safe motherhood


Feeding positions

Whichever position you use, it is important to be comfortable, supported and relaxed throughout a breastfeed. This may mean a little preparation beforehand with pillows, cushions and finding a comfortable chair.


• Tuck your baby in closely to you.
• Check that his or her ear, shoulder and hip are all in a line. They shouldn't be twisted round.
• Always make sure that your baby is facing the breast: that is, nose opposite nipple. It makes feeding more of an effort for him or her if they have to turn their head.

Think 'tummy to mummy/chest to chest/nose to nipple/chin to breast'.

Traditional position

In this position, your baby is supported by pillows on your lap, on the same level as your breasts, their head supported by your forearm, rather than in the crook of the arm, and their body lying across your stomach. Sometimes it helps to cup your baby's head in your hand (left hand for right breast; right hand for left breast, obviously).

Underarm position

By placing cushions at your side, your baby can rest on them with their legs pointing behind you. Your arm enfolds your baby and your right hand cradles their head as they feed from your right breast (and vice versa). This position is sometimes used by women who have given birth by Caesarean section, as it avoids pressure on a Caesarean scar. It can also be a good way to breastfeed twins at the same time.

Lying down

By lying on your side and resting your head on a pillow, your baby can tuck in close to you. He or she will have the support of the bed and you can guide them to your breast and support them with your free hand. You may find that it helps to have a pillow behind your back to prevent backache. A thin pillow or large folded towel under your rib cage will lift your body slightly, which is helpful if you have large breasts.

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