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How should I hold my baby when I feed him?

It is important that the baby is positioned and attached to the breast in a way that allows him to get all the milk he can. This will also help prevent sore nipples.

Whatever feeding position you use, here are some general suggestions that will help you both have a good experience:

  • Try to nurse him in a dimly lit and quiet room.
  • Make sure you are comfortable before you position him.
  • Use pillows to raise your baby to breast level.
  • Make sure your baby’s ear, shoulder, and hip are in a straight line. Your baby should not have to turn his head to nurse.
Do You Have Questions About Breastfeeding? Contact Your Local WIC or Call the
Breastfeeding Hotline
cradle hold

Cradle Hold

  • Place a pillow in your lap.
  • Put your baby on his side on the pillow, tummy to tummy with you.
  • Rest his head on your forearm, with his nose in front of your nipple.
  • Tuck his lower arm under your breast.

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football hold, breastfeeding twins

Football Hold

(most comfortable for women who have had a C-section)

  • Place a pillow at your side.
  • Put your baby on the pillow with his legs tucked
    under your arm.
  • Slide your forearm under your baby’s back and support his
    head with your hand.

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mother lying down with baby

Lying Down

(most comfortable for women who have had a difficult delivery or for night feeds)

  • Lie on your side with knees bent. You may want to place pillows between your knees,under your head and neck, and behind your back.
  • Put your baby on his side, facing your nipple.
  • Place your other arm, a pillow, or a rolled-up blanket behind your baby to support him.

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