at

Lauren Serpico

Lauren Serpico, Ph.D, is the Sr. Project Manager of Social Media Content at Scripps Research Digital Trials Center. Her background is in Community Psychology, with a focus on online social networks.