BREAST FEEDING – POSITIONING THE BABY FOR FEEDS

Any position in which the mother and baby are comfortable are good enough for proper breast-feeding.

Commonly used positions include:

  • Cradle Hold The mother can sit on a comfortable chair or sit up on the bed. A pillow kept on the mother’s lap helps elevate the baby to the level of the breast. If the baby is being fed on the left breast, the baby is cradled in the left arm. With the mother’s arm close to her body, she should rotate her forearm so that the baby’s mouth is aligned with her nipple. The mother supports her breast with four fingers underneath the breast and the thumb above. The fingers should be well behind the areola so that they do not get in the way of the baby’s mouth.
  • Cross Cradle Hold In this position, if the mother is feeding on the left breast, the baby is cradled in the right arm and the breast is supported with the left hand. With this position, the mother can control the baby’s head more effectively by holding the head between the thumb and fingers. This position is particularly useful for small babies and when the infant gives trouble with “latching on”.
  • Foot Ball Hold In this position, if the mother is feeding on the left breast, the infant is cradled in the left arm and the baby’s body is placed between her left arm and the body, with the infant’s legs pointing backwards.
  • Reclining Position The mother lies on her side, with the infant lying beside her, facing the breast. This position permits the mother some degree of rest while feeding and is particularly useful at nights or after a caesarean section.