6 of the best breastfeeding positions to try

Woman breastfeeding her baby

Not found a position for breastfeeding that feels just right? From the cradle hold to the koala hug, here are some of the top positions that might make the experience easier.

The first rule of breastfeeding is: do what works for you. That might mean having a certain routine, combining pumping with feeding, or mixing up positions with your baby.

Breastfeeding positions are unique to everyone. Some work better for mums who’ve just had c-sections, others are good for twins, whilst some are nice and supportive for newborns. You might find you need to change things up as your baby grows, especially if you’re feeding up to two years or beyond.

Here’s our list of the most popular positions for breastfeeding. Try pulling these shapes before helping to guide your bubba to find the perfect latch.

Laid-back hold

Sometimes called ‘biological nursing’, this position is great for mum’s recovering from a c-section as your baby won’t be lying over your surgery scar.

Lean back (without lying down completely) on the sofa or your bed. You should be propped up with pillows so your back and neck are comfy and supported.

Lie your baby on your front, so you’re tummy-to-tummy (or they’re lying on one side) and you can look them in the eye, then help them find your nipple. Gravity (handy as always) should help to form a strong latch and keep your baby in place.


Cradle hold

This one’s a classic breastfeeding position, but it might irritate after a caesarean until you’re properly healed. It can also be a tough one to try with newborns as it doesn’t offer as much support as other holds.

Sit up in a chair or in bed, with cushions supporting you. Lie your baby along your forearm with their head and body facing you. Their body should be in a straight line - not twisted - with their nose right up in front of your nipple and their lower arm under yours.


Side-lying hold

A perfect position for lying in bed or night time feeds. And side-lying is another good one for mummas who’ve had a caesarean birth. 

Start by doing the obvious. Lie on your side with an arm under your head or a pillow. Then, lay your baby towards you so you’re tummy-to-tummy and make sure their body is in a straight line. Use the free arm to guide your baby to your nipple. If they’re prone to rolling or need more support, place a cushion or a rolled up blanket behind their back to wedge them in while feeding.


Rugby ball hold

Also called the ‘underarm hold’ or ‘clutch hold’, in this position, have your baby tucked under your arm with their feet facing behind you. Their face should be toward your boob, so they can easily latch on to your nipple. It’s a good position to try with newborns as it offers lots of support and closeness.

Dangle hold

Dangle feeding isn’t for everyone but some mums swear by it, even saying it helps to unblock clogged milk ducts. The basic idea is that your breast hangs over your baby and you dangle your nipple into their mouth. It can work on a bed, if you’re lying on all fours, but some mums find it easier to sit or kneel to dangle feed, especially if their babies are toddling. It might not be your go-to position, but if it works, why not?


Koala hold

A useful hold with a cute name. Sit your baby on your hip or leg with their back straight and their head upright to feed. It can be a nice one to try with older babies who can sit up independently and often suits infants who suffer from reflux or tongue-tie. It’s also pretty discreet for feeding in public as, to all intents and purposes, it just looks like you’re giving your bubba a big hug.